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Monday, March 17th 2014, 11:22pm

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Tuesday, March 18th 2014, 9:59am

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No. There is no "shut down" or ways to limit access nor even deleting subtitles in Amara. There is no need for it either. Only one person can be editing one language location at the time in Amara and each new editing is saved as a new version. The focus has to become on doing and promoting what we do and what we intent / find important. There would be no efforts focused on processes of limiting but only on processes of doing and promoting/sharing what we are doing. If we use amara and dotsub at the same time, we are creating duplication, or developing extra efforts. So, when I am suggesting this, all I am visualizing in terms of actions to be taken are: use the amara platform to create locations, transcribe, proofread, translate and share information, on them and about them in this forum and in the facebooks and what else. So, only actions towards doing and promoting.

I've been struggling for many hours to find right words to use in reply to this. Unfortunately, all that I've gotten from that effort is sick to my stomach and a really nasty headache, so the following may be a bit messy in places.


I'll start by readily agreeing with the intense desire to continually move toward a more, and eventually fully, open-source culture. But the responsibility of carefully preparing transcribed & translated materials directly intended for most quickly informing the entire world of the global RBE proposal that we are tackling here demands a much more focused and results/release-oriented approach than the current culture's scattered open-sourcing allows.

To summarize, I need to make it perfectly clear that there is no way in hell that LTI will even consider moving from dotSUB to Amara at this time. Ease-of-use is only one of several aspects that are given major consideration on the individual resources we provide &/or support and Amara only satisfies that one at the moment. The reason for my being so adamant about this lies within the other considerations. I will try to explain this as simply as I can for everyone, but please keep in mind that we're talking about a rather large, fully-integrated & inter-connected systems approach here called LTI. This isn't one of those new modular phones where we can just pull out one component and replace it with something else without it significantly affecting (or infecting) the rest of the system.

