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klieber
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2002 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rac wrote:
dioxmat wrote:
if someone has ideas, tell me. it will be db-driven, with multiple languages support

Apologies if this is too obvious to mention, but if you plan to (eventually?) support languages with different character sets, it may be difficult to mix multiple languages in the same MySQL table (AFAIK, one table = one charset), so having the ability to have separate tables for separate languages might be needed.


oooh -- good point. Hadn't thought of that one. So far, ~10% of our users use another language, but we haven't got into the double-byte character sets yet. Hmmm....

Something to ponder. :)

--kurt
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2002 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

my original idea was to have a lang field in the tables.
you raise an important question here. ive never dealt with different
charsets in my mysql tables before. since I want it to be very integrated into phpbb, I'll look at their structure, see if they are doing something... if they are, Ill do it the way they do it :)
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2002 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dioxmat wrote:
since I want it to be very integrated into phpbb, I'll look at their structure, see if they are doing something... if they are, Ill do it the way they do it :)

I'm afraid the way phpBB does it is at odds with your approach of storing the information in the database.

And note that this is only my own personal opinion with a very limited knowledge of each, but I found this to be a major improvement in phpBB over slashcode. In slashcode, everything is stored in database tables, and must be modified through a web admin interface. This makes localizing really hard. Translating is orders of magnitude easier when one can use one's favorite editing tools, rather than HTML forms. Normal UNIX things like find and grep are usable.

What phpBB does is store localized text in subdirectories under language/. These files are just normal php. Each directory can have its own character set, and they don't bother one another. The $lang['ENCODING'] variable in lang_main.php takes care of setting httpd up to serve the correct character set.

This means that you can do things like mail php files to translators, have them translate them, and send them back to you. You don't need to grant them access to the database, and you don't have to do much work at all to support them or integrate their work.

From a performance standpoint, I don't know enough to argue whether the benefits you get from stashing things in a database rather than in php files is worth it, and I acknowledge that they may be significant.

Character set specific things are locked down on a board-by-board basis. The board language determines the native character set for things like postings. In most cases, multilingual boards should "work", in the sense that people that all render in the same language will see the same characters, but that's sometimes a lucky coincidence in that the same bizarre transcoding is done both on storage and retrieval, so that the actual text stored in the database may be junk. This most often affects searching, which may or may not be of concern for the FAQ application.

My experience in localization and encoding is 100% CJK-related, so I hope I am not overlooking things for other languages, and I don't want to sound like an I18N zealot, either.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2002 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rac wrote:
In slashcode, everything is stored in database tables, and must be modified through a web admin interface. This makes localizing really hard. Translating is orders of magnitude easier when one can use one's favorite editing tools, rather than HTML forms. Normal UNIX things like find and grep are usable.

Hmm...good points, but let me offer a counter-perspective.

rac wrote:
This means that you can do things like mail php files to translators, have them translate them, and send them back to you. You don't need to grant them access to the database, and you don't have to do much work at all to support them or integrate their work.

Right, but this also means that every time a new question gets added or an existing question gets modified, I have to send out the file to all the translators. Then, they translate it and send it back to me. I then have to place each file back in its correct location within /languages/lang_<whatever>/. Then, when a translator notices he's made a mistake, he sends me a new update and I have to do it again. Right now, we have four languages and only a few FAQs, so its somewhat manageable. What happens when we get more languages and have dozens upon dozens of FAQ questions?

With a database, the translators can go directly to the web interface, read the question, translate it and have it updated in real time. I'm completely removed from the equation. Additionally, you can have multiple translators for each language and can do cool things like send out automatic email notifications to all translators when a new question has been added and having the ability to say, "show me all the questions that need to be translated into Swahili", etc.

Performance-wise, flat files will always be faster (or at least less expensive, CPU-wise) than a database will. I imagine that's one of the reasons phpBB kept things in a flat file to begin with. However, you lose a lot of the flexibility that a database gives you.

