tonybaldwin | blog

non compos mentis

Posts Tagged ‘project management

New TransProCalc manual

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I just wanted to post quickly and let everyone know that, thanks to technical writer, Anindita Basu, we now have a brand new, shiny TransProCalc Manual available, both in on online version, and for download as a pdf document for the TransProCalc project.

I still have plans to step up development on the project and add all kinds of useful features…stay tuned.

Written by tonybaldwin

March 7, 2010 at 5:16 pm

TransProCalc, Google Code, & Subversion.

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A few days ago, as mentioned, I initiated the process of moving TransProCalc onto google code, feeling that it was time to dust off the project and move forward with it. I had merely signed the project up at that time, so, last night, before my brain turned to complete jello after spending the day slogging through the translation of some pretty heavy Brazilian academic articles, I took some time to configure the google code pages for the project, make a couple of wiki pages, upload the current, stable release, and, upload the existing code for the project.

Now, google code offers two version control systems, Subversion and Mercurial. I’ve never used either one before, but, at least I’ve heard of Subversion, so I chose to go with that one. It is, apparently, the default system, Mercurial offered as an option. I have used CVS before.

So, I aptitude installed subversion (svn) from the debian/lenny repos, and set about trying to import my code for the first time to the project.
The instructions on the google Subversion FAQ for importing your code are rather succint.

Just use the ‘svn import’ command.

Very thorough…
So, the first thing I did was, logically, try to read the man page. Now, people frequently complain that man pages are written for the hopelessly, inhumanly geeky, and not very useful for the rest of us (ok, I do write code, but I am far from being a real hacker, yet), that they are written in some secret language, and that they are generally useless. Of course, those in the know say to read them, and find them rather useful. I confess, I have actually come to the point where I can make sense of some man pages. I’m not even ashamed to admit it. Some of them are insanely usefl (ncftp, for instance, has a very thorough man page). So, I called up “man svn”.
This is what I got:

svn – Subversion command line client tool

svn command [options] [args]

[sarcasm]That certainly cleared everything up for me…[/sarcasm]
How about explaining the options? What args? Hello!
I tried “svn help”, and that gave me a list of commands, as least, but with no explanation of how to implement them, or what they did, what options or arguments could be passed to them… Folks, the Subversion project needs documentation writers. No doubt. So, I did the next natural thing, then, and did some googling.
In defense of subversion, I must say, they have an entire book/manual for Subversion, available to be purchased in print, or read online for free. Perhaps the man page should give the link/location thereof, at least.
Of course, the instructions I found in said book was to import my code to my google code project, were a bunch of cryptic garbledy-gook, and said nothing of importing to a remote repository, only creating a repository on a local machine. I needed to import my code to a remote repository.
I did some ranting on some forums, to no avail of course (ah, but the sweet release of venting…), and did some experimenting.
I ended up resetting the repository a total of about 4 times, before I finally managed to figure out how to a) set up the svn repo at my end, b) import the code to google, and c) check in and check out.
So the code is up there, now.
Now, there do seem to be instructions available for checking out and checking in. That’s not too bad. But considering the complete lack of instruction on how to actually import the code of the first time, I thought I’d share the culmination of my efforts.

:~$ cd /path/to/project/files
:~$ svn import –username yourname

There! Your code is imported to the svn repo… I know; Looks simple, but there was nowhere that I could find an explanation thereof.
(okay, it might as well be martian to some of you, dear readers, but those who write code and participate in open source software projects will understand).
Happy? I am.

So, TransProCalc is now up on google code and ready to start a new life. I actually made a few minor changes to the code already, last night, before loading it up there, but not enough that I would call it a release or new version…just a little clean up, rewrote the install script, and, more than anything, a lot more commenting, since I’m hoping to have collaborators. Commenting your code makes it easier for others to find stuff and figure out what you’re doing.

And, happily, I have a collaborator already! Anindita Basu, who had previously written a manual for TransProCalc, has rejoined the project (it’s been out of development for nearly 2 years, recall).

I have big plans for TransProCalc, many new features to be implemented, including but not limited to incorporation of a providers and client db, more user configurability of project parameters, and a calendar/reminder system to annoy you when invoices are due (either to you, or to your providers).
No time to work on any of that today, though…back to these articles…

Written by tonybaldwin

March 3, 2010 at 8:10 am

transprocalc – free translation project management tools *MUCHO TODO*

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I’ve decided I need to drag out the transprocalc code and get hacking again.

