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Product update: Web Translate now has an activity feed, better comments, charts and a better search

Posted by Edouard on October 24, 2009

Thanks for everyone who gave Web Translate It a try and for the kind words, in your different, beautiful languages.

Since the opening to the public last week I have been hard at work. I improved some existing features and added a few new features. Let’s have a look on what is new.

Improved comments

Comments are now slightly more sociable.

For example, let’s pretend I am a translator and I have a question about the context of a string to a developer.

So let’s write a comment. The new feature here is that I can mark comments as “annoucements”, “questions” and “answers”. Let’s mark it as a question.

The questions not yet answered are displayed on the project home page until they are answered, like so.

If anyone has an answer to a question, she can mark the comment as an “answer” and the topic will be marked as answered.

Comments are now a very efficient way to communicate within the team. Besides, any comment you write are imported/exported with the language files.

Improved project page

There are many improvements on this page. The biggest new feature is that it integrates an activity feed.

You can see at a glance what has been done in your project lately.

That’s not all. The raw project statistics have been replaced by charts.

All put together, it gives the following page.

The global, raw statistics from the old project page are gone to a new Language page.

Improved search

Search is better, too. You can now search for strings in a specific language.

Results are also more relevant. You can search through the translations, the key names and the developer comments, if available.

Minor bug fixes and improvements

Better blank slates

The blank slates (for example the project page for a newly created project) have been drastically improved.

Locale autocompletion

The long “locale select of doom” that was showing 300-ish locales in a drop-down had his time and has been replaced by a shiny field with auto complete. You can just type the beginning of the locale name or locale code (German or de_DE) and select it in the list. Much easier!

Better “people and languages” page

The “people and language” page was a page that allowed you to create new languages for your project, as well as inviting new users to your project.

All these important actions in one page wasn’t making it particularly easy to use, so I split it into two pages: the “Users” page and the “Languages” page.

I hope you will enjoy this new version of Web Translate It. If you have any remarks, questions and suggestion, please write a message on our support forum.

Web Translate It has launched!

Posted by Edouard on October 14, 2009

Yes, you read it right: Web Translate It has launched.

What’s new?

A few bug fixes here, a few little features there, and few enhancements here again…. The biggest feature really is the payment system, so I can now welcome new customers.

Better import/export of strings

Look how slick the importer/exporter is now. It now has a nice progress bar and display how much time is left before completion. So now you know if you have the time to grab a cup of coffee or not.

Word counter

Another minor but essential improvement is the word counter. It counts for you how many words there is in a project.

Organisations pages

This part is completely new. This is where you manage your organisation (company or group), your billing information, the plan you choose, and so on. From there, you can change you plan, see at a glance how many strings you are using on your quota and park the projects you don’t use.

Try it!

Do you have a website or software to translate? Give it a try, you will get a 30-day trial so it won’t cost you a thing. If you don’t like it, just let the trial expire and we will delete your data.

Possible scheduled downtime next Saturday from 12AM-1PM GMT

Posted by Edouard on October 13, 2009

Web Translate It currently use a very basic disk cache to display faster a lot of different things. Disk cache is simple to implement, however it is not very efficient as it needs to access the hard disk to invalidate the cache.

Under high server load it even causes some malfunctions as it sometimes become slower to invalidate the cache than displaying a page.

On Saturday afternoon I will migrate the cache system to Memcache which will solve these problems and probably speed things a little bit up. I shouldn’t take the site down, but it is probably wise not to plan to do any important work on Web Translate It from noon to 1PM GMT.

New Feature: string sorting

Posted by Edouard on October 5, 2009

I released a new feature on Web Translate It today. You can now create custom filters and sort strings using these filters.

The user interface is slightly different than draft I made the other day, because it wasn’t working as soon as there are a lot of filters.

Let’s see how it works

Here we look at all the strings in the project.

Now, if I want, I can have a look at the new strings I added 1 week ago. As you can see, the statistics change as well.

Now I want to sort the strings I added a month ago, which are on this template edit_profile.tpl. Let’s create a custom filter that match the template I want in my project.

And we can now select “1 month ago” and “edit_profile.tpl”.

This is very flexible. You can also filter by file name and key name. I hope you will find this feature useful.

September Status Update

Posted by Edouard on October 2, 2009

This month I have been releasing only very few new features. I have also been working on the website’s performance.

A few new features

Search

“Search” seems to be such a little feature. It’s actually used a lot, needs to search everything and fast. It has been quite complex to implement.

Given the amount of string entries we are dealing with (we currently have more than 30,000 strings in database without having officially launched), and because we want a full-text search, it becomes quickly inefficient to directly query our database.

The solution for this problem is a search engine. In the background, an indexer look at the database for changes in the strings and well, index these changes. On the front-end, a search server check the index and respond quickly to your queries.

I chose Sphinx because it is fast, lightweight and under active development. It also has awesome plugins for Ruby on Rails, I chose Thinking Sphinx, which has an amazing documentation.

Save all strings in this page and developer comments

Another small improvement is the ability to save all the strings in the page. This has been requested by our beta testers. Furthermore, Web Translate It can now display developer comments. Developers can put there explanations or links to example pages.

Help section

I have also been working on the help section. It actually is a wiki, users will be able to write there tips and tricks.

Better importers

I have been rewriting the Yaml importer and exporter from scratch. The version I had was not capable to handle Rails’s plural forms. Also, more validations are now done before actually triggering the importers, therefore more availability and less failures.

Lastly, since today we also support PHP .ini and Java .properties files.

Performance improvements

API performance improvements

This was also technically thrilling: The API now supports Conditional GET Requests.

If you provide your request with a context (a HTTP header that include the date of last modification of your file), the new API will respond with a sensible HTTP status code.

If there has been changes since your last call, it will respond with the code 200 OK along with your translations. If there aren’t any changes, it will respond with a mere 304 Not Modified without your translations.

Needless to say, respond something empty is blazing fast.

Website performance improvements

To accommodate this feature, I also have been optimising Apache, which now supports Gzip compression, page caching and E-tags. The YSlow plugin for Firefox and Yahoo’s Best Practices for Speeding Up Your Web Site have been inestimable resources for this work. Web Translate It really feels much faster now.

Finally, I upgraded Ruby, the language that powers Web Translate It to a slightly newer version. Because traffic is still quite low, it is hard to notice any improvements on speed, but I noticed a huge drop in memory consumption.

That’s it

That’s it for this month. This is probably the last time I write a monthly status update. I release a new version of Web Translate It weekly, so it is hard for me to compile all my work in a post, and it makes rather long posts. I’d rather post weekly updates or “feature by feature” updates for large features.

Finally, as usual: Web Translate It is currently open for beta testers, so if you want to test Web Translate It for free, send me an email at edouard@atelierconvivialite.com.