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WebTranslateIt.com is a web-based translation tool to translate documents and software.

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Downtime post-mortem: Tuesday 1st December

Posted by Edouard on December 1, 2009

Yesterday has been the busiest day of Web Translate It’s history. We completely outreached the number of visits and pages viewed. Many new visitors have been trying Web Translate It’s demo which resulted in a fairly high, although sustainable server load.

Around 5AM GMT the cron job that back up our database started. This backup is usually done in less than 5 minutes. Due to the high server load we were experiencing, after more than 30 minutes the backup was still not finished, at which time another resource-hungry task started. This abnormal accumulation of heavy tasks at the same time jammed our web server, at which point the service became unresponsive.

Around 9AM GMT I noticed the service was not responding and I rebooted the server, which instantly restored Web Translate It’s service back to business.

I am really sorry about this downtime. This is the biggest downtime in Web Translate It’s history. I strive for delivering high quality and highly available software to my customers, which I failed to provide this morning.

I will take the following actions:

  • I will set up the monitoring system to send e-mail and SMS when the server load is extremely high. At the moment I am only notified when the server goes completely down.

  • I will migrate Web Translate It to a more beefy server. I was planning such a migration after Christmas holiday but I will do my best to order a new server and migrate the entire service before the beginning of next week.

Again, I am very sorry for any and all problems this has caused and hope that you will give us a chance to re-earn your trust and continued business.

It’s beta time!

Posted by Edouard on November 27, 2009

I just finished a new feature for Web Translate It and it is so much a change I would like you to try it first and get your feedback before rolling it on the main website.

This new feature is a completely rethought translation interface. I hope it makes it more efficient to work. Let’s see what’s new in this interface.

Enough said, go over at beta.webtranslateit.com and give it a try. Please note that the data used on this site is the live data and sync with the regular Web Translate It. It use the same database.

The first thing you will notice is that there is no more pagination. The page is endless: the more you scroll, the more strings are automatically loaded. This is very convenient to translate hundreds of strings in a row: you don’t have to interrupt your work to click on “next page” and wait for the next page to load: the next page is loaded when you’re about to be out of strings to work.

The interface is also much more minimalist than the current one. By default nothing is displayed but the content to translate. This is a great for reviewing your work.

When you hover a string, more information appear. Namely the key name of the string and a few options.

When you click on a string, a text area appears and let you compose or edit your translation.

When you are done, click save or just leave it for later: you can also save your translations in batch with the “Save my changes” button, which is much more efficient than the current “Save all” button.

Once the string is saved, your will notice the color in the right border has changed to red to orange: this is the status indicator. It means the string was “not translated” and it is not “not proofread”.

To proofread the string, click on the proofread button, and the status color dynamically update from dotted orange to plain green.

This is the scheme everywhere on Web Translate It: dotted stuff are things to do, plain stuff are things done. The colours give you a more precise indication of the status: green is for “done”, orange is for “not proofread” and red is for “not done at all”.

Less frequently used functionalities are gone in a menu you can activate by clicking on “Options”.

The most used functionalities such as commenting or proofread/unproofread are visible and usable by directly clicking the button.

I think you’ve got it! A finished project should look like a very long green line. Any string to do is easily identifiable.

Please share what you think about this on our forum.

If you haven’t tried Web Translate It yet, create a demo account with unlimited access that will allow you to try it after just one click.

New in Web Translate It: Demo Accounts

Posted by Edouard on November 26, 2009

I am pretty excited about this. When you are new to the tool or never heard of it, choosing a plan and creating a user account sure is intimidating. “What are the implications of what I am doing? Will I have to pay anything?”

If you only want to take a look at it, why not skipping this part?

In just a click you will get access to the full-fledged, top of the line Web Translate It plan. You can try it for 3 hours for free, at which point we will delete your demo account and all of its data.

To make your testing experience more enjoyable, this demo account come pre filled with an example project.

Give it a try!

Maintenance window tonight at 9PM GMT

Posted by Edouard on November 23, 2009

A maintenance window is planned tonight for Web Translate It between 9PM to 9.30PM GMT as we are migrating our assets (Javascript and CSS and images) to a proper CDN.

If everything goes according to the plan there should be no downtime and you should only notice a nice speed boost :)

Edit 9.45PM: I am a bit late, but it is done. All Web Translate It’s static content (images, Javascript and CSS) are served by 4 different buckets (or instances of) Amazon S3. This should speed up the loading of these assets and give WTI’s server a bit more overhead to serve actual pages to you.

Web Translate It mini-update

Posted by Edouard on November 18, 2009

I just pushed a very small update to Web Translate It to fix a few user interfaces I had gripes with. Yep, it’s the second update of the day. The differences are quite subtle but I think they make a difference. Read on.

Better Activity Feed

The activity feed show the last activity on your project. It displays the last translations, the last comments and the last files uploaded to the system. The problem is that showing all the translations is sometimes a little bit too much information, which makes the activity feed useless in practice, because you miss the important things.

To fix this issue, the feed about translations are now grouped by author and language.

You can see the hidden translations by clicking on “XX worked a few more strings”. It toggles the rest of the translations the translator has worked on.


On the project page you can now see the comments you haven’t read yet. This is useful if you deactivated the email notifications for Web Translate It in your settings page.

There are also two subtle UI touches on the comment popup. The first one is the “Answer this question” button.

When you click it, it prepares your answer: the drop-down is automatically set to “answer” and the text area gets the focus. Like so:

The second new feature here is the “Mark as answered” button. It basically close the question without answering it. This is useful because sometimes the question has been answered via another medium (email, chat or phone).

Better language switch

There are more language switch throughout the pages and they are better. The old javascript-y toggles have been replaced by a simple drop-down, which are more efficient to use. Often simpler is better.

I hope you will appreciate this (very tiny) update, which should make your commenting experience much better!

Thank you for using Web Translate It.