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RumpelstiltskinRSS is a web based RSS reader for your Gengo Jobs RSS. After some one-time steps, you can use any browser on any device to alert you for new jobs. As a bonus, RumpelstiltskinRSS does some filtering for you so you will only be alerted if the size and level of the job meet your preferences, taking the time of day into account.

I optimized RumpelstiltskinRSS for my own needs, but tried to make it so that it can be used by all translators. You can find RumpelstiltskinRSS at http://rumpelstiltskin.appje.nl/rss/. For a description how to use it, follow the Introduction link.

Note that you can set the refresh interval to either 31 or 62 seconds. Use 31 for optimal chances to grab a job, without breaching Gengo's demand to access your Jobs RSS at most twice per minute. Or use 62 to test if RumpelstiltskinRSS suits you, while still running your current RSS reader (set to check at most once per minute) on another device.

305 comments

  • 0
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    Alexander

    Hi nathangurdev,

    As you can read in the past few posts, rmpl.nl is having problems from time to time handling all requests. There are a few things you could do.

    -1- Switch to rmpl-2020-1.nl, which seems to be working fine currently. However, this one is hosted by a cheap provider. Chances are that when too many users start using it, these error messages will appear on this site too.

    -2- Switch to rmpl-2020-3.nl/paid/, which as the name suggests requires you to pay. If you want to use this option, contact me directly.

    -3- Try again later.

    My focus is now on the paid browser version. After that, I will take steps so rmpl.nl will only be for the Android and iOS app users, since the apps are tied to this site and the users have paid for the tool as well.

    There will still be a free browser version, though I am not sure yet about the details. I will keep you informed on this forum.

  • 0
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    Alexander

    Several Android app users report they can no longer log in. This problem started around the time I updated the server scripts, so the cause might well be in this update. However, the exact relationship is far from obvious.

    I try to fix this within the next 24 hours. If I cannot find the cause within that time, I will restore the previous version.

  • 0
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    Alexander

    I believe I solved the issue Android app users had logging in. I still don't understand what exactly caused the problem, but cleaning up some code that I wasn't happy about anyway did the trick.

  • 0
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    Nathan Biant

    Hi Alexander,

    Thanks for your reply. I will refer to your comment and try again.

  • 1
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    Alexander

    I changed the server scripts to improve the calculation of the the "Next check:" time.

    It used to be simply "last time + T seconds", with T=31 or T=62 as set in your preferences. This has some unexpected downsides.

    First, now that RumpelstiltskinRSS runs on multiple servers, this simple approach caused synchronization problems. If you ran the iOS or Android app version, which is tied to rmpl.nl, as well as the browser version on rmpl-2020-3.nl/paid, you could get a notification via the app while the browser still said 0 jobs.

    Second, "last time" is ill-defined if the interaction between your computer/device and my server, or between my server and Gengo, takes more than a few seconds. One user recently saw that it took over 20% more than 31 or 62 seconds before the page refreshed. While it looks like this was only a temporary issue, what happens once to one user will no doubt happen more often to many users.

    Third, it is left to chance how many translators refresh their page more or less at the same moment.

    Therefore, I changed the calculation into "T_0 + N x T seconds", with T_0 a per translator fixed point in time and N the lowest whole number such that the calculated time is in the future. T_0 is derived from your Jobs RSS in a way that as far as I can see results in a more or less even distribution of all T_0's.

    If you want to know the details: the unique part of your Jobs RSS is a string of hexadecimal characters 0-9, a-f. I use this more or less random number to pick for T_0 a more or less random (Unix time) value between 0 and 61.

    This approach solves the first two issues and alleviates the third one. First: the same calculation on each server, using server-independent parameters only, results in perfect synchronization. Second: while any delay due to slow connections or high traffic load may shift the moment the page is actually refreshed, a consistent delay will result in a consistent shift so the refresh rate is not affected. Third: it's still possible that the T_0 value for several translators in your pair is close to yours, so throughout the day you will clash with this same group, but as far as I can see the extremes are less extreme than in the previous approach.

    The upshot is that RumpelstiltskinRSS will more reliably refresh every 31 or 62 seconds, and the refresh moments are spread more evenly over all users.

