REBOL Technologies

REBOL Documentation and Translation Plans

Carl Sassenrath, CTO
REBOL Technologies
14-Feb-2005 19:07 GMT

Article #0125
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Over the years many users have asked for the REBOL Documentation to be translated to other languages. If you remember back to 1997, the REBOL Alpha manual was available in 8 languages, but since then not much has been done to support translation. All of that is about change. Here's how...

Starting very soon, we will be making all of the REBOL documentation available for access using a REBOL/Services interface supported by REBOL Technologies. This interface will let users access the REBOL documentation in its native source format (makedoc text format).

Users will be able to:

  • Download any chapter, section, paragraph, or code example as makedoc text format.
  • Contribute changes or fixes to any of the above.
  • Upload or edit the language translations to any of the above.
  • Add comments or notes to any section of the documentation (wiki style).

In addition, users with special permissions (called "doc editors") will be able to:

  • Review and approve the changes or translations made by other users.
  • Get an email (and other type of) notification when changes are made.
  • Rebuild the official published documentation pages.
  • Improve and enhance the REBOL Document Service.
  • Determine what parts of what documents have been modified, view the changes, and examine the history (log) of the changes.

This last point is important. It is actually the main reason why we have not made the document sources available for translation. For example, when we update the documents (in English), somehow those changes must be tagged to allow the translated versions to reflect those changes. The above system will make that possible.

All of these features will be made available via a REBOL/Service interface. We use this method because it is a lot less work for us to implement and maintain (than doing it with a web-based system). It may be possible in the future to add a web interface that ties into to the doc system, but that can be done as a separate project that is hosted on our server (but written by someone other than us).

As the main author and editor of the REBOL documentation, I want to make it clear that it is important to me that proper documentation and translations be made available. There are many reasons for this, such as controlling the document and example quality, allowing open/public access, keeping all docs in a well-known location (REBOL.com), and not the least to maintain the proper copyright on the content, even though it will be available over the web as it always has been in the past.

I will be saying more about this topic once REBOL/Services are online.

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