Wednesday, November 30, 2011

10 Points Before you start your localization..

I am mentoring the localization tasks of Haiku into Tamil for Google Code-In 2011, and hence thought of providing a few suggestions for localizations. Some of these suggestions will be specific to Tamil, while sharing a few common characteristics with other languages.

1) Use the standard terminology
Make sure that you have the necessary reference and the language's latest accepted technical glossary with you. Don't invent your own words or phrases. If you don't know a word, leave it blank, rather than filling it with your guesses.

If you find a word not in the glossary, try to find the meaning from the other reliable sources. If you have found a translation for a word, make sure the translation matches the standard. If an acceptable translation for a phrase is first found, share that with the other team members, and with their approval consider using the word in the translation. Words that are found not in the glossary should be noted down and later can be included in the Glossary.

Systems such as HTA, expect the localizations to be verified by the language maintainer or the mentor, before marking the translations as verified. That is, a translated word can be marked as faulty, by the language mentors. 

2) Be consistent. 
For example, I notice the use of "ஜன்னல்" and "சாளரம்" interchangeably, for the same context. Pls stick to one. In this case, my recommendation is to use "சாளரம்". Don't ignore the existing conventions.

3) Don't use slang or spoken/broken language
Words like "இங்க" and "ஓடுது" are a very slang way of translation, and are grammatically wrong. Please use formal Tamil. Not any spoken variant of Tamil. We will reject the spoken forms of phrases, which are considered wrong in written format.

If something is considered wrong in your Tamil lessons, they are wrong in localization too. We can't get broken or grammatically wrong localizations with wrong spellings into the project. :)

4) Translate as phrases
The phrases should be translated as a whole, and not as word-by-word.

Let's take the phrase, "Update time interval:"
It should be translated as, "மேம்படுத்தல் நேர இடைவெளி" and not "மேம்படுத்தல் நேரம் இடைவெளி". This is something that differentiates the Indic languages from English.

Don't translate word-by-word. Instead, translate by complete phrases. Phrases like, "Add graph" should be translated as a whole in Tamil. Phrases like "சேர்க்கவும் (add) வரைபடம் (graph)" or "வரைபட சேர்க்கவும்" are not grammatically complete, and any native Tamil speaker can point that. It should be "வரைபடத்தைச் சேர்க்கவும்".

"Do you want to stop" should be translated as "நிறுத்த வேண்டுமா?" (want to stop?), instead of "நீ நிறுத்த வேண்டுமா?". Here we omit, "நீ", as that is obvious.


5) Translate for the context.
Some words may have different meanings according to the context. Be careful when localizing them. "Them" may not be "அவர்களை" when it refers to the plural of "it". It should be "அவற்றை".

"written by:" should be "எழுதியவர்:". "எழுதப்பட்டது" doesn't make sense in this context.

Think of,
"written by:Raja"
"எழுதியவர்:ராஜா" will be natural.
"எழுதப்பட்டது ராஜா" doesn't make sense.

So translate for the context. Do not translate as it is.

6) Be respectful to the user
Pls do not use "நீ". Use "நீங்கள்" instead. Similarly, don't use "நிறுத்து". Should be "நிறுத்தவும்". The program should refer to the user in a respective manner. We should not offend the user, by calling him in "singular", as the rule of Tamil.

7) Locales
Be specific to the correct locale. If you are translating for ta-LK, consider the conventions involved, and remember this can be different from ta-IN. Some projects do not have the locales. They just have the country code, ignoring the potential minor changes between the locales.

8) Don't translate the control strings
For example, leave the strings such as,
%lld ms
as it is.
Don't try to introduce blank space between these. Translations such as
% lld நொடி
and
% lld MS
are invalid.
Don't try to introduce blank space between the %lld.
Also, there is no need to transliterate units such as MB, as we use them as standards. Translating it as எம்பி doesn't make sense.

9) Don't just "Google Translate"
For example,
"CPU Usage" should be translated as "CPU பயன்பாடு"
where it has been translated as,
CPU Usage = CPU பயன்பாட்டை by Google Translate.

Google Translate is using a learning algorithm, and is not always correct. Moreover, it is not complete for Indic languages such as Tamil. Please translate on yourself, since we mark those Google Translated phrases as "Faulty", as most of them can be translated using better vocabulary.


