Feature Request and Discussion Thread

For everything not directly related to learning Mando'a.

Re: Feature Request and Discussion Thread

Unread postby Vlade » 09 Oct 2013 20:55

I think a thread or subcategory for people wishing to meet up (or exchange telephone/skype info) and practice speaking would be super cool. I don't really see a good place for that currently.
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Re: Feature Request and Discussion Thread

Unread postby Adi'karta » 09 Oct 2013 21:08

That's a great idea. I'll add a section for that. I have also played with the idea of adding a live chat and/or IRC channel to this site, which may help with that. The only downside I can see to a forum section for swapping contact info is that contact info then being visible to anyone on the site (PMs are good for avoiding that). Planning meetups and stuff would work publicly though.

UPDATE: This request has been fulfilled, in the Main Category > Real-World forum.
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Re: Feature Request and Discussion Thread

Unread postby Adi'karta » 06 Jan 2014 18:16

I've been experiencing some slowness with the translator while using it in the midst of live communication (weekly Mando'a chats). Has anyone else noticed this? There is already a one-second delay imposed on the search box on the translator to prevent flooding my webserver with requests, but I'm referring to the return time for said request (sometimes 3-5 seconds total from finishing typing my search term to when results are returned). Has anyone else noticed this, or is it just my internet connection? I have an idea for a workaround, but I want to make sure this is an actual problem before I devote development time to what might not actually be a problem -- "if it ain't broke don't fix it" as the proverbial "they" say...

While I'm at it, do any one of you vode have any feature requests for the translator? I have a lot of "in an ideal world" features I'd love to add, but many of them would break the fair use terms under which I was granted the ability to make use of Manda'buir's work -- things such as adding "parts of speech" [noun/verb/etc.] and covering translation of extrapolated "new" words (which I am actually working on planning, but figuring out ways that prevent it from being confused for original material so it's clearly delineated as fan-contributed). I am going to add wildcard searches (asterisk *) and quote-delimited searches (to allow for searching for phrases, since spaces are currently ignored), and I have planned for a while to add synonym/antonym cross-linking (enter a word that's not in the dictionary, and be presented with words that have similar meaning) and full-text translation (enter a full sentence and receive a rough word-for-word translation), but some of these would take an extraordinary amount of time and I haven't been able to allocate that time away from my other responsibilities (yet).

In the future, I would like to add curated lesson plans, categorical word-lists (colours, numbers, parts of armour and weaponry, etc.), and more informational pages to the main site at some point. I may have to implement a content management system (CMS) or wiki so I can get help from you, vode, in writing and maintaining this content. I don't just want Mando'a.Org to be a translator and a forum, but a hub for all Mando'a-related needs; someplace where the diaspora of the Mando'ade across the internet and the globe can come together and work towards a common goal.

So anyway, suggest away. I'd be glad to consider anything that doesn't infringe Lucasfilm/Disney's copyright, and even some that might, provided I can find a way to present them which makes it clear they're fan-derivatives, rather than alterations of original material, thus avoiding the whole copyright issue and moving into fair-use territory.

I look forward to hearing what ideas you have for the translator/site in general.
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Re: Feature Request and Discussion Thread

Unread postby Raeth » 06 Jan 2014 21:54

MandoaOrg wrote:I've been experiencing some slowness with the translator while using it in the midst of live communication (weekly Mando'a chats). Has anyone else noticed this?


Sometimes I have noticed lag, and other times not. It seemed to come and go, and it wasn't just during the live chat. But, overall, it has never been so omnipresent nor extensive to give me cause for concern or make using the translator inconvenient. So, I am just sharing for informational purposes, not as a complaint.

MandoaOrg wrote:While I'm at it, do any one of you vode have any feature requests for the translator?


The ideas you suggested are kandosii'la, ori'vod. Wish I could help somehow, but I don't even know what you do let alone how to do it.