I'm not shooting down the flat file idea -- just making my case for a database-backed system. If someone has further thoughts or opinions, feel free to jump in now.

--kurt
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2002 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

klieber wrote:
Hmm...good points, but let me offer a counter-perspective.

Thanks, I hoped you might.

How about CVS? Each translator (or group thereof) could have write access to their language tree, and read access to the English version. As is the case with many parts of phpBB, if a particular part of the interface is not localized, a default language can shine through. For example, when we put in the file attachment mod in a Japanese-native phpBB installation, the file attachment parts of the UI show up in English (or German). Simply adding a translated language/lang_japanese/lang_main_attach.php made the file attachment UI parts show up in Japanese to users using the board in Japanese.

So a new question is added, and the translators haven't caught up yet. Either
  • the new FAQ doesn't show up at all for users using these languages
  • it shows up in English
I think the second option is better, but it might be slightly harder to code. Translators notice on their own schedules that new FAQs have been added, check out the English version, do what they do, and commit a new localized version. This can all happen without your involvement. If you want veto power or more control, add a staging server that accepts CVS updates and pushes files to the live server on whatever schedule you want.

BTW, as time permits, I volunteer to help translate the Forums FAQ (and whatever other UI mods you have made) into Japanese.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2002 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the CVS option, too, especially because we're starting to get people interested in helping out with forum development.

I'm going to let Nitro decide what he thinks is the best option here. These are his forums, first and foremost (I just work here. :)) and he's got ideas about where the forums should go.

--kurt
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2002 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
$faq[] = array( "Why am I getting messages like <samp>/sbin/runscript.sh: 1:: command not found</samp>?", "Check your /etc/rc.conf file. Perhaps you have accidentally uncommented some of the descriptive comments before the PROTOCOLS assignment." );

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2002 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These may qualify as Often Asked Questions as opposed to Frequently Asked.

Q: What are the system requirements to install Gentoo.
A: To install from the build CD, you will need to have a 486+ processor and ideally at least 64 Megabytes of RAM. (Gentoo linux has been successfully built with 64MB of RAM + 64MB of swap space, but the build process is awfully slow under those conditions.)

That comes from the Install Docs. Perhaps the RAM issue could be clarified...

Q: How can I install Gentoo on a system with less than 64MB of RAM.

There is a thread that mentions some ways to install on a system with < 64MB of RAM. Using VMWare was one method. I think there was another way mentioned. Both required a different system with >= 64MB of RAM. Are there any other options? Can Gentoo be installed on the system that has < 64MB? If not, a big NO should be added to the answer :D.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2002 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The FAQ already mentions "Why isn't X feature available?". Perhaps it could be expanded to include the part about 'PITA to upgrade'.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2002 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kanuslupus wrote:
The FAQ already mentions "Why isn't X feature available?". Perhaps it could be expanded to include the part about 'PITA to upgrade'.

...but "Why isn't X feature available" is part of the phpBB FAQ, which is part of the stock phpBB installation, which means that if it were modified to explain why modifying phpBB makes upgrading difficult, then it would make upgrading difficult...

...and then a big irony wave came up behind me and knocked my breath away, leaving me panting and dazed upon the beach.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2002 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

:lol: that is funny. OK then, make a new one under the new Gentoo Forums FAQs section.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2002 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

so... do you actually need a db driven thing, or will you still to flat files & cvs ?
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2002 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe this really isn't asked that often, but when phong wrote me the phrase "chroot the tarball", a big light bulb went on in my head, and so:
Quote:
$faq[] = array( "I don't understand half of what anybody's saying in here! Somebody just told me to 'chroot the tarball'! Where can I find definitions of some of the jargon used on these forums?", "Available in print as <i>The New Hacker's Dictionary</i>, <a href=\"http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr/jargon/\">the jargon file</a> is a great resource." );