Ok, so let's dive into some important & relevant summarized history, i.e. "Part I - Where Are We Now?":
  • Oct 22, 2008 - An early TZM supporter going by the name of "Chab" thought it might be a good idea to translate Zeitgeist Addendum into French, so he uploaded it into dotSUB and encouraged some of his friends to help him get it transcribed & then translated into his native language.
  • As more people discovered this upload and considered the need for it in their own language, more and more translations were created for it (or at least attempted). Additionally, some people followed his lead by uploading other RBE-focused materials into their own accounts.
  • Around that same time, the open-source Pootle app is introduced to the TZM membership, administrated by Lukas. He decided to give Pootle the title of "ZM Translation Project", which made perfect sense of course.
  • Details aside, I came into Pootle about 6 months later to manage a new "English Proofreading" section specifically created by Lukas for the "Radio Address Transcription Team" that I had created with three other TZM forum members. That group had grown to 11 or 12 active members by this time. Lukas and I became very close friends and, once it became obvious to us that we needed (and I decided to develop) a much more integrated translation effort (LTI), he and the rest of the Dev Team went out of their way to help design structured documentation for several automations they planned to develop specifically for LTI's systems approach, including a custom website/PMS. At one point, Lukas suggested that I call it the ZM Linguistics Team, which I then countered with the singular "Linguistic" Team to encourage the single focus of global distribution ahead of us, so you can thank him for the name.
  • Near the end of 2009, made possible by a series of massive miscommunications between PJ, members of the TZM Global Admin group, members of the awesome TZM Dev Team and some loud people hanging around the Dev Team, the Dev Team (RBOSE) was basically excommunicated from TZM, including Lukas, leaving no one to administrate Pootle, which was still running on the TZM server and required server admin approval before new registrations could do anything.
  • After a month or so of painfully watching over a hundred new Pootle registrations build up, I pretty much begged Noel (Tanktop - TZM's server admin) to give me admin access so I could at least try to figure out how to approve those registrations and get those people out of 'limbo'. He hesitantly agreed, telling me that he was planning to turn off Pootle completely at the end of that week as he didn't have the time to adopt the job himself. "Whew! That was too close for comfort!"
  • That old version of Pootle was made entirely out of Python, a modern programming language. Being new to Python, I first had to learn how to read & follow it before I could begin to figure out how the authorization system worked. It took another three weeks or so, but I eventually figured it out. The registration approvals were fully controlled within three somewhat related python-coded files on the server, all working together - a nightmare for a non-programmer, non-server admin like myself (I learned Fortran programming WAY back in 1982-83, but haven't used that since 1985 or so).
  • Once everyone's Pootle approvals had been taken care of, I returned my near-full attention to developing the new system, more determined than ever to design out of the system all of the problems that Lukas and I had noted to that point, only now without the Dev Team there to help with the inclusion of automation. This just meant that I would have to handle much of the administration & management of it manually until we could attract enough development help to automate as much of it as possible. LTI was born a few months later (I still have stretch marks!). Not counting the nearly two month Pootle registration distraction, it took a total of about five months to bring it all together and work all of the kinks out of the system prior to launch.
  • Zoom ahead maybe a year and a half when dotSUB's founder, Michael, contacts me to express how thrilled they are that Chab's upload of Addendum is about to reach 1 million views and that they readily recognize our heavily focused use of their system, so much so that he wants to donate to us their comprehensive (and rather expensive) corporate dashboard, free of any charge, to make it much easier for us to manage & protect all of the projects. This is the same dashboard that TED used to manage their projects when they were a paying dotSUB customer. They now 'pay' for Amara's dashboard, perhaps a good amount less than what they were paying at dotSUB, although that is pure speculation. What is known for sure is that Amara is not offering us free use of their dashboard.
  • The dotSUB dashboard makes it massively easier to both overview & manually manage all of our video projects, all in one place, even including some 'working locations' that reside in other people's accounts. With the intelligent use of dotSUB 'groups', we are able to provide any/all language teams with autonomous access AND protection controls, along with automatic pausing of translation efforts when the English transcription they are basing it on is found to be in need of adjustment/improvement. At the next stage (proofreading), any language team video coordinator can (and should) set up each translated video only for their team's proofreaders, so none their hard work can be overwritten by a well-meaning translator (or passer-by) while it is being carefully proofread. Once ready for global distribution, each translation can (and should) then be fully locked down within the working location to prevent ANY additional changes from outside of the language team. If an issue is later discovered, the team's video projects coordinator still retains the ability to go in and adjust to whatever the team decides to use for such an adjustment. Non-team supporters are always encouraged to take any issues they find directly to their respective language teams, who can then encourage that person to come and join them. It's interesting to note that Pootle also provides this same amount of precision 'project stage' management to protect everyone's hard work and help focus a language group on reaching the finalized, publishable result in the shortest amount of time. This 'direct' team focus that dotSUB (and Pootle) provides translates into the only approach I have found in my five years of continuing research that any given project translation can be confidently declared complete and ready for global public distribution, especially for all of those who are just learning about it - our primary target audience. Due to its continually 'open state', there is significantly less confidence in Amara translations that it will not contextually confuse &/or linguistically frustrate people who are just learning about the global RBE approach, due to grammar, spelling, incorrect translations, etc.. Amara's lack of controls promote quick 'n dirty translating, while humanity needs complete 'n accurate for material of this massive importance to its survival. Yet, as important as this aspect is, it is only part of the reason why Amara, nice easy interface or not, is not only unable to provide what we need to reach our collective goal of global awareness as quickly as possible, it would also throw LTI back into the disorganized, unprotected and rarely producing mess that existed prior to LTI's launch (which some of us perhaps can look back on fondly, but can't afford to experience again).


If you've read this far, please bear with me as I've been going almost non-stop for a little over 20 hours now, mostly focusing on Pootle & Forum maintenance, TBTMCB Translate-a-thon management (I'm managing 13 of the language groups myself), too much server admin research, some database development learning, and now this post. My brain is full & hurting, my batteries are depleted and my body is screaming at me to sleep. In the meantime, please let the above 'intro' sink in and try to resist the urge to respond until after I'm able to post a more enlightening "Part II - Where Are We Going?", hopefully tomorrow.
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Tuesday, March 18th 2014, 11:58pm

Hey Rod

I'm just jumping in here (Tired as hell) - just saw Ray's last comment. Unfortunatly right now I do not have the time to arrive at a sensefull desicion on your initiativ question. I'm not in the full picture yet.

But "seeing with the heart" makes me arrive for sure to the conclusion that there should be (at least) a short-list be presented with advantanges and disadvantages before there should be a desicion with such consequences - and I do not mean those heavy-texted discussion-forum-threads - that I know from myself aswell, where you can lose focus ;)

Ray made a good point.

