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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.

309 comments

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    Carlos L. M.

    Thanks!

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    Alexander

    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for writing in using the contact form. There was an issue with the priviliges of the folders on the new server. I fixed that. Your problem (and likely similar problems for other users) should now be solved. If not, let me know your RumpelstiltskinRSS user name and I will have a more detailed look into your problem.

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    Alicia L. Alonso

    Alexander,

    Thank you so much for your work and for your very helpful app :)

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    Jack

    Hey Alexander, while you're here, I've been experiencing an unusual bug. Since before the changeover to the new hosting there have been some cases where I haven't been able to make hiding a job stick. Clicking the hide button next to such a job will hide it and cause a refresh, but the job will sometimes later reappear in the list of available jobs and trigger alerts. For obvious reasons, this can be very inconvenient if a job I'm not interested in sticks around in the queue for awhile. Earlier I had a job stuck in my queue for over an hour that would not stay hidden at all, reappearing and triggering an alert every time there was a refresh. There doesn't seem to be anything in particular that these jobs have in common which might suggest a cause, but I thought it worth mentioning.

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    Alexander

    Hi Ian,

    First of all: do not hesitate to report bugs or request features, via this forum or via the contact page (the link "Contact" near the bottom on any RumpelstiltskinRSS page). This could benefit not only yourself but also many other users. I optimized RumpelstiltskinRSS for my own needs, but what works for me may not work for someone else. (Currently there are around 200 users, 75 of them active in the last 7 days.) Because of the recent move, I plan to spend some extra time in the near future on polishing RumpelstiltskinRSS. I appreciate any suggestion about points that I should pay attention to.

    As for the Hide button, it adds the collection id to a list of id's that you are not interested in. However, I do not want this list to grow indefinitely. The disk space is limited, and I guess a long list would affect the performance (though I did never test this).

    Therefore, the list is cleaned up each time the page is refreshed. Any id that was on the list last time but does not appear among the currently available jobs is removed from the list, because the collection has apparently been taken by some other translator. It's a very simple mechanism that works fine for my personal needs.

    However, the other translator could decline the job after a few minutes. In that case, it will trigger an alert for you again. I am aware that this is not what you want, but from my own experience I figured this does not happen very often. In my pair, translators do decline jobs from time to time, but in most cases they do so within seconds, so there is considerable chance the job is "still" (actually: again) available when you refresh.

    As for the specific case you mentioned about a job that would not stay hidden at all, I have no explanation. If it was long ago, it may have been a bug that I already fixed. I seem to remember the mechanism did not work well initially, but also I did not make it available to other users before that issue had been solved.

    I will put on my to do list that this mechanism needs refinement, for example by saving not only the id but also the last time the collection was available, and only removing it from the list after more time has elapsed than the allotted time for jobs of that size.

    An entirely unrelated question, just out of linguistic curiosity: how is your name Ian pronounced? I've heard people say "I-yen", but also "Yen" because Ian supposedly stems from the Dutch name Jan. (The J is in Dutch pronounced like the Y in English.)

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    Jack

    Thanks for the response. What you mentioned about jobs that were declined reappearing in the list is consistent with the behavior I saw before the move. However, the issue I experienced with jobs not staying hidden has only come up since the move. Indeed, it happened for the first time earlier today, and is happening again just now as I write this. If you need any additional information to track down where the issue might be, please let me know. I'm using the browser-based version in Chrome, if that helps.

    Regarding your question about my name, Ian is an Anglicized spelling of the Gaelic name Eoin, a cognate of John, and it is said to have been introduced to the British Isles with the spread of Christianity by way of the Roman Empire. The proper pronunciation is /iːən/, with the two vowels pronounced distinctly rather than as a diphthong. Though I have never heard it pronounced in a manner similar to Jan, I have heard it mispronounced in a surprisingly great breadth of other ways. The ability to wring so many novel variations out of just three letters continues to amaze me. My surname, as you may well imagine, has proven likewise to inspire great creativity in pronunciation. 

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    Alexander

    Sounds like a problem with writing the list to disk or reading it back. Weird, because such a problem should have been resolved when I corrected all read/write privileges as I mentioned in my post of February 24, 2016, 06:41. Perhaps the priviliges are still wrong for you particular user folder. What is you RumpelstiltskinRSS user name?

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    Alicia L. Alonso

    Alexander: I'm encountering the same issue as Ian. 

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    Alexander

    So "correcting" the folder priviliges does not make any difference. I just checked, and the default settings on the new server matched those on the old that never caused problems. The "corrected" settings give some extra rights that are apparently not needed.

