Michal Čihař - Blog Archives for English

Weblate hacking #2

Second day of Hackweek VIII is over and there has been again great progress on Weblate.

I've started with improving documentation. Most of improvements were possible by using djangodocs extension for Sphinx, which allows better documenting of Django admin commands and settings.

Then I've focused on handling languages as there were some things which I did not like. Most importantly, Weblate will now try to use existing languages even if used code does not 100% match (eg. cs_CZ and cs-CZ are treated equal). Also with help of locale aliases, some specific variants won't be created and generic one used instead (eg. cs_CZ will use cs, as these are actually same). If there will be need to differentiate them, you still can create language manually and Weblate will use matched one.

Last thing is translation locking - translator can now lock translation for exclusive use and nobody else will be able to work on that. This will help in situations where more people started to work on same translation and basically duplicated the effort.

There are 3 open issues targeted for 1.2 release, but I'm not sure if some of these are good ideas, let's keep the decision for next days.

Weblate hacking #1

The first day of Hackweek VIII is about to end for me and it's time to share some of the results.

As planned, I've started hacking on Weblate. The most prominent feature from today are email notifications. You can now monitor the translation in various ways - be informed about new strings to translate, new contributor, added suggestion or simply watch all translations.

Another bigger change is rearranging of main page, which now provides instant access to per language stats, which were quite hidden before.

Rest of time was spent on adding some sort of spam protection (need to deploy this to demo to see how successful it is) and one more promoting widget (88x31 pixels).

There are 6 open issues targeted for 1.2 release, so there is still something to do in next days :-).

Sponsoring phpMyAdmin

We've decided to accept sponsorships of phpMyAdmin in more official way. So if you or your company want to financially support this software, you now have great chance to do that.

Time to time we've received offers for sponsoring, but we never got to point where we could easily handle these. In the past we were limited by sf.net requirements for no advertisement on website, but it got leveraged over the time and we did not change our policy much.

For now the only benefit we are providing to our sponsors (besides good feeling that they are supporting good project) is logo and link on our website. In the future we might add some more, but at first we want to see how it works in this scale.

Anyway if you are interested in sponsoring phpMyAdmin, you can do that on our website.

Triggering Jenkins from GitHub

For some time I thought it is not effective to use polling to get latest changes from GitHub into Jenkins, which we use for continuous integration, but II was always too lazy to investigate.

Today I finally took a look at it and it turns out to be quite easy:

  1. Enable Github plugin in Jenkins.
  2. Enable "Build when a change is pushed to GitHub" in project configuration in Jenkins
  3. Disable "Prevent Cross Site Request Forgery exploits" in Jenkins configuration (to prevent bug JENKINS-10263).
  4. Configure Jenkins service hook in GitHub to trigger your server (the URL is http://<jenkins>/github-webhook/.

Try testing the hook and check "GitHub Hook Log" in Jenkins if it really works and you're done.

So now, phpMyAdmin's tests should start as soon as somebody pushes changes to GitHub.

Intel SSD firmware update on Linux

For quite some time, I've suffered slow boot - it had useless 10 seconds delay while initializing SATA with SSD disk:

[    2.761669] ata1: SATA max UDMA/133 abar m2048@0xf2528000 port 0xf2528100 irq 44
[    8.118202] ata1: link is slow to respond, please be patient (ready=0)
[   12.764701] ata1: COMRESET failed (errno=-16)
[   13.084612] ata1: SATA link up 3.0 Gbps (SStatus 123 SControl 300)

After some googling, I came to conclusion it is bug in SSD firmware and looked for update. Release notes documented some fixes to slow boot, what seemed to be related. The only issue was that the firmware update is available only as ISO image. And guess what I have no CDROM (actually I have no clue for what I would have used it).

Fortunately the update is doable with just grub and syslinux.

First, download ISO provided by Intel and extract eltorito boot image from it using geteltorito script and copy it to /boot/. Then get yourself syslinux and copy memdisk to /boot/.

