Michal Čihař - Blog Archives for English

Ready for Weblate 1.0

I think Weblate is really ready to be released as 1.0 release. It runs pretty stable on https://l10n.cihar.com, I got some bug reports from others, but these were quickly fixed and now nobody complains.

The issue tracker lists few improvements which I plan after 1.0 which will help in user experience and performance, but I see nothing what would be needed right now. So I'm ready to release (even before deadline I have set to this milestone).

Anyway you're welcome to give it some testing and complain if anything is broken. One area where I desperately need feedback are checks, which probably still miss variations for some languages.

phpMyAdmins projects in GSoC 2012

There already has been official announcement for this years GSoC at phpMyAdmin and it's time to share my bits. First of all more details about chosen projects are available on our wiki (missing bits will get updated soon).

This year I'll be mentoring again three students. As usual, it was quite tough job to choose students and I hope we've chosen really good ones. Anyway we'll see this later during there summer :-).

As we're currently on a (long) way to phpMyAdmin 4.0, basically all projects are somehow about cleanup and refactoring of quite historical code which lives in some dark places of phpMyAdmin. The only big difference is automated testing project, which is purely about writing new test cases and making tests cover more functionality.

Anyway I'm looking forward to see first improvements from my students - Alex Marin, Yasitha Pandithawatta and Chanaka Indrajith.

Weblate gets experimental support for Android resources

I did sort of commit to at least trying to add support for Android string resource to Weblate on Stack Overflow, now while waiting for bugs to fix in 1.0 release it was right time to look at it.

It turned out to be few lines of code but it took me some time to figure them out as translate-toolkit internals are not really good documented. Anyway I've hacked something what works for Weblate (and one random project I've tried) so it might be actually useful. You can find the code for it in pull request, let's see if it will get upstream.

To use that, you need patched translate-toolkit (see above) and latest Git checkout from Weblate. As the changes on Weblate side were quite minor and not intrusive, I've decided to put this into 1.0 release, even if I originally did not plan to do so.

Weblate appliance

Thanks to great SUSE Studio I've made available appliance with ready to run Weblate. It's based on openSUSE 12.1, with few packages coming from Python devel repository (where I had to push some package updates) and Weblate package, which is currently available in my home.

After booting the appliance, you will get Weblate running as web service (it takes some time on first boot as database setup is done in that time). In case you will use it for more than playing, please remember to change default passwords as described in our documentation.

Anyway let's stop talking, you can get the appliance at SUSE Studio Gallery.

Weblate 0.9

Pretty much on schedule, Weblate 0.9 has been released today.

Besides dozen of bug fixes, the project has been changed to recommended file layout for Django 1.4. In case you are upgrading you will need to adjust few bits, please check documentation.

Full list of changes for 0.9:

  • Fixed import of unknown languages.
  • Improved listing of nearby messages.
  • Improved several checks.
  • Documentation updates.
  • Added definition for several more languages.
  • Various code cleanups.
  • Documentation improvements.
  • Changed file layout.
  • Update helper scripts to Django 1.4.
  • Improved navigation while translating.
  • Better handling of po file renames.
  • Better validation while creating subproject.
  • Integrated full setup into syncdb.
  • Added list of recent changes to all translation pages.
  • Check for not translated strings ignores format string only messages.

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.

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

phpMyAdmin needs you

phpMyAdmin is very popular tool, but for whatever reason number of contributors is not that high as you would expect in such famous project. We're not looking only for developers, basically anybody can help!

Working with phpMyAdmin will give you great opportunity to participate in one of most popular free software projects (we're constantly ranked in 20 most downloaded projects on SourceForge.net for many years). You can learn a lot and extend your knowledge by cooperating with other skilled people. And of course you can use this reference in your resume :-).

So how you can help? You can help with translating, writing documentation, creating video tutorials, bug screening or coding. You can see all possibilities in more details on our website.

phpMyAdmin in GSoC 2012

As student application period of Google Summer of Code 2012 is over, it's time to look at proposals we got for phpMyAdmin.

