Lictionary: shipping is everything

Yesterday I wrote about Lictionary, “a localization dictionary that presents information repository which is constituted by free softwares” and noted that one of it’s strengths was that it had shipped. What does that mean? In software and technology, it’s generally understood that “release early, release often” gives distinct advantages – failure comes earlier and easier, feedback loops with users are smaller and quicker, the software project will look “alive” to developers and users, and no uses software or sites that never made it out the door. There are plenty of articles about the advantages – here’s one by Matt Mullenweg, a founding developer of the software this site runs, WordPress.

Anyway – after the write up I gave them yesterday I popped over to their site to let them know what I thought and of the most glaring errors – the CDATA and the incorrect language attribution. Pleasingly there was a response in my inbox almost immediately from TĆ¼rker at TSDesigns. The languageĀ attribution error has been fixed already (at least for Indonesian, I’ve not done any further testing), and they certainly are shipping – from what they have said, they only started collecting data last week:

We have started to collect our data last week. We are choosing and indexing a lot of repositories first time. After this first phase completed, we will identify problematic issues and eliminate these problems. CDATA problem is a sample of these situations. We are discussing about this. We can parse CDATA or skip them.

Manually choosing best translation is so hard. There are too many entries in system and there are several “best” translation for some strings in different contexts. So we added voting system. Translations are sorted by vote count. And we hide translations which have many negative votes. We will show best translations at the top with support of our users in the future. And also there is a trick in voting system. We add a positive vote to translations for each file. So mostly used translations have a head start.

Nothing makes me more excited than responsive developers. Can’t wait to see where this goes.