EDIT: ...and then, in a serendipitous coincidence, BonezTheGoon helped the cause of this FAQ entry out.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2002 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
$faq[] = array( "What do I do an ebuild is missing from portage and emerge search doesn't find what I'm looking for?", "Not all packages have an ebuild yet. Search the forums and the <a href=http://bugs.gentoo.org>gentoo bugs database</a> to see if an ebuild has already been requested or submitted. If not you can create one yourself (insert reference to doc) and submit it, or install manually. The final option is to find an alternative package to replace the missing one." );

Quote:
$faq[] = array( "How can I create custom ebuilds that portage will find and that don't get deleted when resyncing?", "Add the line PORTDIR_OVERLAY=/usr/local/portage/ to /etc/make.conf and place your ebuilds there. Try to use the directory structure and folder names from the official portage directory in /usr/portage/ for your packages, and once you're confident your ebuild script works, submit it for inclusion <a href=http://bugs.gentoo.org>here</a>." );

Quote:
$faq[] = array( "How were the gentoo guides created? They are soo nice!", "With vim/emacs (strike one)." );

Ok, so that's probably not true, and I guess it's not a FAQ either ;)

Quote:
$faq[] = array( "Why should I pick Gentoo over (insert favorite source distribution here)?", "Gentoo has a strong support community, good documentation and for most people very few problems. It's package management system allows safe installation (merging) of new versions - the old one is kept until removed (cleaned). This solves many problems you'd otherwise encounter when installing from source and is a unique feature available only in Gentoo. Also, it's easy to globally enable support for something (e.g. mysql) - edit a single file and issue a single command, and everything that supports mysql will have been recompiled with support for it. Another Gentoo only feature. We think it's better, your mileage may wary, batteries not included." );

Also, I think the FAQ should contain a section of GCC 3 questions -- compiler flag recommendations, upgrades from gentoo 1.x to use gcc 3.2, but I'm not in a position to answer any of those myself :?
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2002 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the additional FAQs.

EPrime wrote:
Quote:
$faq[] = array( "What do I do an ebuild is missing from portage and emerge search doesn't find what I'm looking for?", "Not all packages have an ebuild yet. Search the forums and the <a href=http://bugs.gentoo.org>gentoo bugs database</a> to see if an ebuild has already been requested or submitted. If not you can create one yourself (insert reference to doc) and submit it, or install manually. The final option is to find an alternative package to replace the missing one." );

What doc are you referring to? ("insert reference to doc")

--kurt
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2002 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The ebuild development guide on the gentoo.org homepage, namely http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/gentoo-howto.xml

Edited - gentoo.org came back up :)
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2002 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I thought I would try to stay on topic (Feedback) so here is mine :)

The forum is excellent and VITAL to gentoo, much much information and a fantastic source of STATIC information (not volatile like IRC).

My personnal remarks:

1- Would be really nice to be able to select a language, I don't speak or read languaes other than french and english, would be nice to be able to select our "preferred languages" thus hiding posts which we cannot interct with.

2- Some of the topics would greatly benifit from some minimal subdivisions. For example, the Multimedia forum should be devided into sub categories such as Audio, Video, Graphics... Even Audio could be subdivided into ALSA questions , ARTS questions, OSS questions...

3- Subdivision wouldn't even be needed if the search engine were reffined to accept BASIC combinationnal logic as arguements (such as AND, OR, NOT...the basic stuff). It should also accept to search for strings such as "make install", you know what I mean, a googleish search engine.

Okay, this being said, I know #3 is most probably out of your hands but I also think some rather obvious subdivisions could help out for manual searches.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2002 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kyron wrote:
1- Would be really nice to be able to select a language, I don't speak or read languaes other than french and english, would be nice to be able to select our "preferred languages" thus hiding posts which we cannot interct with.

You can -- the forum FAQ is available in any language for which we also have an international forum. (currently Spanish, Norwegian, French, German and Dutch) Just go into your profile and select whatever language you want.

kyron wrote:
2- Some of the topics would greatly benifit from some minimal subdivisions. For example, the Multimedia forum should be devided into sub categories such as Audio, Video, Graphics... Even Audio could be subdivided into ALSA questions , ARTS questions, OSS questions...

