Monday, October 15, 2012

What I accomplished:
  • Added CAPTCHAs for wiki account creation and adding links to user and user talk pages (easy questions requiring basic knowledge about Solrersol).
  • Completed preliminary setup for the wiki restructuring.
What's in the works:
  • Restructure the wiki, to make translations easier and more manageable.
  • Refactor the translator code, to make it easier to update.
  • Fix the recent news and discussion lists on the index page (they work a bit weirdly right now).
  • Copy forum design to rest of site (thanks for the suggestion, Garrison!).
  • Add more features to the translator.
  • Complete the information for the Resources page.
The restructuring necessarily takes a bit more time and preparation than I initially thought (which is why my previous post proved inaccurate about the expected completion), but the process is still moving forward. I was and still am on an out-of-town trip, so I haven't gotten any work done this weekend, but tomorrow I (and the server) will hopefully be ready to do the major part of the whole process.

I felt that this change didn't warrant a news post, but I have added a required CAPTCHA to create a wiki account and to add a URL to a user or user talk page. The CAPTCHA is similar to the one for forum account registration—a basic knowledge question about Solresol that even non-English-speakers should be able to solve with a translator. Recently, the wiki has come under attack by spambots registering accounts and spamming links on their user and user talk pages. Except for one account, none have vandalized actual wiki content, but the links on their pages may be unsafe, so they must be controlled. Wiki content pages are not affected, and links can be freely added to them; I just added the "adding link" CAPTCHA for user and user talk pages since those have been the target for spam, and normal users do not frequently add links to their user or user talk pages, let alone even edit those pages. If anyone experiences a problem with this system, please (preferably) report it in the appropriate forum, or if you don't want to do that, PM me.

On a note about the translator, I've reinstated the original final goal of the translator, at least personally. I will eventually create the functionality for the translator to process natural language ("intelligent translation" as I worded it). However, this will begin as just a personal project, to apply computer science concepts that I have learned to a real-world application. If I feel like it, and others support it, I may release it publicly; however, it would carry overt disclaimers about accuracy. I know opinions were mostly against a natural language translator at this point, and I certainly agree. I just feel like it would be a great challenge for me, and the way I would do it, using a formal grammar (Warning: Heavy computer science topic), would be relatively easy to change as Solresol comes together.

Discussions about this post may take place here.