  • 0
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    Alexander

    Like I wrote before, I plan to introduce a mechanism to automatically move users from one server to another. This weekend I will run a test to move some non-paying users from rmpl.nl to rmpl-2020-1.nl.

    So if you find yourself on rmpl-2020-1.nl unexpectedly, here's why. You should hardly notice the move, unless you inspect the address bar of your browser. Also, if you happen to change your preferences around the time of the move, you may have to change them again. Other than that, there is no user action required for this move, nor is there a way to prevent it. However, if due to this move you run into problems, you can contact me of course.

    If the test results are promising, my next plan is to move all non-paying users away from rmpl.nl, though I am not sure if rmpl-2020-1.nl can handle that number of users. It might well be I will move part of them to rmpl-2020-2.nl or even to yet another server.

    In the long run, I plan to arrange things such that non-paying users will be moved around as convenient, and their preferences will always be synchronized among all servers. Paying users (including Android or iOS app users) will be free to use the server of their choice, though the current app versions are tied to rmpl.nl. Once the non-paying users are moved away from rmpl.nl, that server hopefully will be able to handle all requests again.

  • 0
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    Alexander

    Depending on your time zone, I did or did not meet my self-imposed deadline for making RumpelstiltskinRSS donationware by the end of June.

    As of July, 1st, in my time zone (Europe/Amsterdam), the Survey link is replaced by a Donate link. Click on it and follow the instructions to make your donation.

    IMPORTANT: in the PayPal 'Add a note' field, mention the info I need for my administration. You will see a box with precisely this info; just copy it before following the link I provide to the PayPal page where you can complete the payment.

    After I receive your payment, a little bit of manual work on my side is needed before RumpelstiltskinRSS "knows" you count as a paying user. Most likely, I will do that within 24 hours.

    Once RumpelstiltskinRSS "knows" you count as a paying user, you will have (or keep, if you were in the test group) access to at least one powerful mirror server that's not crowded by non-paying users (currently www.rmpl-2020-3.nl/paid/). Also, I plan to add some features for paying users only.

    Ideally, if you bought the iOS or Android app, you should count as a paying user too even if you don't make a donation. Similar, once you made a donation you should not have to pay again for downloading the apps. In the current stage, however, these are separate things and I suggest you subtract the price for the app from the amount you want to donate.

  • 1
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    Alexander

    After receiving the first few donations (many thanks!), I realized a lot of personal data is involved. PayPal gives me your full name, your email address, and in some cases also your physical address.

    One of these days I will add to my site(s) a privacy statement to the effect that I won't store these data on my server or share them with anyone else.

    I haven't decided yet what I will do now that these data are in my mail on my local computer. While it should be possible to set up a workflow in which I no longer need the messages after processing the payments, in the current stage I don't feel comfortable to erase them right away.

    As for the email address, I can think of situations where it could come in handy. In the privacy statement I will describe these situations, and at the Donate page I will ask if you allow me to use your email address for these purposes.

  • 0
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    Alexander

    On the Donate page, I added a 'New features' section, where I discuss the suggestions that were done in the recent survey. I cannot promise when I will implement these features, but most of them seem feasible and worthwhile, so most likely you will see them appear sooner or later. Some features will be for paying users only, though I haven't made up my mind yet about the details.

    Just let me know if one of these features is especially valuable for you. If enough people mention the same feature, I will give it higher priority.

    My current focus is still on reducing the traffic load on rmpl.nl. Like I wrote in a previous post, I started moving non-paying users gradually away from it, but I don't see the results I had expected by now.

    Therefore, I will take a more drastic step, and disable rmpl.nl for every browser user, even if they paid. As of this weekend, if you run the browser version on rmpl.nl, you will be redirected to the same account on one of the mirrors. The only exception is when you just created a new account. Since there is no automatic synchronization of the mirrors yet, new users will be able to run the browser version on rmpl.nl until I took the necessary manual steps to redirect them to one of the mirrors, which in most cases I will do within 24 hours.

    I expect this will result in a smoother experience for the app users, since the current number of app users is lower than the total number of users when the problems started.