TransProCalc is a little program I sarted building back in late 2007/early 2008, when I was outsourcing a lot of translation work, and found that the time I was spending managing the projects didn’t justify the meager profits I was making from outsourcing. I determined that I really needed to find a way to automate parts of the process, and I couldn’t find any existing free/open source software projects that would meet my needs. I was “scratching an itch”, as they say in the hacker community. I had a need; I started hacking.

TransProCalc IS handy, too. It helps me keep track of all the documents and assignments for a project, and crunch of the financial numbers, and spits out handy little reports. It needs work, though. I want to get it playing with a database to manage information on clients and providers, get it hooked up with a real calendar/reminder system, to remind me when invoices are due (to providers, or from clients), keep track of which clients have online invoicing systems and help me automate the process of dealing with those, etc….much trabajo.
I have good ideas on how to get a lot of that accomplished, but I need to set aside some time to get to work on it.
Additionally, I would not mind other devs jumping on board with the transprocalc project.
I added transprocalc on google code this morning, which may assist in finding other hands to get into that code, perhaps, and provide tools to manage the project.
Of course, it is already on sourceforge, too.
At the moment, I have some academic articles from Brazil to translate that are keeping me pretty busy.

Furthermore, I have a lot of really good friends in Santiago, Chile, where there was an 8.8 earthquake early this morning.
So, today, I am spending a lot of time, today, worrying about them and trying to track them down and make sure everyone is okay, and obsessively checking the news, etc… ¡VIVA CHILE, MIERDA! (a todos los chilenos, les quiero mucho, mando abrazos, cuidense)

Written by tonybaldwin

February 27, 2010 at 11:21 am

Further developments on TPCalc

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I completely redesigned the main window/menubar.
Now, instead of a bar full of buttons with the calculator,
as you see here, you have a small box, with a drop-down menu,
and there is an image displayed.
I also added a fourth function, QuickE (not shown), for quick estimates.
This has not been uploaded to,
or the sourceforge site, yet.
I haven’t CVSed the code up, either.
As with TickleText, I’ve been hacking at this stuff without sharing the developments.
I suppose I should CVS them to the server, but since, to this point, not a single
soul has come on board these project, I just don’t see the point, and I will
upload my code/the finished product when I, either a) feel like it, or b) feel that
I have significant changes to warrant another release.
With TPCalc, I feel like this will happen when I can save/re-open projects,
for which I’m going to have to mess around with xml, Tdom, blah blah…parsing, whatever.
I’ve done some research and found resources, but haven’t yet started to play with that.
But, when I get save/open working here, I will feel quite satisified.
One caveat, however: TPCalc has developed to where it will not likely be fully cross-platform in the future.
Already it includes printing via lpr, which means “Linux”.
I was excited about releasing cross-platform software when I started this whole thing, but, at this juncture, since I am developing to meet my own needs, I suppose it’s a moot point.
I only use Linux.
Of course, anyone is more than welcome to jump aboard, and/or use the code I’ve written to
make tpcalc function on their platform, and/or create a similar program that does.
When I first released TPCalc, about 90% of users who downloaded it and started using it and e-mailed me to say, “Thanks” were using it on a popular, proprietary platform, the name of which I would rather not utter at this moment.
I haven’t heard from any Mac users, but, I believe more of what I’ve done here should work on Mac OS. I’m not exactly sure about the lpr printing, but, I think at the very least, that could be enabled with Fink. It’s been about 4 years since I messed around significantly with a Mac (I had an iBook at that time, but it was stolen).

Written by tonybaldwin

March 17, 2008 at 11:11 pm

TransProCalc – financial software and project mgmt suite for translators, project mgrs and LSPs

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Here is a screenshot of TransProCalc, the program I wrote in the past two weeks.

TransProCalc is a FREE/Open Source tool for calculating financial and project data for translation projects and generating relevant reports.  TransProCalc has four components, and generates four reports:

  • ProjectEstimate: for calculating charges and expenses and projecting revenue
  • ProjectDocs: for organizing information all project documents (at this date, TPC will handle up to 8 documents for one project), including unit counts, number of target translations, for multiple target languages, etc.
  • ProjectAssign: tracks which documents and translations have been assigned to which providers, how much each provider charges per unit, and calculates total providers expenses for the project.  TPC currently handles up to 5 providers for one project.
  • ProjectOut:  Upon completion, delivery of the project, ProjectOut gathers the relevant financial data and makes a report for invoicing and/or bookkeeping purposes.

Written by tonybaldwin

February 18, 2008 at 10:00 pm