First of all we got slightly less proposals than in past years (38 this year, 52 in 2011 and 68 in 2010). This is probably related to the fact that we heavily focus on code cleanup this year and this is definitely not that interesting topic as adding new features. I think quality has also slightly improved, but still there were few completely bogus applications for totally unrelated projects.

Also as usual, people tend to leave submission for very last date:

Number of applications over time

(and then complain, that they don't have enough time to submit patch as described in our applicant guide).

Quite unsurprisingly the most interesting topic seemed to be frames removal, where we got few really good proposals. You can see how other topics were frequent in following chart:

Number of applications for various types

Please note that the numbers are not 100% accurate as some proposals really did not fit into above categories.

Anyway we're just waiting for last people submitting patches today and evaluation will finalize in upcoming days. Of course you will know the results from Google on April 23rd.

Why weblate?

I still get lot of questions why I wrote Weblate instead of staying with some existing solution. Most of the reasons were already addressed in previous posts, where I looked for Pootle alternative or announced Weblate, but still it might be worth to summarize reasons once more.

Git integration

None of existing tools integrate with distribute version control, while I find this integration somewhat obvious and necessary. Having translation system as one of remote branches makes things really easy to handle for developers. Merging translations is nothing more than git merge.

Attribution to translator

I think it's fair to request that translator gets appropriate attribution for his contribution. Once we rely on Git, it is quite obvious that he will be author for Git commit doing changes. This way you can find author purely with Git and don't need to look for other tools.

Handling of several branches

In phpMyAdmin we heavily use branches to maintain stable releases. On the other side we want to be able to push translations to both stable and testing branches without translators having to do the work twice. Weblate does automatically push changes to all branches. Well this is not limited to branches but to subprojects as they don't have to be only branches, they can be also just related projects like with Gammu and Wammu.

Displaying context

Most of tools I tried fail to provide way to show related source code even when Gettext po files contain such references. With Weblate this is just matter of configuring URL of viewer, what nicely integrates with existing services like Github.

Sane merging of uploaded translations

With Pootle, it is possible to upload incomplete po file and it will luckily take it and replace existing one. This is quite dangerous as you would not notice it is incomplete unless you do some translation validation before release. Weblate does merge uploaded translations unit by unit, what makes it slower, but generates minimal diff and works also across branches.

Consistency checks

There are always things which can go easily wrong in the translation like format strings and translation tool should catch these as early as possible. Weblate semi-enforces checks - if check has failed, you will be redirected back to previous translation to possibly correct it (or mark check for ignoring). At current state checks are not as good as I would like to, but they are completely modular and can be easily extended and improved.

Bonus points

While working on Weblate I realized that some things could be done even better than I originally anticipated. For example with Github web hooks, it is possible to receive notifications on upstream repository updates and merge changes as they appear, leaving to really live translation process. Git allows to write custom merge drivers and this can be utilized for less merge conflicts on po files (they are usually caused by timestamps in headers), so that's another handy you get with Weblate.

Of course there is much more built in, just check the documentation.

Weblate 0.8

After quite big delay, Weblate 0.8 is finally ready. There are many fixes and improvements like grouping of Git commits, improved checks or activity logging. All in all this should be feature complete for 1.0 release.

Now it's time to stabilize all the features and release 0.9 (AKA 1.0rc) and then we'll be ready to fire 1.0.

Full list of changes for 0.8:

  • Replaced own full text search with Whoosh.
  • Various fixes and improvements to checks.
  • New command updatechecks.
  • Lot of translation updates.
  • Added dictionary for storing most frequently used terms.
  • Added /admin/report/ for overview of repositories status.
  • Machine translation services no longer block page loading.
  • Management interface now contains also useful actions to update data.
  • Records log of changes made by users.
  • Ability to postpone commit to Git to generate less commits from single user.
  • Possibility to browse failing checks.
  • Automatic translation using already translated strings.
  • New about page showing used versions.
  • Django 1.4 compatibility.
  • Ability to push changes to remote repo from web interface.
  • Added review of translations done by others.

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.

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

PS: If you're about to use Weblate, rather use Git version than tagged 0.8, you will get bunch of bug fixes for free :-).