  • 1
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    Alexander

    In my tests this weekend, rmpl.nl still performed bad, despite the step I announced in my previous post. After much debugging, I found a quite trivial cause: I had somehow overlooked a huge number of users whose account exists on rmpl.nl only, so they are still allowed to use that server in the browser version, and while not all of them actually did this weekend, the total number of active users there is still far more than the number when the problems started.

    In the next few days, I will further polish my semiautomatic administration to determine the status of each user (paying or non-paying; presence on each of the servers), and try to automatically copy the accounts that exist on rmpl.nl only to either rmpl-2020-1.nl (for non-paying users) or rmpl-2020-3.nl/paid (for paying users), so I can also move this group away from rmpl.nl.

    Talking about paying users: about a quarter of all who did the survey recently and promised to make a donation actually did so far. I would appreciate if more people do so, so I can base my future plans on the real rather than estimated budget.

  • 0
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    Alicia L. Alonso

    Hello!!!

    This question has probably been asked before, but I can't find it anywhere...

    I just started working on a different computer, before I was using a Mac with web-based Rumpelstiltskin RSS on Chrome. Now I'm on a WIndows 10 laptopl and still using web-based Rumpelstiltskin RSS on Chrome. However, now whenever there's a new job it just sits there with the notification (it won't play the sound any more) and it doesn't go straight to the workbench as it used to. I can't find the option to do that in the preferences. Am I missing something? Thank you so much!!

  • 0
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    Alexander

    Hi Alicia,

    Good question! Short answer: forget about rmpl.nl, use rmpl-2020-1.nl (or rmpl-2020-3.nl/paid) instead.

    Long answer: like I wrote in the past few posts, I'm working on moving all browser users away from rmpl.nl. The preferences on that site are for app users only, so I removed the browser specific section. But also I left the possibility to run the browser version on rmpl.nl if you don't have an account on any of the mirrors. For those users, the browser specific section should still be visible. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I just corrected the scripts.

    Still, I advise you create a new account on rmpl-2020-1.nl and use that one instead of the old one, because the old server is too crowded. If you move to rmpl-2020-1.nl, that's beneficial both to you and to the app users who are tied to the old server.

    In the long run, I expect the problems on the old server will move to rmpl-2020-1.nl along with the free browser users. If you are willing to make a donation, I will copy your account to rmpl-2020-3.nl/paid, which should be able to handle any number of users. (The more users pay so they can start using rmpl-2020-3.nl/paid, the higher my budget to hire the needed resources.)

  • 1
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    Alicia L. Alonso

    Alexander,

    Thank you so much for your quick response. I did both things: I started a new account at rmpl-2020-1.nl and also sent you a donation to the other paid site. Please let me know when my account is valid there.

    Thank you for everything you've done for this community!!

    Regards

     

    Alicia

  • 0
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    Alexander

    Hi Alicia,

    Thanks for your support! I received your donation in good order and copied your account from rmpl.nl to rmpl-2020-3.nl. You should now be able to log in there.

  • 0
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    Alicia L. Alonso

    Thank you so much ALexander!

    However, when I try to log in I get an error message. I also tried to set up a new password and I get the same error message... can I email you somewhere?

     

    ALicia

  • 0
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    Alexander

    Hi Alicia,

    You can contact me using the contact page.

    (In this case, PayPal did not supply your email address to me, or I would have used it to contact you directly. I don't see a pattern when PayPal does or does not give this info.)

  • 0
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    Cheryl

    Hi- I've been running on the http://rmpl-2020-3.nl/paid/index.php site for a while. Last week, I was able to pick up 2 or 3 jobs after a couple of weeks of nothing. This week, I've been sitting at my computer most of the time doing other work, I have had many, many jobs come through and have not been able to pick up any. I've only been able to pick up 2 jobs (totaling under $15) in the last couple days, and that wasn't through the feed reader. Those jobs were a fluke because they were part of a large project and I was able to access them from the 'collections are available' email that was sent. 

    The last 2 decent jobs I got with the RSS were on July 8 and 9, and before that, June 18 ($10), June 17 ($12) and a $15 one around the 16th. The last 'normal' time was June 3 and before, when I'd get jobs every day or every other day. Jobs would come in, the feed reader would go to the workbench and there would be 2-3 seconds where I could click and get the job. Now, almost every time I get to the workbench, I get 'error number 1, access denied' (which I've been told is just another way of saying the job was already picked up by someone else). If not that, it's the normal 'This job is no longer available.'