10) Easy translations first
There may be a few phrases that you may not be able to translate. Focus on the phrases that you can translate easily first, than struggling with long phrases that may take more time for you to translate.
P.S: This post is an updated version of a post that was written a long time back.


Who is that one person? :)

"One person likes this. Be the first of your friends."
"Who is that one person who *liked* that post - and not in my Facebook list?" :D

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The birth of viral contents over the Internet

Popular Content
For a scientist to become popular, it takes a considerable effort and lots of dedication. But someone who creates some creative content and uploads it over the Internet, might probably get equally famous among a wider audience.

Getting Viral
A content grabs the attention of millions and becomes an Internet meme by becoming viral, shared and spread over multiple online media. The content can be a video, a blog post, an image, or even an audio clip. Some contents become popular due to their controversial nature, and the others become popular just because of the curiosity of the people. The social media interaction makes the popular content more popular. Once a content sparks some interest to a viewer, he might probably visit the content back (say, if that is a video or an audio clip), and also share the content over the social media for the people in his network to view. This leads to an exponential growth to the popularity of the content. If an influential person shares your content to his circles of friends, most probably your content will be viewed and further shared by his circle of friends too.

Creating controversy or inducing curiosity
If we take YouTube, the mostly viewed videos are not necessarily good ones. Most of these video clips have more 'dislikes' than the 'likes', as people get disappointed with what they just saw, because of their curiosity. When the thumbnail image of the video shows some "cute stuff", it is very hard to resist the desire to click and view the clip. A sexy title and an attractive caption will be an added advantage. However, when we realize that there is nothing such interesting material in that clip, than a mere ad, we 'dislike' it. Still the 'view' count increases, and the video remains popular. Some companies work for their clients or customers to make their content viral by creating controversy around them, by posing as multiple users, or simply by sharing that content over multiple media, using multiple accounts.

Sparking the interest
There are a few genuine attempts that become viral by the fans viewing and sharing them multiple times. The most commonly stated example is the YouTube clip, "Yosemitebear Mountain Giant Double Rainbow 1-8-10", where someone shouts and expresses his extreme level of joy, looking at a double rainbow.

The Double Rainbow
It has got 31,595,276 views, 206,997 likes, 4,549 dislikes, and 91,157 comments. This was also made into a song, which also has become equally viral, with almost same number of views and likes. Comics have been written around the "Double Rainbow" and many parodies have been created around. According to an article in knowyourmeme.com, a tweet from Jimmy Kimmel was the major reason behind this video clip becoming popular. However, I am personally not supporting any such claims without a strong evident. Who knows - many others too may have shared the content and enjoyed it parallel.

Why this Kolaveri
Why This Kolaveri Di Full Song Promo Video in HD has got 6,263,365 views, 73,595 likes, 3,058 dislikes, and 30,361 comments within two weeks since it is posted. Like all the other addictions, "Kolaveri" is proven yet another rising addiction. Once watched, everyone keeps watching it multiple times, and then starts sharing. This leads to an exponential popularity growth. If this continues, it will very soon overtake the mostly known viral video - "Double Rainbow" shout. It is a song sung by the Tamil actor Dhanush, a son-in-law of the Tamil super star Rajinikanth. This song is sung in Tanglish, a Chennai slang of Tamil + Broken English, with simple words.

The girl in the green top in this clip is Shruti Hassan the heroine of the movie "3", to which this song belongs to. She is a daughter of Kamalhaasan (an award winning Tamil actor and long time competitor of Rajinikanth). The other girl in this song is Aishwarya Dhanush - Dhanush's wife who directs this movie. The debuting music director, Anirudh, a nephew of Rajinikanth can also be seen in this video. Everyone expected this song to become popular among the Tamil cinema fans due to this stardom. Nevertheless, no one including the producers of this song/movie expected it to become viral globally. The fact that the song is indeed sung in English, but with a south Indian accent and a touch of Tamil, must have helped the song becoming popular among the non-Tamil speakers.

