So no-one needs new developers?

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Why do we have a Development category on UserBase, when we said quite clearly, many times, that UserBase is for users, not for developers?  The answer is quite simple – developers were once users, and some, a few, users will become developers.  We don’t aim to have any how-to-develop information on UserBase, but it seems to me that it is only sensible to have brief information about the tools that are available and where to find information and support for them.  Unfortunately, I don’t use those tools, and I’m finding it very hard to get up-to-date information about the status of some of the tools.

The Development page has several gaps:

  • KBugbuster
  • KFileReplace
  • Kommander
  • KImageMapEditor
  • KLinkStatus
  • KXSLDbg

How can you help?  In a number of ways.  If you use one or more of these you could

  • Write a page about it – ideally in Mediawiki markup, but plain text together with screenshots would be a great help.  We have a new scratchpad area,
  • Use the app’s Talk page to give me links to decent material, both for the use of the app
  • and for any related Techbase pages
  • We have a new scratchpad area called Draft where you can start any outline for such information.

A few minutes of your time could help new developers get started, and who knows?  You may find yourself welcoming one of those into your project.

Written by annew in: KDE | Tags: , , ,

Congratulations, Translatewiki

As many of you know, Translatewiki is a Mediawiki extension, used by UserBase.  Today’s newsletter announces its 6th birthday!

We are 6 years young!

Translatewiki.net was started as a small addition to a test wiki of NiklasLaxström. First the project became known as Betawiki until it matured andbecame translatewiki.net. We are grateful that our project is hosted forfree and given room to grow by netcup.de <http://netcup.de> . The platformnow supports localisation for 20 free and open source projects with almost1,000 message groups, has 2,500 translators in over 200 languages. Its usershave made over 3 million edits and contributed close to 2 milliontranslations for Free and Open Source Software products. According to thes23 statistics, translatewiki.net is one of the largest independentMediaWiki installations around.

Impressive indeed!  What’s more, ??Niklas Laxström gives freely of his help and advice.  Many of you will know him as Nikerabbit, on IRC, and others will remember Niklas and Siebrand Mazeland from Akademy 2010.

Congratulations to the Translatewiki team – keep up the good work 🙂   See you at the WebWorld sprint, Niklas.


Written by annew in: KDE | Tags: , ,

Are you joining the Translation army?

Just a reminder – if you are going to trans late in UserBase you need to

  • request addition to the Translator group
  • when you have confirmation, open the page Special:LanguageStats/your-country-code to see which pages need your attention
  • Please don’t use the redlinks in the old language bar – those pages will be lost when migration is complete.
  • Those in the Translation group should be able to see “Translate this Page” on any page that has been prepared.  That link takes you to the page where you choose your language.
Written by annew in: KDE | Tags: , , ,

Finally! TranslateWiki is here!

After almost a year of planning we now have the TranslateWiki facility on UserBase!  What difference does that make?  A lot!  For a start, it means a completely new way of working, if you’ve been one of our faithful on-line translators.  It takes a little getting used to, but it has big advantages for the future, and will, in the long run, save you a lot of work.  To explain how, I need to tell you something about its capabilities first.

You can translate a page on-line – more than that, you can translate part of a page and it will happily tell you next time you visit which sections you still need to translate.
You can export a page to a gettext file, allowing you to work with Lokalize or other translation tool.
Because gettext is an option, you can export for use in building a docbook version.

Producing a Manual

A manual can be written on UserBase as a page or set of pages.  When complete it is marked for translation, and a script (currently in preparation) will pass it to the l10n team who will then use the same framework as they currently do for creating docbook manuals.

Off-Line Translations

A similar workflow will be used by i18n translators. Initially their off-line translations will be checked out from SVN to another location, where it can be imported by one of the UserBase team.  As things settle down the off-line translators will be able to do their own imports.

How Does it Work?

Basically, what happens is that the author of a page adds tags which are recognised by TranslateWiki as marking it ready for translation.  TranslateWiki then prepares paragraphs into sections for translation, and sets up a link to the Translate page.  From there you can choose your export or on-line translation and the language you want to work with if you are translating on-line.
If you don’t have time to complete a page, only the remaining sections will be presented for translation next time you visit.
Of course, to get smooth working you ideally want everything prepared from the start, and UserBase has two years-worth of input which needs migrating.


One obvious question is “What happens to the translations already done for UserBase?”  The work isn’t lost, but can’t be used in that form, because TranslateWiki wouldn’t be able to track it for changes.  That means that we need a determined effort to migrate those translations.  That’s the bad news.  The good news is that you don’t need to be proficient in a language to help.  If you can read enough of a language to determine whether a paragraph matches the English one you are working on, you can simply copy and paste.  We will add an explanation of the process to http://userbase.kde.org/Translation_Workflow – which is started but will be expanded as questions are asked.  Meanwhile, if you can spare a few minutes at odd times there are some smaller tasks at http://userbase.kde.org/Translation_Workflow#Migration which, if done before migration starts, would greatly speed things up.
Come and talk to us on #kde-www.  Take the opportunity to find your way around the system, then join up when we announce the ‘Big Bang’ to migrate as many pages as possible in an agreed time-space.
Written by annew in: KDE | Tags: , , ,

Machine Embroidery Management is coming to Linux!