    All this to ask if this is due to a huge influx in my language pair or if there is something wrong in my settings on the RSS? (they are the same as they were when we last spoke on the first of July). 

    Thanks for any insights you can give me. Right now, I'm sitting on the jobs page trying to click 'available jobs' whenever I'm at my computer (and running the RSS in a different tab) to try and 'catch' a job. There are 2 times of day that seem fairly predictable, but I haven't even had luck on those. Thanks again for any help you can give.

  • 0
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    Cheryl

    I just noticed that it isn't always updating at the time it says it will- it seems to be delayed by 30 seconds (one cycle) at random intervals. 

    It says 'next check at 16:06:03' *after* it checked. It did this 3 times and now seems to be re-synced, but I don't know how or why either thing happened. 

  • 0
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    Cheryl

    here's a screen shot- it happened again (my clock vs the 'next check' notation:

  • 0
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    Alexander

    Hi Cheryl,

    Since you had problems before, logging is still switched on for your account. Today, 9 jobs were seen:

    2020.07.16 00:36:35 - USD 12.22 - S - 24894462 - 649 w
    2020.07.16 04:53:54 - USD 2.72 - S - 24894648 - 225 w
    2020.07.16 12:25:58 - USD 21.53 - S - 24895278 - 1027 w
    2020.07.16 13:53:49 - USD 17.83 - S - 24895489 - 1236 w
    2020.07.16 14:53:44 - USD 24.31 - S - 24895664 - 1644 w
    2020.07.16 14:54:16 - USD 24.31 - S - 24895664 - 1644 w
    2020.07.16 15:42:18 - USD 16.54 - P - 24895807 - 245 w
    2020.07.16 15:42:18 - USD 14.78 - P - 24895808 - 219 w
    2020.07.16 15:42:18 - USD 10.60 - P - 24895805 - 157 w
    2020.07.16 17:29:47 - USD 45.49 - S - 24895978 - 2582 w

    You should have had a notification for each.

    In the past 7 days, around 5 jobs were seen per day:

    2020.07.15: 6 jobs
    2020.07.14: 7 jobs
    2020.07.13: 9 jobs (2 suppressed)
    2020.07.12: 4 jobs (2 suppressed)
    2020.07.11: 3 jobs
    2020.07.10: 7 jobs
    2020.07.09: 7 jobs (2 suppressed)

    Most were $5-$25 Standard jobs; the jobs with the notifications suppressed were small ones (less than 100 words) in the early hours. The reason for suppression was in each case that more time was needed than available.

    If these numbers match the number of notifications you got, I think the problem is purely the translators:jobs ratio in your pair.

    Interestingly, most jobs appear only once in the logging, whereas due to caching on Gengo's side, with checking every 31 seconds as you do, I would expect each job to be seen at least twice, even if they are taken very quickly. @Lara: could it be caching is not in place currently?

    As for skipping a cycle from time to time: yes, I see that too in the logging. Most of the time, there should be 60 "0 jobs" lines per 31 minutes, but depending on the time of day I see only 55 lines or less. That worries me, because it could mean the paid server is already near its limits while the number of users is still low. I'll keep an eye on it and probably upgrade the hosting package in the near future.

  • 0
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    Cheryl

    I've seen almost all of those jobs go through, but wasn't able to get any of them- as soon as the workbench loaded, it was 'error message 1, access denied, please refresh the page, if the problem persists, contact support.' I did that a couple weeks ago and they (as usual) were really helpful and talked me through that this is just another way of saying I'm too late, lol. 

    I've been getting up at 4 am to try and catch the 11:30 France time file that often comes through. I've seen it, but not been able to grab it. 

    The feeder seems to work fine checking for jobs, until a job actually comes through- then it appears to lose its mind for a few minutes. When it checks and there is a job, it often takes 10-15 seconds to load/change screens, whereas when there's no job, the page change is almost instantaneous. That's why I've had a tab open to the jobs page to refresh when the RSS is taking longer than usual. I haven't succeeded yet. 