And just for now I can say: If this step is threatning the integrity of the whole then this step shouldn't be rushed anyway - that's just how I feel it. :wonder:

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Wednesday, March 19th 2014, 7:14am

I feel sorrow to know that you are stressed and tired to the point of headache, Ray. Like Franky said, there is no need to rush anything, and sharing information doesn't have to be felt as a threat.
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Sunday, March 23rd 2014, 4:19pm

Maybe you are not ready to consider and reply to this, Ray. No worries. I imagine that you feel tired from all the tasks you have at hands and you do all this huge effort for many hours online to help sustain the translations collaborations as the most important thing, so it makes sense that if something or someone else don't help on those specific tasks that focus on sustaining those processes as they are now, but rather suggests changes that would imply other efforts, you might feel a headache and stress and maybe some desperation. I can relate with that and am sure many others do too. Like you said, if it ain't fun, it ain't worth it. I'll do the same and leave this thread now, even that I have a drive to share some more here, but I am guessing it might not turn out fun later. Sometimes we wish to focus on activities that we think are constructive but they reveal themselves rather destructive. A portuguese translator just yesterday, shared a proofing discussion with me about a sentence from the TVP website which enlightened me, again!! :D
"Experience tells us that human behavior can be modified, either toward constructive or destructive activity." He changed the order of the words and translated "activity" as something that means in English "finality", simply because he wanted to improve the text for easier reading and thought that in Portuguese it would sound better. I was quite extensive in a reply - and brought that to the forum instead of skype - to be sure he understood that those changes can lead to misunderstanding, and in this case 'finality', when in the portuguese term at least, can be interpreted more as an 'intention' than an 'activity' or 'event'. That could easily drive the reader to an analysis of human behavior based on absolutes like 'free will', 'bad' and 'good' intentions. Just that slight thing, a detail in a translation, is enough to perpetuate those semantic blockages in the viewers mind as something the project (TVP) recognises as valid, without even realizing that what they were reinforcing in that sentence (non-translated, English) is quite different. Now that example is a good reason to remind us to keep communications between volunteers abundant, right? :D Amazing how this Abundance/Scarcity reference to analyze the situations/interactions around us and to understand human behavior applies so well in many (if not all) situations. Even when we see this amazing drive of voluntary effort to collaborate towards a better future for mankind being applied in huge efforts of sometimes 'hairsplitting' tasks, without much sleep and to attain small goals that will make the whole come trough much later, even when that abundance of drive and awareness is there, it can die away distorted by all types of abstractions and limiting constructs that we bring in our minds or we build together with so much effort, influence each others and everyone into it and, of course, later have a hard time to quit, this Abundance/Scarcity model is so helpful to understand it. Like the scarcity of people/awareness and resources to help us reach where we want, for example. When we have surprises that we have a hard time to deal with, like me coming here focusing on other stuff than that which you need help with. How often we were moved by this drive into these amazing efforts and a "troll" (which is no more than someone with scarcity of information and/or empathy for his sufferance sometime along his course of life) shows up in a meeting (a place where we only expect people to show up with the same focus) to engage toward destructive behavior rather than constructive, we can always remind ourselves of this Abundance/Scarcity model and that "behavior is as lawful as everything else" ^^ Maybe the "troll" some day will be me :giggle:

I wish I could be more extensional to you, Ray, and everyone else here, as I consider what you do as the most relevant effort I am acquainted with. I don't wish you to feel stressed or headaches but rather as good as it makes me feel to know that you are there everyday.


And as I just now created an extended post mostly not related to the technical aspects that brought me here a few days ago :tongue: (to understand better my "troll" drive, give it a try to all features in Amara, and observe it like if you were Krishnamurti :numb: ) it reminds me that I replied to Ramona in the forum the other day, and I never saw her again around here. I think I didn't express myself as well as I wanted when I meant to say that I was tired and found that writing huge posts as I remember her doing often wasn't efficient because we don't have time to transcribe nor translate if we read them. I thought she would understand that scientists couldn't reach very far if they would be upset everytime someone tells them their methods are inefficient. I missed to realize that there was rather a scarcity (here goes again! thank you Jacque!! :rock: ) of appreciation for her efforts above all, and only later I could more effectively share whatever suggestions I had without her feeling sad as a consequence. I guess I need to revise those Non-Violent Communication workshops and audios. Maybe we would like to have translated the "Future my Love" documentary too. I watched it and will watch second time, as I am impressed wit her ability to bridge the analysis of some concepts of Jacque with emotional processes that are common (and limiting) to all of us. That could be a valuable resource to share around too.

Thanks for reading. Here's an extensional smiley to represent how I feel for all your efforts, fellas (kutis) :love:
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Tuesday, March 25th 2014, 12:44am

I apologize for the delay, Rod.
Given the nature and importance of this topic and the necessary understandings that need to surround it, I concluded that it makes much more sense for me to try to write up something more universal and lasting than a forum reply that is not likely to provide the kind of reach it needs to help unify most, if not all, language team members around the understandings that I'm trying to clarify. As you like to say, I'm now recognizing a much stronger need for making this information abundant. :loveya:

So, I'm continuing to write up what I intended to describe here, but for a much wider audience (including developers that have been making themselves known lately). ;)
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