Saturday, November 19, 2011

New look based on jQuery themes

Since I'm not that fond of designing, I'd rather use someone else's work if possible, so I changed most of Narro's UI to use native jQuery UI elements so that you can apply any jQuery UI theme to change Narro's look.

What you see above is the redmond theme, currently users can't change the theme, but that would be a nice feature to have.

Have a look at the other jQuery themes if you don't like the above ones.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

What's been done so far

Performance improvements

Under the hood, Narro's core is actually the translation memory concept.
If you're not into programming, imagine yourself listening to hundreds of users talking in 80 different languages and trying to relate everything to English.
If you're in programming, imagine 80 texts longer than 255 characters for each English text stored in a database.
It's a continuous challenge.


Getting feedback is important, but gathering feedback is more important. Sure you can have everyone post their worries and wishes on a list, but building on that is a separate task that you need to do before you can act on it.
Arki did a fantastic job getting that done and that helped a lot.


I'm not a fan of reading documentation in general, I'd rather just browse it. Jeff wrote the Narro wiki page on Mdn.

UI improvements

Translate and reviewing (proofreading) are separate actions with separate UIs
Everything needed to work with a Mozilla repository is bundled in a plugin.
UI improvements
Work with several texts as once, scroll as much as you need to have a clear picture of what you're working with.

Core improvements

HTML support.
SVN and Mercurial commit support.


The current server is slow. So slow that sometimes I can't connect through SSH. There's a plan to move Narro to another server, waiting for a bug to review security.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Facebook's translation app

Just had a look at Facebook's translation app. It has some good ideas that should be implemented in Narro:

  • big numbers about your progress, e.g. added translations and votes; definitely stimulating
  • click on the other translation suggestions to copy them in the translation box
  • good way of using placeholders; really descriptive texts inside them rather than %S or %$1S; but this is determined by the developers that create them
  • glossary right under the translation box
  • definitely appreciate the fact that they manage to squeeze the translation app in the middle of the page; good design

Not so great ideas imho:
  • the text comment is placed under the text to translate; although greyed out, I think it may lead to confusion on what to translate, the text or the comment
  • vote / translate switch; clicking on translate hides the suggestion list and shows the translation box only