For a content to become viral, it should reach the common men, and should not target a narrow niche. Among my blog posts, how to ignore someone you love can be stated as somewhat viral. It is the third mostly viewed post in my blog, along with the highest number (46) of facebook likes. I, myself didn't expect that post to become popular, since I wrote it without much effort unlike the technology blog posts, that I wrote with much effort. The attractive blog title, with the interesting common area of discussion - "ignoring facebook invitations", must have attracted more readers in, unlike the posts that are focused on a niche.

Creating a viral content is not that much easy though. No one has properly found a formula to estimate how the human brain functions. We can create some interesting content, but the audience decides its success.

Friday, November 25, 2011

A tribute to DZone..

Everyone into the information technology knows that DZone is a good way to find and read the quality articles or blog posts. The recent MVB (Most Valuable Blogger) program is yet another addition to the services provided by DZone, with interesting zones such as Cloud Zone, Architect Zone, and many more. With the success of the concept of the zones, DZone started to introduce many microzones such as HTML5 Zone, DevOps Zone, and a few others.

MVB not just merely re-posts a content as it is. But it formats and makes it better, prior to posting it, if necessary.

The below is an example:

You can see DZone has actually improved the readability of the content by proper styling and syntax highlighting.

I encourage and recommend everyone who takes pride on their technology blogs to become an MVB. Nothing is encouraging than having our thoughts to reach a wider audience. Long live DZone!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Auto Scaling with WSO2 Load Balancer


Load Balancer is a crucial component in scalable architectures. WSO2 Load Balancer not only balances the load across the application instances, but also scales the system automatically to cater the dynamically changing load. WSO2 Load Balancer is a WSO2 Carbon based product. In this post, we will look how autoscaling works with the Load Balancer.

WSO2 Load Balancer ensures high availability and scalability in the enterprise systems. WSO2 Load Balancer is used in cloud environments to balance the load across the server instances. An ideal use case of the Load Balancer is WSO2 StratosLive, where the service instances are fronted with the load balancers and the system scales automatically as the service gets more web service calls. Having the Apache Tribes Group management framework, Apache Axis2 Clustering module, Apache Synapse mediation framework, and autoscaling component as the major building blocks, WSO2 Load Balancer becomes a complete software load balancer that functions as an autoscaler and a dynamic load balancer.

Architecture

WSO2 Load Balancer can be configured to function as a load balancer with autoscaling on the supported infrastructure. Currently the autoscaler supports EC2 API. Thus the Load Balancer can be configured as a dynamic load balancer with autoscaling, on Amazon EC2 and the other infrastructures compatible with the EC2 API. The autoscaling component uses ec2-client, a Carbon component that functions as a client for the EC2 API and carries out the infrastructure level functionalities. Spawning/starting a new instance, terminating a running instance, managing the service groups, and mapping the elastic IPs are a few of the infrastructure related functionalities that are handled by the autoscaling component.


The autoscaling component comprises of the synapse mediators AutoscaleInMediator and AutoscaleOutMediator and a Synapse Task ServiceRequestsInFlightEC2Autoscaler that functions as the load analyzer task. A system can scale up based on several factors, and hence autoscaling algorithms can easily be written considering the nature of the system. For example, Amazon's Auto Scaler API provides options to scale the system with the system properties such as Load (the timed average of the system load), CPUUtilization (utilization of the cpu at the given instance), or Latency (delay or latency in serving the service requests).

NEXT >>
Now you know the basics of the WSO2 Load Balancer. You might now want to learn,
1) How Auto Scaling works with WSO2 Load Balancer?

Resources
Blog posts
WSO2 StratosLive - An Enterprise Ready Java PaaS
Summer School 2011 - Platform-as-a-Service: The WSO2 Way

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Time/Money Duality

This post can be considered the part-II of one of my previous posts - LATE. The movie "In Time" was the major motivation behind this post.


Time spent and perceived.
I have heard the phrases "Don't waste money!" and "Don't waste time" more often than any other suggestions asking not to waste something. "Don't waste electricity", "Don't waste water", and other similar suggestions are indeed the derivatives of "Don't waste money", or are driven by some sentiments such as "Don't waste food - give it to the poor instead!" We can simply conclude that "Money" and "Time" are considered two equivalent and most valuable assets. We spend money to save time, and also spend time to save or earn some money. I see this duality as the reason behind the routine of the humans. Everyone makes the world a better  ('better' is a relative term. so someone's better may be another's worse though) place to live, at least by a tiny bit, through their job and otherwise, by investing their time.


