Vito's soapbox

the rest is web silence

odprto pismo Cankarjevi založbi


Pred nekaj dnevi sem si kupil knjigo Nihče Mehmedalije Alića, ki jo je, ob pomoči Javne agencije za knjigo RS, založila Vaša založba. Hvala sponzorju in vam!  O vsebini knjige in njenem avtorju lahko samo rečem:Ecce homo!

Za to mi pač ne bi bilo treba pisati odprtega pisma. Razlog je drugje:  namesto strani s paginacijo 33-48 ima knjiga dvakrat strani 17-32!

To bi zadoščalo za - precej veliko - zadrego na Vaši strani, saj je glede na naklado 1000 izvodov verjetno celotna zaloga ramponirana. Za vas to morda pomeni zadrego, zame osebno kot Slovenca pa katastrofo: doslej tega očitno še nihče ni opazil. Ob tej pretresljivi slovenski zgodbi o Srebrenici, o izpisanih, o Hudi jami gledamo vsi, z redkimi izjemami, stran.

Kaj lahko CZ v tej situaciji stori? Razdelite knjige med delavce Vegrada in druge s podobnim križevim potom. In če kaj knjig še ostane, jih lahko spodobno, nevsiljivo, pustite na mizi pred skupščino. Da bo še koga sram, ne samo mene.

S spoštovanjem

Vito Smolej, München

Adblock Plus takes one-third of the revenues

Munich - To prevent sites from displaying ads, internet users can use the so-called add-blockers. The default set-up of Adblock Plus blocker, however, allows certain adds still to be displayed. This concerns especially text adds. Web site operators need to be on the Adblock Plus white list - and pay Eyeo GmbH money to be there. Confidential contracts show, how  Eyeo’s business model works.

To have its Search results displayed in spite of the blocker, Google has signed up for the white list recently. When contacted about the issue, the Eyeo’s owner, the Internet Group l & l, that owns and gmx.NET as well, has indicated it is just “allowances for technical expenditures”. Details remain confidential – Eyeo’s contracts include non-disclosure clauses.

According to the marketing contract, quoted in the trade magazine Werben & Verkaufen,however, Eyeo has been asking for 30 percent of the revenues. According to SZ  sources of information, other secret contracts stipulate that the site operator is to transfer a fixed sum, for example: as the site has been losing 9000 € per month due to the Add blocker, Eyeo expects 3000 € for letting the adds through in the future, with the operator company keeping the extra 6000 €. A deal, seen as a gift pill by those involved. "You feel blackmailed”, says one of them to SZ, while staying anonymous due to the confidentiality clauses. “We had no choice.  If tomorrow they ask for 50 percent, we will sign that just as well.”

Eyeo stresses that blogs and newspaper offers are exempt. It is only “large corporations” that Eyeo is asking for commission.

from SZ (Süddeutsche Zeitung) Tuesday July 9th 2013 p. 20

Note: Süddeutsche Zeitung is one of the largest German daily newspapers


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Na pomoč, hočem reči Help!

Povod za tale blog je statistika sporočil, ki so jih obiskovalci pustili za seboj zadnjih nekaj tednov, to je v času od 11.05 do 15.06.2013. Vir teh podatkov je analiza Žige Mileka. Povzemam podatke, ki so za temo tega bloga najbolj pomembni:

  • 46 % obiskovalcev uporablja IE, 32 % Firefox in 18,5 % Chrome
  • 84 % obiskovalcev si ogleda homepage
  • 23 % odgovorov na Qualaroo omenja težave s Fx

Ko bi se uporabniki, ki imajo težave, obrnili s svojimi vprašanji na Podporo Mozille, bi bilo veliko bolj verjetno večjo verjetnost, da se njihov problem reši, in Mozilla bi imela nekaj več zadovoljnih uporabnikov.

Tu trenutno stanje, kar se vprašanj in odgovorov tiče na Support Mozilla:


Očitno gre za dobro naoljen in delujoč mehanizem za reševanje problemov okoli izdelkov Mozille.

  • Na podpori za Mozillo lahko uporabnik brska po že postavljenih vprašanjih in odgovorih. Prvo od desetih neodgovorojenih vpršanj zgoraj je bilo dokaj kratko - “vnos zaznamkov”. Odgovor bi uporabnik že imel, ko bi znal svoje ključne izraze “podložiti” z URL za vnos zaznamkov.
  • Na podpori Mozilla lahko seveda postavi obiskovalec tudi vprašanja - v slovenščini, z odgovori v slovenščini: za kateri izdelek želite postaviti vprašanje. Odgovori pridejo zelo hitro (gl. zgoraj)
  • Army of awesome omogoča podobno pomoč na Twitterju

Kako da slovenski uporabniki ne pridejo tako daleč? Da jim na domači strani ne uspe izbrati pomoč in potem pobrskati po člankih? Ali pa vnesti po domače napisano vprašanje tam?

Če gora ne pride k Mohamedu, bo pač Mohamed moral tako ali drugače h gori. Da Firefox zadnje čase več ne pozna F1 za pomoč, je le del problema, glede na to, da večina obiskovalcev uporablja IE. Problem vsekakor ni tako zapleten, da se realizacije teh klikov ne bi dalo rešiti.

