Content translation version 2 (CX2) is a major refactoring and architectural update of Content Translation (CX). The goal is to provide a solid and reliable translation tool that is aligned with the Wikimedia standards in technology and design, and provides a great way to contribute for newcomers. Version 2 will use the Visual Editor editing surface, use OOUI based front end, and follow the Wikimedia design guidelines. In addition, learnings from existing and new research on the experience of new editors will be used to identify improvements to make translation a great way to start contributing to Wikipedia.
The plan is to gradually replace version 1 with version 2 in several stages. A backwards compatibility plan will make sure that content created by users during the transition period won't be affected.
- 1 Try the new version
- 2 Features
- 3 Status Updates
- 4 Plans
Try the new version
The new version is in a very early stage, and it is unstable at this point. Use it only to experiment and report feedback.
You can try the new feature in our testing servers. They are a separate wiki (you need to create a new user account since the log-in service is not integrated with Wikimedia projects). Although the content you translate in the test servers comes from real Wikipedias, the published content will be only created in the test server. This allows to experiment without interfering with the work done in those projects.
In addition, the new version is always available in production and can be accessed using version=2 in the normal CX translation view (you can try this link). Using version 2 on production will create content in real wikis when you publish your translation, so it is not suited for experiments that involve publishing content.
We are interested in hearing how well the new version works for both new and existing users of Content Translation. If you are providing specific feedback about version 2, make sure to mention it refers to CX2. Otherwise, it may be harder to identify the issue. You can use the CX2 discussion page for specific feedback on CX2, and report issues in Phabricator.
The new version will include a more powerful editing surface, which will bring new possibilities that were repeatedly requested by translators using the tool. However, other features form version 1 won't be initially available with the new version.
A general CX2 roadmap describes the planned interventions in more detail. The main areas of intervention are:
- Align with the Wikimedia standards in technology and design
- Visual Editor's editing surface with more editing tools to insert and edit templates, tables, multimedia, categories, etc.
- Reliable undo/redo support.
- UI revamp based on UI Standardisation initiative and OOUI components
- A great way to contribute for newcomers
- Machine translation support for Template params, reference texts and practically all kind of elements in screen. In version 1, machine translation was limited to paragraphs alone.
- Better support for References and Templates
- Ability to add and remove categories
- Solid and reliable
- Fixing lots of bugs that was too difficult to handle with previous version
Missing features from the current version
The features listed above are possible with the new technology architecture. However, in order to be able to deliver those improvements soon, we have to limit the efforts of rewriting all the existing tools CX1 has. Thus, some of the existing tools won't be available in CX2 initially. We selected those based on our observations of current use, the value they provide in version 1 and their complexity, but we are looking for your feedback during this process.
These are the tools currently in CX1 that will be missing initially for CX2:
- Custom template translation editor. CX1 added support for a side-by-side editor of templates that allowed translators to map their parameters. The initial implementation allowed to evaluate a promising concept but it was far from being complete, and rewriting this for CX2 will require significant effort. Initially, the standard template editor dialog provided by Visual Editor will be available in CX2 instead. Although it is not optimized for transferring information across languages, it provides basic support for editing all parameters of a template in the translation.
- Dictionaries. CX1 had experimental support for dictionary information lookup for a few language pairs. Dictionaries are a very relevant tool for translators, and we'll keep track the progress of Wikimedia projects in this area that will enable their integration in the future. However, providing support for CX2 makes more sense when there is a clear plan to integrate more dictionaries.
- Progress indicator in the editor. A progress bar showed in CX1 how much of the article was translated and how much was missing. This information will be still visible from the dashboard, but not while editing the article. Based on our observations from users, having it on the editor was not providing much value.
- Announcements of new machine translation services. The automatic translation card became highlighted when a new machine translation service was made available for the current language. This was especially useful in the initial staged of the tool where new services were added regularly. We can reconsider this feature once the migration to version 2 is completed and we plan to integrate new machine translation services in the future.
- Improved handling of sections with transcluded content, that were not recognised as separate paragraphs.
- Enabling access to tools when editing rich content inside a dialog.
- Communicate the default machine translation service and waiting due to changes of service more clearly.
- Configurable period for deleting old drafts automatically and initial runs of the script to support backwards compatibility.
- Script to clear very old translation drafts to facilitate future backwards compatibility, reduce conflicts due to outdated content and better use of database space.
- Showing a cleaner source article by the removal of irrelevant templates, preventing links for existing pages to be shown as redlinks, and preventing navigating away when clicking images.
- Optimization of the saving process to be applied only when changes occur, and more reliable category manipulation.
- Improved machine translation use by showing the loading indicator persistently, not showing machine translation options on dialogs, fluently switching to an empty paragraph when machine translation is not used, and avoiding unexpected scrolling and technical errors when applying machine translation.
- Communicate errors when translation title contains invalid characters and the translation title is empty.