MandoaOrg wrote:In the future, I would like to add curated lesson plans, categorical word-lists (colours, numbers, parts of armour and weaponry, etc.), and more informational pages to the main site at some point. I may have to implement a content management system (CMS) or wiki so I can get help from you, vode, in writing and maintaining this content. I don't just want Mando'a.Org to be a translator and a forum, but a hub for all Mando'a-related needs; someplace where the diaspora of the Mando'ade across the internet and the globe can come together and work towards a common goal.


I couldn't agree with you more. In some regards, I know this would overlap with what the MMCC Mando'ade do. BUT, I feel like there are still some missing gaps between the language studies at mandoa.org and the costuming of the MMCC. I would imagine there are some inherent challenges in doing things that do NOT infringe upon copyright or invite legal trouble. That said, I would love to see:

- A Mandalorian cookbook
- A Mandalorian songbook
- A Guide to Mandalorian Interior Design (just from the KT RepComm novels alone, there are lots of descriptions of everything from ramshackle dive bars to orderly yet comfy farm houses)
- We could start participating in local events - game-cons, costume cons, Star Wars gatherings, etc. - and recruiting.
- We could individually start study/interest groups in our local libraries.
- We could work with the MMCC (of which, I do want to participate once my beskar'gam is complete) in some manner, perhaps becoming auxiliary to them in some official capacity.
- We could create something to 'market'; the MMCC has patches, pendants, and other assorted collectibles, and this not even mentioning the armor; can we do something the same, to celebrate Mando'a? T-shirts with funny Mando'a sayings in the Mando'a script?
- A STREAMING INTERNET RADIO/VIDEO/PODCAST PROGRAM IN MANDO'A!!! (Actually, several programs: A Learn Mando'a program, a Mando'a Culture program, a Mando'a lnaguage drama show, and my personal fav', a Mando'a cooking show!)

Just some random, crazy ideas. Recruit and be active, recruit and be active - this is going to be my mantra.

As a question, how do we overlap/interact with the MMCC? I do NOT want to poach their members (since I want to BE one of their members once my beskar'gam is complete) or step on their toes, but is there some way we can work with them and yet provide something beyond what they do?
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Re: Feature Request and Discussion Thread

Unread postby Adi'karta » 07 Jan 2014 00:05

Raeth wrote:Sometimes I have noticed lag, and other times not. It seemed to come and go, and it wasn't just during the live chat. But, overall, it has never been so omnipresent nor extensive to give me cause for concern or make using the translator inconvenient. So, I am just sharing for informational purposes, not as a complaint.


Indeed the lag is not bad -- just frustrating when I'm under pressure to translate things quickly. :P

Just to share information, my "workaround" would involve loading the database into your browser memory (after asking for permission, of course; modern browsers won't allow such things without user permission, and limit the storage per-website to 5MB of data stored as {"key": "value"} pairs -- essentially plaintext). This would provide the opportunity to bring back "live search" as-you-type suggestions (like Google does). The speed of the response would only be limited by your computer/browser -- probably less than 100ms (1/10th of a second). The effect would be "instant" search results.

Raeth wrote:The ideas you suggested are kandosii'la, ori'vod. Wish I could help somehow, but I don't even know what you do let alone how to do it.


What I do is not so complex. It took me years to learn, only because I'm not a great student sometimes. Learning to "think like a computer" took a lot of practice for me. The rest is icing. Learning to program in a new language is really just about learning how to express the same concepts in a different language. Just like we're doing here with Mando'a. :)

The whole translator is just a little PHP script, a MySQL database, some HTML, some CSS, and some JavaScript. The current translator is about 6 months old, and is the third revision of my code (a complete rewrite, actually).

In any case, what I would need the most help with is not the writing of code, but the creation and upkeep of content, such as lesson plans and maintenance of our (curated) "Fando'a" supplementary translator database.