    I've had runs in the past where I didn't get jobs, but they resolved in a day or 2. Hope all this detail helps! 

  • 0
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    Alexander

    Hi Cheryl,

    Once RumpelstiltskinRSS tells your browser to switch to the workbench, Gengo's server takes over. The page will load as "quickly" as when you visit it manually.

    When there are no jobs, the interplay is roughly this:
    - your browser calls my server;
    - my server sends a page, which includes the instruction to call again after 31 seconds;
    - your browser calls my server;
    and so on.

    When there is a job, the interplay is roughly this:
    - your browser calls my server;
    - my server sends a page, which includes the instruction to call Gengo's server after the time you set in your preferences;
    - your browser calls Gengo's server;
    - Gengo's server responds the way it does.

    I hope this clarifies this issue is beyond my control.

  • 0
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    Alexander

    I polished my workflow for moving browser users semi-automatically away from the old server. In the past 24 hours, I used it for moving a small number of users. If none of them reports a problem, I will repeat the procedure with larger groups, and by the end of this weekend the old server will be for app users only.

    From then on, if you made a donation or own the Android or iOS app, and you run the browser version on rmpl.nl, you will be redirected to rmpl-2020-3.nl/paid. Other users who run the browser version on rmpl.nl will be redirected to rmpl-2020-1.nl.

    It will still be possible to create an account on the old server, but every now and then I will repeat the procedure so all new browser users will end up on one of the mirrors as well.

    This should make the experience of app users smooth again. Also, I plan to update the Android and iOS app so they are no longer tied to the old server. However, my current test device doesn't support modern Android versions. Therefore I plan to spend part of the donated money on a new test device. After the update, you will always be able to use the app on the best performing server (probably http://www.rmpl-2020-3.nl/paid/).

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    Cheryl

    Thanks for the clarification! It just skipped a check which is why I came here. Would you suggest reaching out to Gengo support at this point? 

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    Alexander

    It can't hurt to reach out to Gengo support so they are aware the server is slow in responding at that moment. If more people do so, perhaps Gengo can see a pattern under which conditions this problem arises, and in the long run do something about it.

    However, most likely all translators in your pair experience the same problem at the same time, so in the end your chances to grab a job won't be affected. The only thing that really matters is how many jobs per translator there are in your pair.

    If 100 translators rush for the same job, 99 will miss out on it, no matter if Gengo's server takes a split second or several minutes to decide who's the lucky one. If Gengo makes the server more responsive, you will just have a smoother "you're too late" experience. :-)

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    Cheryl

    :-) Fair point! I needed a laugh. 

    I wish there were some way to overhaul job claiming. 

  • 0
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    Alexander

    If you are a paying user, from now on you can get notifications for jobs via email. No need to run the app or browser version, just check "Send email to alert for new job(s)" in your preferences on the paid server, and the server will automatically check every minute.

    Of course, for this to work you need to tell the email address where you want to receive these notifications. For security reasons, I maintain this information separate from your preferences. Please contact me so I can add your address to the list.

    If you are not a paying user but want to use this feature, I invite you to make a donation on http://www.rmpl.nl/?donate. I have engaged a PSP (Payment Service Provider), so along with PayPal you can now also use your credit card (plus, if you live in Europe, one or more options specific to your country may be available).

  • 0
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    Cheryl

    Just checking in- have there really been no jobs in Fr->EN since Thursday? (not unheard of, but I just wanted to check). Thanks!

  • 0
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    Alexander

    Hi Cheryl,

    I still got logging on for your account, so let me see...

    Yup, last Thursday, 3 jobs were seen in your Jobs RSS, and those were the last jobs up to now.

    That does not necessarily mean there were no jobs at all in your pair, there may have been jobs that were picked by another translator before they could appear in your Jobs RSS.

    Rather than asking me, you could opt for the email notifications I mentioned in my previous post, so you would always have an overview in your mailbox which jobs were seen in your Jobs RSS. (Hint for anyone else who wants to keep track of these otherwise volatile notifications.)

  • 0
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    Cheryl

    Thanks- I have. It's just really, really weird for there to be nothing for so long, you know? (like tapping the mike and going "Is this thing on???").

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