    As it happened, I had 2 opportunities to hide a job today, and both times I did not experience any problem. So the only thing I can do is create log files for the affected users to inspect in detail what is happening. Unfortunately, it may take a while to figure out what exactly needs to be logged and to interpret the results.

    Anyone who experiences a problem, please give me your RumpelstiltskinRSS user name (here or using the contact form within RumpelstiltskinRSS) so I can start logging for your specific account. I can not switch on logging for everyone, because that might take too much disk space.

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    Alexander

    I think I am getting close to the problem. If I change my preferences and press the "Start checking for jobs" button (which should automatically save the new preferences if the box below it is checked), RumpelstiltskinRSS may or may not start showing weird behaviour. But if I use the "Save preferences" button to save the changes, then wait 10 seconds or so, and only then press the "Start checking for jobs" button, everything seems to be okay.

    It looks like the server needs some time after writing to a file before the information is ready to be read again. Perhaps the details of physical memory management on the new server differ from the memory management on the old one. I never ran into this situation before, so I have to study some documentation for the best way to handle this. However, it's getting late in my time zone, so I will only implement a fix (assuming the issue is really what I think it is) some 12 hours from now.

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    Alexander

    I made some changes which may or may not solve the issue. Please let me know, here or via the Contact form, if you are still experiencing problems. I also appreciate unrelated debug reports or feature requests.

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    Alexander

    I also moved the page to automatically refresh your dashboard to the new server: http://rmpl.nl/autorefresh/available.php.

    Keep posting your bug reports and feature requests.

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    Alexander

    The changes I wrote about on February 25, 2016, 20:19 apparently did not solve the issue entirely. Just this morning I received another message from someone about the Hide button still not working properly. Unfortunately, I don't see this problem in my own account since there is not much to hide in my pair. I do see other problems, though, which seem to be related.

    I suspect the new server actually consists of 2 or more devices, which are only synced with some delay. So if the Hide information is written on server device 1, and the next time you happen to access the site on server device 2, the old Hide information without the latest hidden collection id is read. I plan to do some further testing to confirm this, and then contact the provider to see what they can do about it. If this is really the issue, it is beyond my control. I am considering a workaround, for example by saving the Hide information in a cookie, but that has other limitations.

    The provider I picked was the cheapest I could find (other than free services, which I do not trust). I am committed to making RumpelstiltskinRSS work properly, not to investing too much money in it. If the problems persist, perhaps I will switch to yet another provider, but only as a last resort.

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    Alexander

    I just received a message from my old provider with a plausible excuse why it took them so long to reply: every time I sent a note to urge them for a quick reply, their ticket system considered it an update and moved my request back to the end of the queue. Sigh.

    The good news is that they have confirmed I solved the "hack", and they have put my site online again. So you can now either use http://rumpelstiltskin.appje.nl/rss/ or http://rmpl.nl, whichever you prefer. (Because of the issue with the Hide button, you may currently prefer the old version.)

    Note that there is no syncing between the two versions. If you created a new account on the new server, you will have to create it again on the old server if you want to use your new account there. Also any changes in your preferences are not synced automatically.

    I finished testing on the new server and contacted the provider about the results. The cause seems to be an issue with their caching mechanism, and they try to fix it. I also found a workaround which seems reliable in my test script. If the provider is unable to fix the issue on their side, I plan to implement the workaround in RumpelstiltskinRSS by Friday.

    In the long run, I will probably discontinue http://rumpelstiltskin.appje.nl/rss/ in favor of http://rmpl.nl, but for the time being I will maintain both.

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    hiorws

    Hi,
    Just got a chance to use your RSS reader. I had rmpl page open as well as RSS Feed Reader extension on. Yours found a job and automatically opened the dashboard but the job was, of course, already taken. And only 20-30 seconds later RSS Feed Reader notified me of the same job...
    So thanks, maybe next time I'll be lucky when all the bots will go to sleep.

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    Alexander

    I'm glad to hear that my tool is helpful to you, but I think the time difference is just a coincidence. Gengo caches the RSS feed data, so the first reader to poll gets to see the information first and the other one sees exactly the same data whenever it polls some time later. Some other time it might well be that the other reader notifies you first. Each translator has his/her own individual cache, which is refreshed after a minute. Therefore, whatever reader you use, set it to poll once a minute. (RumpelstiltskinRSS uses a slightly longer interval, 62 seconds, for absolute certainty the cache has expired since the previous poll.)

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    Alexander

    I made 2 changes to the rmpl.nl version:

    - I implemented the workaround that should solve the Hide button issue.

    - If on the Preferences page, in the Alerts section, "To play the alert sound, use mechanism adapted to iOS 6 and later" was checked, the tool would act as if "When a new job is found, after .. seconds go to workbench and halt" was checked as well, causing a freeze for some users. I fixed this bug.