- Communicate warnings when a page already exists with the same title as the translation.
- Improved link card allowing to mark links as missing and avoiding duplicate cards when double clicking a link.
- Support for machine translation extended for Simple English.
- Discourage publishing empty translations by showing the publish button initially disabled.
- Support for Captcha confirmation when target wikis request it.
- Layout adjustments to keep article titles visually aligned, make visual alignment reliable when resizing the browser window, and avoid menus to hide behind the main content.
- Showing a clean source article by removing irrelevant sections and hidden categories.
- Definition of success metrics: number of newcomers, percentage of successful completion, number of errors, and translation survival.
- Support for links with new link cards allowing to preview their content in both languages and manipulate links, support to search for links in the target wiki, and better control for text input cursor placement when editing links.
- Use of updated API for short descriptions which allows local wikis to override Wikidata default descriptions.
- Starting translations from a link is more fluent by automatically selecting the article to translate.
- More reliable saving by including source information, and language selection to avoid duplicates.
- Improved testability: editor version is persistent when navigating from dashboard, and captcha support added in the test environment.
- Automatic translation card with options to select the Machine Translation provider from those available, copying the source text or starting from scratch. Modifications on the original automatic translations are kept persistent with an option to reset them.
- Improving the persistence of categories and solving issues with missing categories.
- Improvements in code modularization, API parameter consistency, and regressions in the visual alignment of paragraphs.
- Improved approach to keep source and target paragraphs visually aligned and highlighting consistently represented and applied.
- Improved support for galleries, images (to prevent accidental navigation), timelines, math formulas, and tables.
- Polishing on category support, including layout adjustments and support for long labels.
- Asking for confirmation when the translation is going to overwrite an existing article.
- Loading process improvements to communicate the loading status.
- Backwards compatibility support by opening translations with the version of the editor used to create them.
- Tool support improvements to show tool cards in the tools column (including Visual Editor Inspectors) and show initial instructions only when relevant.
- Infrastructure changes to improve links metadata (to facilitate adapting links across languages), and image support.
- Support for basic publishing of translations (further work on communicating issues to be done).
- Support for category adaptation. Categories get added to the translation automatically based on the existing ones, and users can remove them or add new ones.
- Layout adjustments to customize the editing toolbar, the sticky headers and how both fit together.
- Frequently requested features from VE are now available in CX2 with the new editing surface such as copy&paste links, edit link labels, reliable undo/redo, insert new templates, and converting wiki-syntax.
- Clean-up of the source article to remove irrelevant sections for the translation such as hat notes, metadata or links to sister projects.
- The version used remains persistent as part of each translation to support backwards compatibility, and as users navigate between the dashboard and the editor to facilitate testing.
- A basic side-by-side editor that would allow users to do a very manual translation. Many regressions after integrating the Visual Editor editing surface have been solved.
- Content persistency. The editor allows loading articles, automatic saving, and basic restoring of translations.
- Work with source and translation next to each other: add content paragraph by paragraph to the translation and keep paragraphs aligned.
- Layout reorganisation to align with the style guide.
- Improved testability. CX2 Test servers working again, and plans to support backwards compatibility.
Content Translation was developed iteratively for last 2+ years. During that time, the focus was to evaluate the core ideas on how to improve the translation experience for Wikipedia editors. The architecture was a flexible one where modules can be plugged and try these concepts. This allowed to move fast, but the approach and cut corners affected the code organisation, maintainability and reliability of the tool. The proposed refactoring and architectural update will contribute to provide a tool solid and reliable translation tool that is aligned with the Wikimedia standards in technology and design.
At the end of this intervention we want Content Translation to be a tool that:
- Is aligned with the Wikimedia standards in technology and design. Uses the editing surface technology of Visual Editor (VE), and follows the Design style guide principles.
- Is a great way to contribute for newcomers. The tool provides a quick and easy way for new editors to start contributing. Even if the tool does not support dealing with complex content or situations, it always provides a clear path forward for new editors.
- Is solid and reliable. The tool is reliable enough to go out of beta for at least one community.
The way to get there is detailed in different plans below.
Starting in February 2018, the CX2 roadmap defines the incremental stages to complete the development of the tool.
A rough plan is to enable version 2 is smaller wikis or subset of wikis to do QA and gradually rollout to more wikis.
Backwards compatibility plan
Versions 1 and 2 will coexist during a transition period. Given that the translations each version produce are not expected to be compatible, the following steps are considered to avoid issues related to breaking backwards compatibility:
- Translations started with one version of the editor will be alway opened with the same version, regardless of which is the current default editor. That is, when version 2 is the default, old translations started with the version1 will still be opened with version 1.
- Once version 2 is considered the stable default, creating new translations with older versions will be prevented. That is, version 1 will not be available to create new translations, but it will be still available to edit the old ones.
- With a process in place to automatically discard translations after one year, version 1 could be safely removed after such period pases since no new articles can be started with it.