Being a complex quantity, Time has its own real and imaginary counterparts. Each of us has 24 hours. But the effective time differs from person to person. I feel, in terms of physics, we can't define Time as a vector or a scalar rigidly. May be, we should research further on the nature of the multi-dimensional time!

If we consider time as a complex number, what we measure will be the time's projection on the x-axis, the real counterpart of the complex quantity. When we are waiting for something or someone even a few minutes go like an hour - we can explain this using the above "Complex-time" concept. 

"Busy" is a relative term. I can be busy for task-1 or person-1, but may be available for task-2 or person-2.

The time and the money spent and the duality
"Can you spend five minutes with me regarding this project?"
"Sorry, I am afraid. I have to catch the train in 5 minutes to my home."
"Oh, it is fine. I am also on the same route. Let's discuss on the train"
Now, I am not busy for the discussion, since the talk is not going to consume my time.

Currently, it is impossible for us to travel by time, or purchase it. So either we spend much time or less of it - we can earn time relatively, but not absolutely. In natural terms, we can't earn time, but just spend it effectively. Time does have a monetary value. The In Time  movie attempts to make Time as money, focusing on the time-money duality. It discusses the sharing of time, and transfer of time between different individuals. The rich have more time, and lesser the poorer.

Since Time is used as the money, the rich have more money, making them living forever, almost, where the poor keep running searching for time, awaiting their end, everyday. For them, "tomorrow is a luxury they (you) can't afford" and even idling becomes costly (of course, idling costs in the real world too, in the time scale, as of the above image).

Wish if we can buy some time, utilizing this time/money duality in the future.

Friday, November 18, 2011

3 Most Annoying Status Updates in Facebook!

Expressing love for their dad!
1) Tribute over the Facebook.
"May I ask a personal favor, only some of you will do it (and I know who you are). If you know someone who has fought cancer and passed away, or someone who is still fighting, please add this to your status for 1 hour as a mark of respect and remembrance, I hope I'm right about the people who will.. Let's save the world from cancer by posting.. ♥"

Come on! You are NOT contributing anything by posting/re-posting that stupid status for 1 hour. Just annoying the users over the Facebook. To make it worse, somehow these posts tend to become famous and spread like Viruses. You can even notice the 50+ likes, and believe me. These guys have never shown love to the cancer patients outside Facebook!


2) Stupid claims 97%
"All of us have a thousand wishes. To be thinner, have more money, a new phone. A cancer patient only has one wish, to kick the cancer . I know that 97% of you won't post this as your status, but my friends will be the 3% that do. In honor of someone who died, or is FIGHTING cancer, post this for at least one hour." 

"NO.. I have heard about many cancer patients who had greater wishes.. for their family or even for the country.. The above status is just an insult to cancer patients.. ewwww... :("

3) I love my brothers (over the facebook)!
<- When some one starts to love his/her parents, siblings, spouses, friends, etc *using* facebook.

People are such sweet hearts (by caring everyone and love them by facebook (errr...) and posting statuses that make no sense at all!) :P

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Are you allowed to choose your *name*?

Facebook, Google+, and probably many other sites do not allow accounts to be registered under a name that looks "artificial". That means, you can register an account only on a name of a human. The reason given is, they do not want to have people registering *fake* accounts, and welcome only the *real* persons to be in! 

Names such as the below are not allowed or at least challenged.

1) Kathiravelu பிரதீபன் - You can't mix two language scripts, though this one indeed is my name, where the first name is written in English, and the last name in Tamil script.

2) Prad33ban, Pradeeban_, or Pradeeb@n - Numbers or special characters are not allowed in the names. Only the alphabets of a single script are allowed.

3) Pradz or PradROX - Suspicious name, most probably a fake!

4) Rock Buddy, Superman, Monkey Gurl, or Fen0023 - Doesn't look real.

5) Pearl Kitty or Brownie - Kitties and puppies aren't allowed!

6) K.K, PDN, pra, or pdn - Initials, pen names, or pseudonyms aren't allowed.

7) Dr.Vijay - Salutations aren't allowed.

