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Friday, July 19th 2013, 3:10am

Automation of ToDo tasks, as possible

ToDos include many small tasks that must be completed in order to fully integrate completed official transcriptions & translations into the global distribution system. Taken alone, these tasks are relatively easy to complete; but taken as a whole, they are too time & energy consuming to be handled manually.

The proposal is to automate as much as humanly possible using some kind of database-driven automation for information storage, API integration and multiple custom displays (perhaps based on roles &/or function) to alleviate the effort & potential backlog.

As an aside, I very much see this as a preliminary step toward development of a much more all-encompassing LTI-PMS for handling nearly everything, including full tracking & multi-display of all LTI projects, past & present; full handling of all LTI global Support Group projects; LTI Member information; etc.. (Note: these intro paragraphs were written before Michael began working on a global PMS effort, so this development need now becomes an integral sub-project to that PMS development)

ToDo functions:
  1. Script is triggered the moment any materials are marked in the PMS by an admin as "confirmed as completed".
  2. The PMS should automatically handle its own updating of how to properly display the new 'completed' status for that item, independently of this ToDo-fulfilling script
  3. Script then automates, as much as possible, the following tasks:

    • For Videos:
      1. Upload SRT to dotSUB Repo
      2. Upload SRT to YouTube (with LTI language stamp, if non-LTI channels are possible)
      3. Add SRT to Portal Repo
      4. Updating of the wiki, portal and/or any other working & Repo information areas.


    • For Websites:
      1. Update of Pootle’s physical files for that project
      2. Conversion of resulting files back to html
      3. Moving above files to public staging area for coordination of upload or sending to public destination (i.e. the website they represent)
      4. Notifying the person handling this task for the relevant language team that the files are ready to be added to the website.
      5. Updating of the wiki, portal and/or any other working & Repo information areas.


    • For Documents:
      1. Update of Pootle’s physical files for that project
      2. Conversion of resulting files back to proper document format
      3. Moving above files to public staging area for coordination of upload or sending to public destination
      4. Updating of the wiki, portal and/or any other working & Repo information areas.


    • For PDF files:
      1. Update of Pootle’s physical files for that project
      2. Conversion of resulting files back to html
      3. Moving above files to public staging area for coordination of upload or sending to PDF conversion team.
      4. Updating of the wiki, portal and/or any other working & Repo information areas. (may have to wait for manual conversion to PDF & subsequent uploading)
A comprehensive review of all related tasks is needed to ensure accuracy & completeness of the above tasks.
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Friday, July 19th 2013, 4:26pm

I can handle the PMS and the nasty things that happen when you "confirmed as completed". Somebody can look for some scripts to upload SRT files on youtube. I never did that but maybe it's possible.

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Friday, July 19th 2013, 7:46pm

The PMS/System Manager will eventually take over the role of ToDos (when it is handling all videos, plus everything else), so the initial command to 'launch into action' will already be integrated with the PMS as its origin.

YouTube, dotSUB, Pootle and even Facebook all have active APIs that should provide us with the ability to automate many, if not all, of these things once any item is declared fully complete by any language Team. It may also be possible to automate Twitter announcements, but I have not looking into its API availability yet. So, the idea here is to integrate a single, combined script into the PMS that handles all that needs to be done the moment that item is 'cleared for takeoff'. ^^
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Sunday, March 23rd 2014, 4:18pm

How may I help?

Hello Ray, Michael and Linguistic Team International Members,

I have quite a bit of experience and skills in designing and developing Windows client based automated systems, which may interface with web sites, social media sites/profiles, other Windows applications, databases, etc. I was actually selling these kinds of systems and services on the various freelance sites before I “saw the light” of The Venus Project (TVP) ;)

However, I am Very New to the Linguistic Team International (LTI), and relatively new to The Venus Project (TVP), so Please bear with me, ok?, and …

If you can provide me with more detailed (exact) steps and/or all of your requirements for the tasks that you still want/need automated, via such Windows client based automated systems, and define more of the acronyms being used herein, then I can see what I may be able to do to help you get those steps/tasks automated for you, and save you all the time and energy of having to do them manually, as soon as I am able, ok?

I hope this all helps and Have a Great Life!

- Michael S. DeVries

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Sunday, March 23rd 2014, 7:16pm

Welcome, Michael!