Raeth wrote:I couldn't agree with you more. In some regards, I know this would overlap with what the MMCC Mando'ade do. BUT, I feel like there are still some missing gaps between the language studies at mandoa.org and the costuming of the MMCC. I would imagine there are some inherent challenges in doing things that do NOT infringe upon copyright or invite legal trouble. That said, I would love to see:

--snip--


MMCC does do some language stuff, but that doesn't seem to be their primary focus. I have communicated with Novall Talon (Mand'alor of MMCC) before -- actually when I first put the site online -- and he's actually the one who put me in contact with LFL in order to ask permission to use the original Excel file and create my derivative work.

Preventing copyright infringement is indeed a challenge. I want to DO ALL THE THINGS :yay: but I cannot because I have to respect the intellectual property of Karen Traviss and Lucasfilm/Disney. Toward that end, I have contacted a member of the LFL staff to ensure I still retain permission to run the translator portion of the site, and asked for additional permissions, so I can be absolutely clear on what is and is not allowed -- thus helping me plan for the future of this community and the translator app.

Raeth wrote:- We could start participating in local events - game-cons, costume cons, Star Wars gatherings, etc. - and recruiting.


That might be a good idea. We could maybe cooperate with MMCC on that -- it's unlikely that we'll ever be a primary interest group.

Conlangs require a special kind of nerd; how many Star Trek fans -- even really hardcore ones -- learn Klingon? I spent literally my entire childhood going to every Chicago-area sci-fi convention, and the Klingons never grew much larger than ten people. Klingon love poetry and karaoke were entertaining events, but with few participants -- mostly observers like myself. The same problem applies for Elvish (Quenya/Sindarin/Neo-Sindarin) and Na'vi. Few people are such devoted fans of a fictional universe that they're willing to invest the time and effort into learning a language. Few linguists are so devoted to language that they're willing to invest the time and effort into learning a conlang centered in a universe they may or may not be interested in. We exist at the intersection between Star Wars fans, people with the warrior spirit, and linguistics nerds, and as such attract (comparatively) few devotees over the long run.

Raeth wrote:- We could individually start study/interest groups in our local libraries.


Indeed, once any of our members even live in the same state :lol:

Raeth wrote:- We could work with the MMCC (of which, I do want to participate once my beskar'gam is complete) in some manner, perhaps becoming auxiliary to them in some official capacity.


Agreed.

Raeth wrote:- We could create something to 'market'; the MMCC has patches, pendants, and other assorted collectibles, and this not even mentioning the armor; can we do something the same, to celebrate Mando'a? T-shirts with funny Mando'a sayings in the Mando'a script?


I'm not fully clear on the legality of this particular suggestion. I'll have to get back to you on that one. Regardless, it probably won't happen until membership is higher.

Raeth wrote:- A STREAMING INTERNET RADIO/VIDEO/PODCAST PROGRAM IN MANDO'A!!! (Actually, several programs: A Learn Mando'a program, a Mando'a Culture program, a Mando'a lnaguage drama show, and my personal fav', a Mando'a cooking show!)


That would be neat, and I think we should definitely at least record some podcast lessons, maybe even eventually a monthly/bi-monthly/quarterly/annual/whatever community podcast. I'm probably not going to be the one doing it, though -- I'm already doing too many things with my free time. O.O

Raeth wrote:As a question, how do we overlap/interact with the MMCC? I do NOT want to poach their members (since I want to BE one of their members once my beskar'gam is complete) or step on their toes, but is there some way we can work with them and yet provide something beyond what they do?


No need to poach members; we can definitely coexist. I'm not fully up-to-date on the intensity of the language community at MMCC, but it was not very big when I made this site and scooted MsLanna's forum onto my server from where it was originally. (Yes, this forum was started by someone else -- I merely offered to provide free hosting for it and accidentally inherited ownership of it.) I don't see any reason why anyone would have to exclusively patronize MMCC or us; why not both? MMCC for your costuming and community needs, Mando'a.Org for your Mando'a language needs. :)

RE: cookbook, cooking show, interior design guide, songbook -- I believe those things can come together organically. Perhaps I should start forum sections for such things, and when we get enough things together in one category or another, we can bind them into a volume and publish them, digitally or otherwise. If we do them in print, though, we'll almost definitely require LFL/Disney's blessing).
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Re: Feature Request and Discussion Thread

Unread postby Raeth » 07 Jan 2014 03:16

After re-reading and mulling over your posts:

1. Membership - You're right, we are a niche interest group. So, expanding our range of activities while keeping our core of Mando'a language/Mando'ade culture fan-study would help with something every group must consider: Recruiting new members.