Za konec tipičen dvogovor - upajmo, da bo odgovor pomagal;)

Can not access e-mail on aol website using Foxfire, but can using internet explorer, why?

Hello, goodbye, ReMo

On the home page for the ReMo project, you can read the following:

The Mozilla Reps program provides a simple framework and specific tools to help volunteer Mozillians become official representatives of Mozilla in their region. Anyone who is passionate and knowledgeable about Mozilla and who is ready to dive deeper into the project can sign-up to the program.

Not wanting to be left behind, I have raised my hand in July 2011 as my wiki page (check History) can attest. I had been active for Mozilla in my own special way anyhow, so the activities within the ReMo program should act as a welcome booster, right? They should bring some order into reporting, provide a feedback via mentor etc?

Unfortunately this is not so: I am opting out. As a decent Mozillian, I decided to follow the corresponding SOP/leaving, where the following alternatives are offered:

  • I am leaving temporarily: This does not apply, as I am not taking any break, as regards my Mozilla activities.
  • I am leaving permanently: this is closer, but it gives me no possibility to explain the reasons for my step. Also, somebody else must erase my entry in the Mozilla reps directory - I can not do it myself, even if suggested in SOP.
  • I am leaving reluctantly: that used to be my feeling for some time before making this step. Right now, however, I am leaving with a good conscience.

The reason would be best described with: I am leaving because of neglect. I am leaving out of respect for my own Mozilla record and standing. Three points I would like to make.

First: it’s about six months since I enrolled and the persons responsible for the project have yet to realize I am still without a mentor. Not that I would miss her or him - as my reports show, I was pretty active all the time. But then, why mentor in the first place?

Second: there’s about 240 people on the ReMo members list. Of these 36% have never produced one single report and 16% have done just one. I have written five, then stopped doing them end of October to see the reaction. There was none - my Mozilla activities of course went on unencumbered.

Third: in the autumn 2011 I applied and was accepted without much fuss in SuMo SIG and for Comm SIG. I had  been active in SuMo several yeare before that, while Comm was relatively new to me. I am active in both now. I am still waiting for some sign of life from the ReMo side. 

So, summarized, no mentor, no feeback, no SIG.

I will cause no loss to Mozilla by leaving ReMo. However, I will not feel anymore like some zombie record entry - Karteileiche in German.

Sincere regards


Faster than light?

On 31 May 2010, OPERA researchers announced the observation of a first tau neutrino candidate event in a muon neutrino beam.[3]

In September 2011, OPERA announced the detection of muon neutrinos traveling faster than light. The announcement was met with skepticism by the physics community (and the OPERA team itself), with other experimental groups planning to attempt to replicate the result, as well as search for any experimental errors which might account for it.[4]

Watch the webcast  New results from OPERA on neutrino properties from sept 23rd.


Could the gravity field of Earth and the general relativity be behind the missing 20 or so cm, at the total (Euclidic) distance of 730 km? Geneve is after all at 375 m (take away another 50m to get down below earth to the muon source) and OPERA facility must be at ~900 m or more - Assergi at the west end entry to the Gran Sasso tunnel claims 895m above sea level.

Sort of brachistochronic way out of the bind (g).

Have you spelchecked your l10n repositry lately?


One of the important features of Mozilla products - Firefox, Thundebird, Seamonkey etc - is their high degree of localization. Eighty percent of Firefox users do not have English as their mother language and one of the reasons for its popularity is surely  also the existence of versions in the user’s own mother language. The current release of FireFox 6 for instance has been localized into 69 languages, with additional 14, waiting for the last touches by the l10n teams.

The size of the job involving all the products is respectable:

  • 19460 segments (8799 unique)
  • 71648 words (43653 in unique segments)
  • 701 files (DTD and PROPERTIES)
  • 107 sub-directories

… the latest status may differ, but not substantially. Note the amount of repeats - segments like “File Open” turn up several times in the repository.

How make sure that there’s no typos and misspellings in  several ten thousand words localized? One may try with the spellchecker in Word or Writer for instance, but then doing that for 700 files, residing in more than 100 different places, is simply prohibitive. Note also, that entries contain not just the payload, but also essential parts that are untranslatable:

(preferences.dtd - first three entries)

<!--ENTITY prefsHeader.label       "Preferences"-->
<!--ENTITY about.title             "About &brandShortName;"-->
<!--ENTITY about.button            "Go to Page"-->

only the text between quotes has to be translated and spellchecked. Similarly - from

# Add-on Manager
addonsLocalNone.label=No add-ons installed
addonsSearchStart.label=Searching for add-ons…

Just the text on the right hand side is to be localized, with the left hand side left as is.

