Monthly Archives: May 2013

Code Warriors Show Agility and Community Enthusiasm

On the 27th we finished work on release 1.0 of Reviewer’s Workbench. RW is a desktop application that aims to bring new levels of productivity to the activities of post-editing, translation and linguistic review/quality assurance by utilising some recently available technologies and standards. I will write further about RW in another posting. The subject of this post is the team behind RW.

RW is the third development project that we have realised with the help of Spartan Software Inc.

Our first engagement with Spartan was in November 2012. The project was full of risks:

  • Project required use of a new proprietary API,
  • The deadline for completion (including testing, integration and deployment) was one month,
  • It required a skill set relatively new to the development team.

Result: a resounding success! The application has been running as an almost continuous scheduled process ever since without any patches. How did we achieve this:

  • We started with a minimal functional specification which focused on requirement context, user story and outline feature set,
  • We ran development on a weekly sprint with a “stand up” call every other day,
  • We hired the right development team. Spartan are just exceptional developers. I have always believed that if you give good engineers an outline requirement and the freedom to technically specify and code the solution, you will get more than you wanted. These guys absolutely turned that belief to fact.

It has been a pleasure working with Kevin Lew and Chase Tingley over the last 7 months. The pinnacle of that working relationship was today when we announced the contribution of a significant amount of code to the Okapi open-source project.

I cannot wait until we recommence work on our RW release 1.1 product backlog.

Standards in the Park

Standards in the Park

On the 7th and 8th of May the Multilingual Web – Language Technologies Group met at the Hotel Park in Bled, Slovenia. Bled is a stunningly beautiful town alongside Lake Bled and situated close to the Austrian border.


Specification and implementation work is progressing well on ITS 2.0 and we are giving some focus to outreach activities with the goal of getting broad adoption of the standard. If you haven’t yet heard of ITS 2.0 or, have heard of the project but don’t know how it could help you, I invite you to visit these resources:

We plan to publish targeted flyers on the use, benefits and details of individual aspects of the standard in the near future but these will get you started and I will be sure to post resource locations for the flyers when they are available.

Several working group members will be presenting at FEISGILTT 2013 (11-12th June 2013) in London which is once again co-hosted with Localization World (12-14th June 2013). This will be a great opportunity to see applications of the standard demonstrated live and be able to talk with members of the working group.

I am also happy to receive email enquiries at my VistaTEC address.

Brains Trust: Karl Fritsche, Jirka Kosek, Milan Karasek, Pablo Nieto, Yves Savourel, Arle Lommel, Felix Sasaki, David Filip, Mauricio del Olmo, Tadej Štajner, David Lewis and Pedro Luis Díez Orzas

Brains Trust: Karl Fritsche, Jirka Kosek, Milan Karasek, Pablo Nieto, Yves Savourel, Arle Lommel, Felix Sasaki, David Filip, Mauricio del Olmo, Tadej Štajner, David Lewis and Pedro Luis Díez Orzas.

A Week Out West

I’m fortunate that my job gives me the opportunity to travel. Last week it was California. The week started well with a positive customer meeting and the arrival of a new employee in our Mountain View office.

Over the course of a number of years with one of our customers we have had a great opportunity to automate and integrate a significant number of business processes. Like ourselves, our customer thrives on and enjoys continuously reinventing, iterating and improving tools. (I’m reluctant to use the word “innovate” as it’s becoming over-used but the term would certainly describe what both of us do regularly.) The exciting possibility that came out of last week’s conversations with their scarily bright engineering team is for us to build a truly scalable, cloud hosted, service bus based business rules engine using data regularly polled from their web services API endpoints.
In addition to existing business related discussions I was also able to utilise the trip to evangelise my more research-based interests and present and get early feedback on new products on the horizon such as ITS 2.0, Linked Data, Review Sentinel and Reviewer’s Workbench.
The one potentially tedious aspect of business travel is the actual relocation of your body geographically. I always prepare well to combat the boredom that journeys – aided by delays – can bring. Tooled up with Kindle, iPad and paperback’s (for use during takeoff and landing) I used the time to catch up (somewhat belatedly) on Breeze, Moderizr, Require, Knockout, Font Awesome and Bootstrap all courtesy of John Papa’s Pluralsight course.
The week also provided the chance to catch up with one of our outsource development partners, Spartan Software in person. Google Hangout doesn’t yet replace the experience of enjoying a beer together. Spartan have been building Reviewer’s Workbench for us. Reviewer’s Workbench is our implementation of the W3C Multilingual Web Internationalization Tag Set 2.0