2. Various Media - I will help any way I can, but I would LOVE to see/hear/be a part of some Mando'a shows/podcasts! MMCC has Keldabe Radio. What can we do? So far, this sounds like the best idea so far to run with in the immediate future.

3. Copyright and other legal issues - I think it would be worth having a specific forum to discuss copyright issues, and post official responses to our requests. One thread could be things we want to request (e.g., Can we make and distribute patches to members?, Can we charge membership dues?, What signage can we use at events?, etc.), one thread could be things we're allowed to do, and one could be things we've been prohibited from doing.

My personal focus is generating interest and bringing in new members. I don't feel a need to be 'huge' (but, I'm not against that, either!), but I'm so excited about Mando'a and the Mando'ade, I can't help but want to share!
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Re: Feature Request and Discussion Thread

Unread postby Adi'karta » 07 Jan 2014 22:57

Raeth wrote:1. Membership - You're right, we are a niche interest group. So, expanding our range of activities while keeping our core of Mando'a language/Mando'ade culture fan-study would help with something every group must consider: Recruiting new members.


Most definitely. Having more and more-useful features will draw more members, because we'll be offering them something they can't get (as easily) anywhere else -- at least not all in one place.

Raeth wrote:2. Various Media - I will help any way I can, but I would LOVE to see/hear/be a part of some Mando'a shows/podcasts! MMCC has Keldabe Radio. What can we do? So far, this sounds like the best idea so far to run with in the immediate future.


If you want to start recording a show, I'd be glad to provide hosting for it. Maybe I should set up a Wordpress installation or wiki on here so we can have accounts and be able to author pages and upload files. I'll look into it.

Raeth wrote:3. Copyright and other legal issues - I think it would be worth having a specific forum to discuss copyright issues, and post official responses to our requests. One thread could be things we want to request (e.g., Can we make and distribute patches to members?, Can we charge membership dues?, What signage can we use at events?, etc.), one thread could be things we're allowed to do, and one could be things we've been prohibited from doing.


Well really the big thing is we're not supposed to make unauthorized modification to the database, but generally-speaking anything else involving the language should fall under the "Fair Use" clause of copyright law -- even making a fan dictionary (provided it's a unique entity and there is a disclaimer easily-visible which makes it clear that it's fan-generated content) and lessons and such. As long as we don't turn a profit from that reuse, we should be clear. As for this website, I pay for the hosting and domain renewal out-of-pocket ($10/month for hosting, $15/year for the domain and related services, totalling about $135/year -- which, for now, I am happy to handle entirely on my own, since this is by far my cheapest hobby -- I spend considerably more than that on video games and electronic components :P).

Raeth wrote:My personal focus is generating interest and bringing in new members. I don't feel a need to be 'huge' (but, I'm not against that, either!), but I'm so excited about Mando'a and the Mando'ade, I can't help but want to share!


Keep on recruiting, vod. Share the language, the culture, and this site with anyone you know who would appreciate it. I want the community to find the resources we offer here useful and helpful, and maybe even contribute back and help us make this community rich and vibrant and alive. More members means more diversity in the language, which means a more-rewarding learning (and communicating) experience! The whole reason I started this site was to offer up a useful service (the translator) to the community, because the community lacked a good translator (Mr. Klingon's translator is nice, but it's not great, and it relies on Java, which is unnecessary for what it does). I happened to inherit the forum, and now I just want to build a community to help preserve and grow the language, because if somebody doesn't look out for it, who will? :)
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