Agile software development meets lean translation managment

Agile software development is de facto standard for today’s software management (at least for web and mobile software). No matter which methodology you are using, a fast feedback loop and continuous releases are big factors for successful products. However, this faster environment introduces new challenges for software development, such as testing, deploying and translating. While testing and deploying are mostly solved thanks to great libraries (e.g. JUnit) or services (e.g. Codeship), translating is still a painful and manual task for many software companies. My guess is because it involves new stakeholders (translators). Hence, a much more complete view must be applied. The problems of translators are very much different from those developer encounter. In this article I will discuss current technologies for localization (i18n) and how they help or hurt a hassle-free software translation workflow.

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Why Lingohub is switching from Ruby on Rails to Java + Spring MVC

Our internationalization plattform Lingohub started as a side project developed solely with Ruby on Rails. I had troubles at that time translating the software I was working on. It became pretty clear that my vision of such a platform goes far more beyond what I could  achieve as a side project. I teamed up with Markus Merzinger (@maerzbow) and Lingohub was born. Markus and I are both seasoned Java Programmers, we together have 20+ years experience working on small and really large Java programs.  We both weren’t Ruby/Rails experts when we started Lingohub, but after working 2,5 years solely with Ruby/Rails I would say our Ruby skills are pretty solid. Nevertheless, we decided to move our entire code base from Ruby Rails to Java/Spring and I want to share with what drove us to do this (drastic) step.

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Rails 3.1 rumors and news about features

Some of you must have heard about keynote that was delivered  on the morning of June 8, 2010 by Ruby on Rails creator, David Heinemeier Hansson. DHH started presentation saying that he did not like to get into “future code” so he would focus on Rails 3 but you know friends, by the end of his presentation, he began to talk regarding what he was hoping to see in Rails 3.1. Isn’t that a pretty interesting matter ??

One thing Hansson mentioned was that Rails 3.1 should improve the way Rails handles JavaScript, Style Sheets, icons and images.

lets talk about key features of Rails 3.1.0

1. Asset Pipelining
The two important folders of Ruby on Rails code structure are

  • app/ *   ———–  contains technical code
  • public/ * ———  contains code that is used for designing and javascripts
Guess what !! Rails 3.1 will have feature called “Asset Pipelining” in which you can write the code for stylesheets and javascripts in the app/ * folder like this : The prime advantage of using pipelining is that after compilation of these files, your Ruby on Rails application will run on single css and javascript file which is neatly compressed without any kind of extra efforts.

 

2. Generating Sprites Another feature introduced with Rails 3.1 is about Sprite Generation which is basically a method for combining many graphics into a single image. That single image will be then displayed using CSS.
<% sprite_css(“icons”) %> this code
  • Combines all images of a folder
  • Generates CSS
The advantage of using such technique is to reduce dozens of HTTP requests into one cache-friendly image file.

 

3. Automatic Flushing The Rails 3.1 feature named “Auto Flushing” helps to boost the performance of Ruby on Rails application. Normally whenever we are downloading any page, there is a two step process:first, all the code gets compiled to generate html view and second, all necessary files like css, javascripts, images are being loaded one by one. Rails 3.1 provides streaming of http response which can be done in more parts. For more information regarding this feature, you can check http://hemju.com/2010/09/08/how-rails-3-1-will-speed-up-your-application-with-automatic-flushing/

Ooh ! How can we forget what people tweets about Rails 3.1 ? I guess this is a cool tweet.

Amazing !!! Isn’t it ??

Sources :
http://fredwu.me/post/1207334598/a-speedier-rails-app-using-rails-3-1-arel-2-0

http://s3.amazonaws.com/dhhmix/rails3-railsconf2010.pdf

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