[EDIT]When I originally read this, I thought you were referring to subdividing the FAQ, not the forums themselves. We've recently undergone a fairly large reorg of the forums, with the main goal to streamline the topical divisions without letting things explode into "forum shrapnel" (copyright 2002, rac). Forum Shrapnel is where we have 47 different forums, each of which covers a too-specific topic.

We're pretty happy with the organization now, but as we continue to grow, we will undoubtedly need to make further revisions and will do so as necessary.

kyron wrote:
3- Subdivision wouldn't even be needed if the search engine were reffined to accept BASIC combinationnal logic as arguements (such as AND, OR, NOT...the basic stuff). It should also accept to search for strings such as "make install", you know what I mean, a googleish search engine.

Well, the phpBB search engine, at least right now, doesn't even index the FAQ that I'm aware of, so we'd have to start with that. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2002 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kyron wrote:
3- Subdivision wouldn't even be needed if the search engine were reffined to accept BASIC combinationnal logic as arguements (such as AND, OR, NOT...the basic stuff).

Umm...from http://forums.gentoo.org/search.php:
Quote:
You can use AND to define words which must be in the results, OR to define words which may be in the result and NOT to define words which should not be in the result. Use * as a wildcard for partial matches

I must be missing something.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2002 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rac wrote:
kyron wrote:
3- Subdivision wouldn't even be needed if the search engine were reffined to accept BASIC combinationnal logic as arguements (such as AND, OR, NOT...the basic stuff).

Umm...from http://forums.gentoo.org/search.php:
Quote:
You can use AND to define words which must be in the results, OR to define words which may be in the result and NOT to define words which should not be in the result. Use * as a wildcard for partial matches

I must be missing something.


OOps :oops: sorry about that one, my thoughts had wandered onto other planets...the one thing missing in the search was the string search not the combinational logic stuff...
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2002 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

klieber wrote:
You can -- the forum FAQ is available in any language for which we also have an international forum. (currently Spanish, Norwegian, French, German and Dutch) Just go into your profile and select whatever language you want.


Uhm...I DO see a language selection....I gather this selection is for the phpBB interface itself, I am referring to the forums themselves, me no understand German! Me no need to see Dutch :-)

klieber wrote:
We've recently undergone a fairly large reorg of the forums, with the main goal to streamline the topical divisions without letting things explode into "forum shrapnel" (copyright 2002, rac). Forum Shrapnel is where we have 47 different forums, each of which covers a too-specific topic.

We're pretty happy with the organization now, but as we continue to grow, we will undoubtedly need to make further revisions and will do so as necessary.


Heheh, like that shratnel bit, am allergic to that meself...but I still thing that some MINIMAL divisions should be added, like I said, for the multimedia forum adding Video and Audio wouldn't hurt...

klieber wrote:
Well, the phpBB search engine, at least right now, doesn't even index the FAQ that I'm aware of, so we'd have to start with that. :)


Yeah...thought that was it :-P
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2002 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think 'useradd' questions may have surpassed 'I can't su' questions. I've been moving threads to the duplicates forum and linking to Adding users.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2002 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kanuslupus wrote:
I think 'useradd' questions may have surpassed 'I can't su' questions.

Some of them are quite subtle, though, and I can't think of a simple answer that would cover everything as cleanly as "usermod -G users, wheel" does. There are also fans and detractors of superadduser.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2002 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, but we can still post a link in the faq like this:

Quote:
$faq[] = array( "How do I add users?", "There are many ways to do this. They are discussed <a href=http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic.php?t=83>in this post.</a>" );

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2002 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless I missed one or two, all of the ones I moved, boiled down to the originator of the thread not knowing how to use useradd (or not taking the time to read and think about the man pages). I didn't move the threads that started out as superadduser threads.
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