LTI handles the official translations for both TVP & TZM, so you're still in 'the right place'. ^^

I can certainly imagine that the various acronyms that have emerged over time can be rather confusing at first. It's probably best to clarify them individually as they come up, so please don't hesitate to throw a few at me now and then. I'll do my best to clear away the fog.

I'm attempting to write up a kind of time/history-line to help make it clearer how all of this developed and where we're attempting to take it with 'automation'. The nutshell of it is that we've developed a comprehensive systems approach for handling all of the details surrounding the work we do here and have learned a ton by working it manually for the last four+ years or so. I've attempted to bring together developers to help automate it in the past, but it's proven rather difficult when working with volunteer schedules and the need for development group members to first learn the system we're looking to build around (the devil is always in the details, I suppose lol).

At present, I'm putting some finishing touches on a long-needed LTI member portal (Joomla-based website) before launching it. Michael has separately worked up a much needed LTI PMS (project management system) to an early alpha state and we've already integrated the PMS' user base with the website (registering on the site allows you to be recognized by the PMS). This is only the very beginning of the amount of automation needed, however.

The tasks that support all of our efforts have grown beyond the point of being a significant drag on human resources, so we're looking to automate things like the uploading of videos &/or subtitles into dotSUB, YouTube and whatever is finalized as our 'file server', when a project is completed in any language. Of course, there is a lot more to this, but I'm just trying to get the general idea across. There is a good amount of semi-scattered documentation (it's not scattered to me, but I'm working my empathy a bit here. heh heh) covering nearly everything and, again, I'm working to bring all of that together in a more coherent fashion for anyone interested in helping us turn this dream into reality.

If you're interested in closely examining a complete translation house systems approach, playing with some server-side app building/expansion, multiple API connections and/or working up any of several client interface development needs, say the word and I'll transport you into the resources. ^^
If you have Skype, add me (gmanzm) and I'll add you to the development group we set up there for coordinating things.
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Sunday, March 23rd 2014, 11:47pm

Hello again Ray,

Thank you for your prompt and positive response.

Yes, I would be happy to “closely [examine your current] complete translation house systems approach” and see how I may be able to help you automate some to all of the tasks that “have grown beyond the point of being a significant drag on human resources”, so …

Please “transport [me] into the resources”, ok?

Please note that I really don’t talk to anyone, e.g. on Skype, and only communicate in text, e.g. via email and/or online messages, which is nothing “personal” towards you or anyone herein, and I hope is not a problem for you all (?).

I look forward to hearing from you again and working together with you all soon.

I hope this all helps.

Thank you for your prompt and positive response, Ray, and Have a Great Life!

- Michael S. DeVries

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Monday, March 24th 2014, 5:03am

Hi Michael,
I've adjusted your 'role' here in the forum to that of Development Group, so you are now able to post in the
http://forum.linguisticteam.org/global-s…group-projects/ and http://forum.linguisticteam.org/global-s…group-techtalk/ sections, as well as eventually contribute to the Documentation section. I'll bring you into other developing areas as we reach them during the tour.

One point that I should have made clear about Skype is that our use of it is limited to 'text-only'. Generally speaking, we very much prefer to move over into TVP's private Teamspeak voice-chat server for voice discussions when handling subjects that would be quite difficult, if even possible, to cover solely with text, i.e. where instant feedback and/or brainstorming are necessary. Given the highly collaborative nature of what we're doing here (similar to most other project focuses across the greater RBE community), and the wide scope of information I need to share with you to fully describe the system we've developed & refined over the years, some voice discussion will be necessary to help you get acclimated to it all. So, given what you said about only communicating in text, does that pose a problem for you? Simply put, I see no way for you to develop the needed intimate understanding of all of the interconnected parts & issues that we need to respect within whatever is developed without at least some amount of real-time voice discussion, where any/all questions can be covered quickly with the least potential for miscommunication/misunderstanding. Attempting to do that via text-only is extremely likely to lead to a good amount of wasted time and frustration by developers who were unable to start designing/coding with the complete picture.

Your CV/resume includes a hell of a lot more experience than I was hoping for (that's a good thing, of course lol).
Your agile/scrum experience is especially intriguing as it may very much help us establish very good collaborative practices as we proceed.

