Michal Čihař - Blog Archives for Weblate

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 :-).

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 :-)

Preview of Weblate 1.1

Upcoming Weblate 1.1 is now installed on both http://demo.weblate.org and http://l10n.cihar.com. There release is almost ready (I plan to add only one minor feature) and this setup was done to get more testing in real life setup before making actual release.

As you can see from list of changes, there are no big changes from user point of view. In case indexing offloading is enabled (what is the case for l10n.cihar.com), the interface should respond more quickly while translating (and not produce errors in some setups). The rest of changes are even more hidden, like smarter handling of merges and commits (still there is place for improvements here) or better validation of admin forms.

Anyway I hope to complete missing features and do possible bug fixes in first two week of July and you can expect 1.1 to be released around Friday 13th.

Weblate - over 20000 translations in 3 months

Today, I wondered how much translations were done using Weblate since it was born. Of course I can give only numbers for services I maintain, the biggest one being translation server for phpMyAdmin, Gammu and Weblate.

Looking at the logs, the server l10n.cihar.com helped to contribute over 20000 (actually little bit more as tracked are only changes after releasing Weblate 0.8), what is quite impressive number. Of course biggest amount of contributions came in time of preparing phpMyAdmin 3.5.0 release, where I gave it huge amount of publicity (AKA spamming my blog), but number of people accessing the website still grows since then (still number of submitted translations is slightly lower).

Now as 1.0 release proved to be quite stable, it's time to focus on 1.1 development, which will bring offloading of fulltext indexing (it was proven to be unreliable to update index online for bigger sites). Almost all issues targeted for 1.1 are already fixed and all what needs to be done is testing in real life situations.

Pootle vs. Weblate

As Weblate 1.0 is out, it's time to compare it to existing solutions. As first I've chosen Pootle as this is tool which we have been using for quite some time and I used it as an inspiration for Weblate.

First of all, both Weblate and Pootle use same backend for manipulating with translation files - Translate Toolkit. On the way I've learned that I've chosen different way of manipulating with backend files, what seem to lead to much smaller changes (no more reformatting of whole po file as Pootle does). Also Weblate does not suffer from some Pootle issues like not properly handling changes to fuzzy flag, which has bitten us several times at phpMyAdmin.

Another shared thing is web framework Django. For me it was obvious choice as I like writing application with it. The biggest difference here is that Weblate relies on Django admin interface for maintenance, while Pootle has everything in it's interface. Pootle has great advantage here for having consistent interface for everything, what was sacrificed in Weblate for less code to maintain (while having powerful Django admin interface). Also sharing same framework allows quite easy migration of user accounts.

Now let's functional side of things - this is where I've tried to take all good things I've seen in Pootle, while adding features I've missed there. What makes biggest difference here are project/subproject classification in Weblate, which was originally started as way to handle more project branches, but proved to be useful for translating related projects as well. This allows automatic propagation of changes across project, what is really great for translating more branches of same program or different interfaces to same functionality (eg. GUI application and command line tool).

The other big difference (and I would say key feature of Weblate) is Git integration - all changes are commited to Git with correct authorship, it can help in merging po files or automatically pull upstream changes (eg. from GitHub). This all makes integration into (Git based) development process really easy.

Other features like consistency checks or dictionary (terminology) are quite similar, though different. There is more consistency checks in Pootle, but the main reason was that I found some of them too annoying. User dictionaries are still pretty basic in Weblate and that's definitely something what should improve in future versions.

On configuration side, Pootle is much more flexible. The main reason here is that I've never used most of the options there. So there are no per project settings of checks or privileges. There is also no way to add language from Weblate - usually adding translation is not just matter of adding appropriate po file, but also other steps, which anyway had to be done manually. So Weblate leaves this up to user. On the other side as soon as new language pops up in Git repository, it is shown in the interface.

Both projects have quite good documentation - Pootle has most things covered on wiki while Weblate relies on separate documentation. However there are definitely some bits missing on both sides.

PS: If you want to want to have more "facts" in comparison, you can check Ohloh :-).

Weblate 1.0

After few weeks of heavy testing, Weblate 1.0 has been released today.

Compared to 0.9 there are just minor changes and bug fixes. The most important thing is that Weblate should be now really ready to use :-).

Full list of changes for 1.0:

  • Improved validation while adding/saving subproject.
  • Experimental support for Android resource files (needs patched ttkit).
  • Updates from hooks are run in background.
  • Improved installation instructions.
  • Improved navigation in dictionary.

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).

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.