8) Sucker - Sounds offensive.

9) kaThiRaVeLu PrADeeBaN - Improper capitalization.

10) Fxx or Bot - Bots are not allowed.

11) Double Rainbow, Firefly, or Stone - Natural objects and insects! No!

12) Colombo Library, Llovizna&Sons, or OpenGroupForum - Libraries, Companies, or organizations aren't allowed to create a profile. Use a 'group' or a 'page' instead.

This regulation has gained severe opposition from those who prefer to have their online identity to be hidden or are interested in having a second life. Some of them choose to have a second life an independent one from their real, offline, or *first* life. They have a valid reason to have a different online identity, I feel. Whatever the name, let it sound like a bot, library, or a kitten, still there is a human behind the name. What matters the most is, no one's privacy should not be violated.

However these rules do not prevent the fake profile creators anyway. They just create fake profiles under real names. People are getting more into deeper fake stuff - SCIgen is an example, which allow you to generate fake papers, mostly used for a good motive of course - to identify the fake conferences by getting the fake papers auto-generated accepted.

Copyrights - "Safely ignored"s in the Internet

I recently found an exact copy of one of my blog posts in another blog, without any credit or pointer to my blog. I tried to comment on his blog post with the link to the original post. He never approved my comment. Hence I decided to report his blog to google, for the copyright violation.

In the topmost banner of the blogger blogs, you can see "Report Abuse". I just clicked, and reported the post.

Google replied with,
Thanks for reaching out to us!

We have received your legal request. We receive many such complaints each

day; your message is in our queue, and we'll get to it as quickly as our
workload permits.

Due to the large volume of requests that we experience, please note that

we will only be able to provide you with a response if we determine your
request may be a valid and actionable legal complaint, and we may respond
with questions or requests for clarification.  For more information on
Google's Terms of Service, please visit http://www.google.com/accounts/TOS

We appreciate your patience as we investigate your request.


Regards,

The Google Team

After within a few hours, Google took the page that violated the copyrights down in accordance with DMCA (The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998), and sent me this message.

Hello,

Thanks for reaching out to us.

In accordance with the DMCA, we have completed processing your
infringement complaint and the content in question no longer appears on
the following URL(s):
http://{blog-name}.blogspot.com/
2011/07/{post}*.html
Please let us know if we can assist you further.

Regards,
The Google Team

* I have removed the blog url to avoid harassing the blogger who copied the blog post.

After all, "Llovizna" is not a commercial blog. According to my knowledge, I am not earning anything directly or indirectly out of this. Just a display of a link or indication to the original post would be sufficient.


One of my friends mentioned, why would I report that person's blog post. My friend mentioned that the person who copied my post is indeed helping me by spreading my thoughts to the followers of his blog. 

No, it doesn't work that way. If someone finds his post in web search instead of me, further interaction with the reader will not be possible. If my view point is challenged in the blog post of that person, he will not be in a position to advocate for my thoughts. Most probably he himself would have forgotten the original post that he copied from, leaving the discussion to a nowhere-zone.

In print, everyone takes utmost care about the copyrights. But when it comes online, it is taken for granted that anyone can violate others' copyrights. It is common to see posts that are copied from the web, even in newspapers as "Thanks: The Internet" or "Thank you: The web". No one bothers to give the exact url or the author of the post, which is in fact a bad practice, and offensive just like any other pirated material.

I, however support open knowledge. Some restrictive licenses prevent others from using the content at all, than merely reading and understanding it. Licenses should be open, just like the open source licenses. In "Llovizna" (and wherever online/offline), I made sure to use only the content or images that are in the public domain, or made sure to provide the credentials to the original license holder, whenever I reused others' contents. Many images with supportive licenses, or those are in the public domain can be found in wikipedia or wikimedia. We need more of them.

Sharing is not just a copy-pasting. It should provide value to the original content, while giving the appreciation that it deserves, and engaging with the content.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

[Webinar] Building SaaS for SMEs on WSO2 PaaS

Today's webinar sessions went pretty well, where Shariq and myself, representing the WSO2 Stratos Team, presented "Building Software-as-a-Service for Small and Medium Enterprises on WSO2 StratosLive Platform-as-a-Service". Feel free to download the presentation slides of this session.