I am currently wrapped up in several very important time-sensitive tasks, both in server administration & material preparation for Pootle, the translation-assist app we use for most text-based core RBE materials. Once I get these behind me, I'll have more time to focus on bringing you and other potential LTI Dev Group members up to speed on where we are. In the meantime, reply back to this and have a real good look around the place. I'm looking forward to growing some great things with you.
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Monday, March 24th 2014, 10:01am

Hello again Ray,

Thank you again for your prompt and positive responses, Ray.

Thank you for granting me access to those other sections in this forum. I will check them all out further as I am able.

You may want to also “point me to” your current PMS, which I did not see / could not find “off hand”, as I have previously designed and developed automated project management systems (APMSs), and therefore, I may also be able to help michaelycus with that, iff you all want?, ok?

RE: my not wanting to talk to anyone:

I do not currently foresee any problems with my participating in / talking to you all via TVP's private Teamspeak voice-chat server if/when absolutely necessary, ok? I just really don’t want anyone to “call” me or “insist” that I “call” them, as I am definitely not a “phone person”, ok? I even turn down projects from clients who insist that I talk to them on the "phone" about their projects, you see? So I felt that I needed to be “up front” with you all about that, you know? Further, in my many years of working online and in running The Virtual Consulting Firm it has never really been an issue with my working with many consultants and many clients from all over the world on hundreds of projects. Enough said, yes?

RE: helping you utilize an agile/scrum methodology/approach:

Yes, I can help you utilize an agile/scrum methodology/approach, iff you want?

What, if any, agile/scrum systems, e.g. JIRA, are you currently using? And/or are you interested in using?

Please just let me know how all I may help you all and TVP, ok?

I look forward to hearing from you again and working together with you all soon.

I hope this all helps.

Thank you again for your prompt and positive responses, Ray, and Have a Great Life!

- Michael S. DeVries

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Tuesday, April 1st 2014, 6:41am

Gak! I apologize for this thread getting lost amid the noise that I've been under over the last week or so. There's just too much that needs to be done, with far too few people able to do them.


We don't use the 'phone' aspect of Skype. It much more simply serves as a convenient text-chat to keep everyone on the same page, allowing all to see where various aspects of [fill in group focus here] are moving along, what needs help or information, etc.. On rare occasion, two or more people may decide to have a group voice-chat to help clarify more complicated or involved subjects, but that is only done either with Skype to Skype voice (no phone numbers or phones involved) or if a quick voice chat won't do, Teamspeak. To large degree, there is no difference in the way we use Skype from the way we use Teamspeak, except that Teamspeak costs more computer resources to run. Both involve a computer mic & speakers or a half decent headset (most opt for using a headset) and they lead to much better understanding in all collaborative efforts. I hope this clear up any confusion I may have caused earlier.


I am personally aware (but not experienced) of agile/scrum approaches, but this is basically still a newly developing dev group. So far, everything that has been created emerged from just one or two people's efforts. What we are now attempting to build has much more than a single focus, requiring more people taking on various parts of the whole and, therefore, may be able to adopt some aspects of agile workflow, but probably not until after there is more of an actual 'group' to focus on what's needed.

As the overall RBE community has grown, it has become increasingly apparent that the needs & integrations for this project have morphed from it being a separate app to one that is integrated within our custom PMS (now in alpha state), which is currently designed to handle overview of the movement of materials through the various transcription, proofreading, translation & 'final review before release' efforts (i.e. who is doing what and how far along is each project across all languages).

The PMS is also undergoing a major expansion of scope as we are now looking to have it also take on the handling of this automation integration across as much of the global RBE resources as we can stuff into it. I will soon create a new thread describing this much needed integration and attempting to pull together all related development projects & support info toward that end goal. To that end, I want to 'document' below my side of a very recent Skype text-chat discussion I had with another volunteer developer on this very subject. I hope it helps to clarify what we have ahead of us.


[one-sided Skype discussion] (spaces show where he typed, but he's now offline and unable to provide me his ok to print his replies here)

Quoted

[2014-03-31 8:52:44 PM] We're talking mostly about integrations between online apps, websites, etc. Think "APIs", RESTful development, database integrations, publishing automation, etc. and you'll be on the right track here.
Much of the focus is on php, mysql and a custom PMS that we're using to bring together ALL LTI focuses to massively open up all of the core RBE materials for/to the world.
But there are also several smaller projects that do not need to be tied directly into that major beast.

Maybe I should qualify that 'the major beast' has multiple needs that will likely be developed separately, but with the intention of full integration once they are in alpha state.
In other words, there are various needs to start with, but the objective is to then bring them all together, integrated within the PMS.