It is just a YATT - Yet Another Translation Task

Let’s say you have the work finished, but yet not spellchecked, for the language ab_CD. Think of it as done in  ab_CD_raw language and you would need to  “translate” into the ab_CD_spellchecked language, with the spell-checker playing the role of the translator. What is needed, is an application that will:

  • traverse the original ab_CD_raw tree file afterfile
  • parse the files according to the file format
  • use the spell checker to check and correct the payload contents
  • memorize your corrections in the translation memory
  • create spell checked files, while keeping the tree structure intact

Using OmegaT to do the spell-check

OmegaT is a free translation memory tool, written in Java, intended for professional translators. OmegaT has the following features of interest to Mozilla localizers:

  • OpenSource for Windows, Linux and OS X
  • Translation memory based (TMX format)
  • Document file formats supported include Mozilla DTD, Properties, Key=Value files
  • Unicode (UTF-8) support: can be used with non-Latin alphabets
  • Support for right-to-left languages
  • Integral spelling checker

Visit OmegaT site for more and read through the OmegaT Guide for CAT beginners

How do I…

The procedure in OmegaT is as follows:

  1. Create a new OmegaT project with ab_CD as the source and target language
  2. Copy the source to be spell-checked into the ~/source sub-folder
  3. Check that the spell-checker is activated for the language selected
  4. Select the file formats to be used
  5. Pre-translate the project
  6. Check for spelling mistakes and correct them
  7. When finished, execute function "Create Translated Documents"

The ~/target sub-folder will now contain corrected material.

A typical picture of the OmegaT interface during the step 5 will look like this (For demonstration purposes the locales\en-US tree for aurora release has been used):

Note: the installed spellchecker raises its brows on filesystem and items like toolbar, sidebar, plugin, cancelled… I for one have no problem with it. A real test of the approach was sanitizing the Slovenian repository. While the number of errors found was respectably low, the step was worth taking.

Step-by-step instructions below.

smo 18.09.2011

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BlueGriffon s slovenskim vmesnikom

summary: BlueGriffon, award-winning WYSIWIG web editor, is available also with the Slovenian interface

BlueGriffon je najnovejši  WYSIWYG urejevalnik za splet. Pod pokrovom ima Gecko, to je motor Firefox 4 za upodabljanje, to da ima uporabnik BlueGriffona na razpolago sodobno in sodobno orodje za urejanje spletnih strani, ki je skladno z najnovejšimi spletnimi standardi.

Program je brezplačno na razpolago (trenutna stabilna inačica je 1.1.1)  za Windows, Mac OS X in za Linux. Vmesnik je na razpolago v14 jezikih, med drugim tudi v slovenščini.

BlueGriffon je intuitivna aplikacija, ki omogoča  spletnim avtorjem ( tako začetnikom kot tudi izkušenim) z enostavnim uporabniškim vmesnikom ustvarjati privlačne spletne strani, ne da bi za to bilo potrebno obsežno tehnično znanje o spletnih standardih.

Ker se znotraj BlueGriffona skriva Gecko, bo dokument, ki ga urejate, v Firefox 4 in v kasnejših inačicah brskalnika videti popolnoma enak:

BlueGriffon za slovenskega uporabnika

V Firefoxu si lahko potem napredni uporabniki, če je potrebno, še vedno lahko pomagajo s prikazom izvorne kode, če gre za bolj komplicirane zadeve.

BlueGriffon je na razpolago pod tremi licencami in sicer pod Mozilla Public License 1.1, the GNU General Public License Version 2 in GNU Lesser General Public License Version 2.1.

BlueGriffon, domača stran:

Read More - some stats

The localizing site is a pretty busy part of the Mozilla landscape.  19 different web projects are being localized into close to 90 different languages, between Afrikaans and Vietnamese.How well do different languages do? How well do different projects? (I am just copying and pasting the slides  I have shown in Sofia.)

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Mozilla - from a localizer’s point of view

This is a recording of a part of my presentation at the Balkans meeting in Sofia, 5-6 June 2011. In a nut shell: a try at showing how the localization looks from below.

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Balkans Meeting 26.05.2011 - minutes

Instead of an introduction

And the Lord said … let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech (Genesis)

"What we got here, is  a failure to communicate"  (the sheriff in Cool Hand Luke)

We can do better than that

The Balkans meeting 26th 05 2011 on-line was the last meeting before the Sofia meetup ( It was thus essential to get everybody updated.

The will was strong, but the flesh was weak: after half an hour of trials the participants (10 and more) were still not able to communicate with each other except via type messages. Worse, they even could not just listen with their microphones muted - as the attached log file can attest. 

Half an hour into this Skype bedlam the round gave up and moved to IRC …
but that’s another story, as Moustache from Irma LaDouce would comment.

Here’s my conclusions and suggestions:

  1. Skype is a no-charge service; however, even at no cost it costs us too much in terms of time spent and miscomunication experienced. We need a way of communicating from our locations without any interference and this should be planned and budgeted immediately and executed not later than within 1 quarter.
  2. Some participants had yet to learn how to use IRC. Some had no microphone. A mutually agreed minimum in experience and hardware is needed. Maybe learning to walk is necessary to be able to do ironman sometime down the road. Playing in the Firefox band and not knowing how to communicate via IRC stretches my imagination.

Vito Smolej

For some bitter fun moments read on

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