I haven’t updated this topic since September, but I’m very excited about the progress so far.  You may remember that one develope, David Boddie, had done some work, with the result that I could build .png files to visualise my patterns within Dolphin, and that we were hoping that the other developer who had shown interest, Purple-Bobby, would join us.  That’s exactly what happened.  David and Robert Forsyth, a.k.a.Purple-Bobby, attacked the problem from different angles, which proved to be very informative, as they could feed on each other’s ideas.

I originally bemoaned the fact that my patterns, in the format .jef, could not be visualised without running Windows.  Some of you may have seen Linus Torvalds’ blog http://torvalds-family.blogspot.com/2010/01/embroidery-gaah.html on much the same subject.  David gave me .png, and Robert gave me .eps files to be used in the same way.  Neither developer can spare huge amounts of time for this project, but although much progress is incremental, sudden leaps forward happen.  It’s this latest leap forward that excites me.

First – an apology to the KTurtle team.  We have borrowed your icon.  This is, of course, temporary, but it reminded us of a X-Stitch pattern, so was the best available until we make our own.

Previewing in Dolphin

So this is a representation of the pattern held in the .jef file.  It’s not so easy to see in a small image, but the pattern is contained on a white background, which denotes the actual extent of stitching, while the yellow border surrounding it denotes the size of the hoop to be used.  The application already can gather a great deal of information about the pattern.  One of the considerations to follow this is whether some of that information could be included alongside the actual preview.  We have to wait to see the practicalities of that.  Meanwhile, take a look at how much information we can already gather:

[anne@anne-laptop JEFPreview]$
./JEFPreview LydgateDesign/ArtNouveau/ArtNouveauPeonies348868.jef
JEF file: LydgateDesign/ArtNouveau/ArtNouveauPeonies348868.jef
Thread count: 31                                                               
Stitch count: 56297 between 86 and 141 minutes                                 
Hoop: B 140.0mm x 200.0mm                                                      
Pattern: 123.2mm x 164.4mm                                                     
Threads Used:                                                                  
 1: 219 Olive Green 14.997m                                                   
 2: 213 Beige 14.748m                                                         
 3: 257 Cocoa Brown 21.986m                                                   
 4: 219 Olive Green 1.572m                                                    
 5: 214 Brown 9.322m                                                          
 6: 219 Olive Green 1.304m                                                    
 7: 215 Wine Red 3.264m                                                       
 8: 244 Cardinal Red 5.764m                                                   
 25: 215 Wine Red 0.594m
 26: 234 Coral 3.267m
 27: 244 Cardinal Red 0.254m
 28: 239 Sunflower 0.203m
 29: 270 Mustard 0.713m
 30: 234 Coral 1.319m
 31: 244 Cardinal Red 0.503m

So we know the number of thread changes, the number of stitches, and approximate time to stitch out.  This is always an under-estimation, because it can’t allow for how much time it takes to thread your needle another 30 times!  You’ll see that already there is a big spread in the estimation – the machine can work at different speeds, depending on the type of materials in use.  Then we have the hoop size and the actual pattern size – corresponding to the yellow and white rectangles in the preview.  Finally you have the thread identification number, name, and amount required for each colour change.

This is an impressive amount of information.  Most of it, if not all, can be obtained from the supplied Windows software, but not all in one place.  You have to access different modules of the software to find some of the information – most inconvenient.  As JEPreview stands it provides 98% of what I need.  I can then simply copy the .jef onto the CF card (the latest version of the machine has USB),  insert the card into the machine and stitch.  Of course, if I want to edit the file, change colours or move elements around, I am, for the moment still dependent on the Windows software.  Maybe one day that will be possible too.

Written by annew in: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

Open Source on my Doorstep

Reading my newest Linux Format I was delighted to hear that there is a project in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, that uses donated/recycled computers.  I live in West Yorkshire, but in the south-west corner, so Sheffield is a mere 40 minutes drive away.  Naturally I followed this up – an opportunity too good to miss.  If you live in the mid- to north of England, take a look at http://www.access-space.org/?c=recycling

I was curious to know more about the activities of Access Space – and amazed and delighted at what I saw there.  The most surprising thing was http://www.open-source-embroidery.org.uk/ !  The Html Patchwork, no less.  Every cell of the patchwork represents the hexadecimal colours, and every contributor gets web space to tell about their work and activities.  The resulting patchwork was displayed in Sweden this summer, but if you live in or near San Francisco you can see it during October to next January, at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art.

Then there’s LOSS – The Linux Open Source Sound project.  Electronica is not my kind of music, but I did sample a few tracks – they appear to all be Creative Commons licensed.  For a smile you really should listen to the Jake Harries -Eh? track.  The CD was recorded in 2006, but I did notice that at least one upload was in 2009, so presumably the project is still active.

Part III – coming shortly – has news about developments related to UserBase in particular and our wikis in general.

Written by annew in: KDE | Tags: , ,

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