For a full description of any of them [LTI dev projects] to make complete sense, you would need to near-fully understand the entire LTI systems approach. They are all needing to be in full support of the others, since they will all be working toward the same 'access abundance' on various levels and need to 'talk with' each other to accomplish that in the end.

There are more dev projects documented a bit within the LTI member portal I've been developing for the last year+, but that's not launched yet. If what you read there intrigues you and you decide to get involved, I'll bring you into the LTI dev group, show you around (including the member portal/PMS) and we can discuss where you might like to dive in.
Keep in mind that the majority of projects are not only focused on LTI needs, but of those of the entire RBE community and WAY beyond. Also note that the most important ones are the automation of ToDo tasks and the index/search engine of all LTI projects. These two are critical for getting all completed translations out to the rest of the world and, by extension, attracting massive numbers of new people back here to the RBE community.
Michael [michaelycus] and I are focused on continuing development of the PMS itself, while I focus directly on the member portal. we have a gal who is now looking at the index/search engine aspect, but she just started on that and there is little to share other than the overall design & integration once it has become a reality.
Generally speaking, our use of the word 'automation' refers to the use of multiple APIs connecting us with dotSUB & YouTube, and potentially (hopefully) others.
My guess is that participating in this project will stretch anyone's knowledge & understanding of the technologies we intend to make use of, which is why I called it a REALLY good challenge. ;)

http://forum.linguisticteam.org/global-s…-lti-evolution/
I only see that section as a place for us to basically keep the other members & public up to date on development activities and allow them to connect with the dev group for whatever they need.
The documentation board and its sub-boards are set to Read-only for regular members.

The member portal has an entire section devoted to each of the global support groups, including the dev group, so that will be used for most documentation, with forum posts pointing to those as needed.
I'm trying to keep it simple, but still open/transparent to all LTI members, RBE supporters and the rest of the world, but I also know that collaborative development demands a quieter atmosphere than what a fully public resource will allow. Balance is not always easy to accomplish. lol

In a nutshell:
We have over 200 videos and about 10 text-specific core RBE materials within our care. Those numbers continually grow as more materials become available. We take each item through a number of careful steps/stages in order to be able to present the information to the rest of the planet in as many non-English languages as possible, given our 'human resources' at any given time (a continually changing number as people come and go &/or have time to help).
We've perfected the systems approach for all of this long ago, and are now looking to automate as much of the manual management, administration & maintenance as possible, at the same time providing much more efficient tools for the LTI members, RBE supporters and the rest of the world to use for accessing & distributing all of the work that has been, and continues to become, completed.

If all of the transcriptions & translations that have been completed were 'paid for', I estimate the total value at somewhere around 4 million US dollars worth. If I had the time to actually do the math, it may be much more, but I seriously doubt much less.
What we're doing here is not only absolutely essential for global awareness, it's also a very good 'example mini-RBE' in process, due to the collaborative, inter-disciplinary systems approach I set up about five years ago.
So, we very much need to automate as much of it as possible to take it beyond 'the next level'.

We can't automate the tranlations. GTranslate is working hard to continually improve, but it has no reference to RBE terminology & understandings. But we sure can automate most, if not all, of the tasks that members, managers & administration have to do to keep the big machine well-oiled and humming along. And, at the same time, enable much more public access to the information and participation within the language teams. That's basically where we are today.

Yes, 'the system' already exists and has been fine-tuned over several years - now it just needs to be coded. This is almost all about taking a fine-tuned manual system and coding it for automation. The other part is adding in additional things (access abundance) that are very easy to add in an automated system, but impossible to accomplish manually. As I mentioned, we now have a custom PMS that will eventually serve as the foundation for all of it, yet the PMS is still in an alpha state and is about to undergo a migration from CodeIgniter to Laravel.

[some non-relevant discussion removed]

You're essentially coming into a monster project. LTI, as an abstract entity, is highly developed and, with all of its moving parts, can be a heck of a lot for anyone to wrap their head around (especially true for someone interested in helping to develop it further).
Having said that, if you find yourself unsure of or feeling intimidated by anything, there is nothing here that would not be easy for me to fully clarify.
[2014-03-31 11:42:52 PM] In fact, I actually NEED such feedback to help me learn how to better present it to the rest of the world. ;)



I do hope that conversational snippet helps clarify things a bit. ^^
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