Now you just need to edit grub configuration to include following lines (you might need to adjust it according to your partition setup):

menuentry "SSD Update" {
        insmod part_msdos
        insmod ext2
        set root='(hd0,msdos1)'
        linux16 /memdisk
        initrd16 /ssd-fw.img

Now you can reboot and choose SSD Update from the grub menu and perform update!

After update the slowest part of boot process is me entering LUKS password, but I'm afraid this is not easily fixable :-).

PS: The difference you can see after update:

[    2.797551] ata1: SATA max UDMA/133 abar m2048@0xf2528000 port 0xf2528100 irq 44
[    3.115694] ata1: SATA link up 3.0 Gbps (SStatus 123 SControl 300)

GSoC evaluations submitted

Even though I've planned to do this on Monday, it somehow slipped to Wednesday, but I've finally filled in GSoC 2012 evaluations for all students I mentor at phpMyAdmin.

Generally all of them perform quite well, but there is always room for improvements :-).

The greatest pain every year is filling up evaluations for more students - every each of them starts with same questions for mentor (eg. how many GSoC did you participate in or how much time you spend on GSoC). I know I can copy and paste answers, but still this looks like something not necessary. Also some information is probably already known to Google (eg. in which years I did participate in GSoC).

New Weblate widget to embed in your site

Weblate just got new feature, which might help you attracting new translators - embeddable widgets. You can put them to your website to show current state of the translation and attract new ones to simple introduction page.

Right now, there is only one widget, but I hope to add more in future. However I'm far from being good in graphics, so if anybody could come up with some templates, I'd gladly use them :-).

Anyway the current widget for Weblate itself looks like this:

Roadmap for Weblate 1.2

As Weblate 1.1 is out, it's time to schedule next release. This release will bring some small improvements to the workflow, especially it will allow to tune it to different use cases than I originally had in mind.

I've already started tagging bugs and feature requests to be fixed in 1.2 in [issue tracker][4]. Basically no big features on the list, just smaller things like notifications and locking. And of course dozen of bugfixes as the bugs will appear :-).

As you can see there as well, 1.2 should be ready about month from now. This will be possible only thanks to Hackweek VIII (the wiki is still showing last one), which will happen from July 23rd to July 27th. The rest is time for testing the features and polishing the features.

Anyway I might have time for some other features as well, so 1.2 might bring more things than I currently plan. But that depends on how fast I will be in implementing planned stuff.

Weblate 1.1

Pretty much on schedule, Weblate 1.1 has been released today. It comes with translation updates, bug fixes, improvements in working with Git repositories and brings support for offloading indexing.

Full list of changes for 1.1:

  • Improved several translations.
  • Better validation while creating subproject.
  • Added support for shared git repositories across subprojects.
  • Do not necessary commit on every attempt to pull remote repo.
  • Added support for offloading indexing.

You can find more information about Weblate on it's website, the code is hosted on Github. If you are curious how it looks, you can try it out on demo server. You can login there with demo account using demo password or register your own user. Ready to run appliances can be found in SUSE Studio Gallery.

Weblate is also being used https://l10n.cihar.com/ as official translating service for phpMyAdmin, Gammu, Weblate itself and others.

If you are free software project which would like to use Weblate, I'm happy to help you with set up or even host Weblate for you (this will be decided case by case as my hosting space is limited).

Update: Weblate appliace has now also been updated to 1.1.

Surprising uses of Weblate

When I wrote Weblate I expected that major use cases will be free software projects, which will use it for public translating service. At least this was my intention for it.

But I seem to be wrong, at least for now. Most of people who contact me regarding Weblate are doing private installations and I already know few places where it was massively used. Unfortunately most of them rejected to be publicly mentioned, so I can't tell you the names. But they do exist :-).

Anyway I hope for some free software projects to adopt Weblate as well, otherwise I should have written it as commercial software :-)