    This latter bug turned out not to be related to the Hide button issue, and still exists in the version on the old server (http://rumpelstiltskin.appje.nl/rss/). So if you experience a freeze after a job was found, you may want to switch to rmpl.nl (I mean a freeze of the tool; if you experience a freeze in your mind, you may want to uncheck "Play sound to alert for new job(s)" on your Preferences page).

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    anton.pylypenko

    Alexander, I faced with a problem that Rumpelstiltskin rss reader doesn't work the days.. Is that exceptionally my problem or not? 

    Thanks in advance!

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    Alexander

    Hi anton.pylypenko,

    People do inform me from time to time via the Contact page about minor problems. In most cases, just refreshing solves the issue. If not, you could try creating a new account, or switching to http://rumpelstiltskin.appje.nl/rss/ if you are using http://rmpl.nl/ (and vice versa). I have not heard about major problems recently, including the issue with the Hide button.

    If your problem persists, let me know the details.

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    anton.pylypenko

    Thanks a lot, Alexander. The second link http://rmpl.nl/ works well!

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    Alexander

    I uploaded a new version to http://rumpelstiltskin.appje.nl/rss/. You should see only cosmetic changes (if you notice them at all).

    If you experience any problem, let me know. If I don't hear about problems, I will upload this same version to http://rmpl.nl next week.

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    Alexander

    The RumpelstiltskinRSS user base has grown to some 300 accounts, about 20% of which were active within the last 7 days. This 20% seems to be stable: one year ago, there were some 65 accounts, 10-15 of which seemed to be active. So, with 2355 active translators (in April 2016, according to Gengo's Open Data page http://gengo.com/open-data/capacity.html), I think the tool is potentially useful to some 500 people, if only they try it some time.

    On the one hand I am proud of these numbers, on the other hand I am worried. When last February the original provider took the site offline, I felt a huge responsibility to bring it back, yet I did not want to invest too much money into it. So I picked a cheap second provider, which turned out to have its own limitations. First there was this issue with the hide button, and recently I started seeing "Resource Limit Is Reached - The website is temporarily unable to service your request as it exceeded resource limit. Please try again later." So far nobody complained, but I'm sure some of you already saw this annoying message, and it will come up more frequently as more people start using http://rmpl.nl/.

    Also, I have been considering adding features like writing log files and supplying an interface so you could browse your history and have an idea how many jobs you missed out on while you were asleep. (It would only be the jobs that had been visible in your own feed. I could also combine the info in all log files of all users, but I suspect Gengo won't allow that.) However, that would require more disk space than I have available on the server.

    The bottom line is, future maintenance and development of the tool will require some money. So I have been pondering about ways to ask users for a contribution. Also, someone asked me recently if I have set up any sort of donation system, and we had a little discussion about related issues. Combining his ideas and my own, I can think of the following models:

    - a donation page, so you could simply pay to me whatever amount you think appropriate;
    - a monthly subscription model (RumpelstiltskinRSS would stop working for your account unless you "insert more coins");
    - a fee to unlock "premium" functionality like new alert mechanisms, the history info I described above, or refinements in the preferences (the current version would remain free).

    I would appreciate if you let me know (on this forum or using the Contact page within RumpelstiltskinRSS) how you feel about it. Would you be willing to pay some money (how much?) for using the tool? If so, which model would you prefer?

    I haven't made up my mind yet if I really want to proceed along these lines. I fear a large number of small payments could cause a lot of hassle, and of course Gengo might object against monetization. Still I would like to get a general idea how users think about paying for what they get from RumpelstiltskinRSS.

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    ChikaraShimizu

    Hi Alexander. RumpelstiltskinRSS always helps me a lot, thanks!

    In terms of using RumpelstiltskinRSS, I think the most important thing is stability. So, if you can promise better stability, a subscription model is a good idea. Or, a donation page also seems nice. This program is very helpful. Not a few people would be willing to pay. (I don't know about others, but I could pay up to $5/month).

    By the way, now the second page (http://rmpl.nl/) is in problem. "Next check" time is stopped and no refreshing. http://rumpelstiltskin.appje.nl/rss/ is working well.

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    Alexander

    Hi ChikaraShimizu,

    Thanks for your feedback. If enough people are willing to pay, I could use the money to move the tool to a more reliable server (both http://rmpl.nl/ and http://rumpelstiltskin.appje.nl/rss/ stop working from time to time, apparantly because the provider is doing maintenance).

    Some people have suggested I create a mobile app with RumpelstiltskinRSS functionality. I hesitate to do this, because one of the strengths of the current tool is that it is platform independent: I only have to maintain a single version. I think a mobile app should at least come in an iOS and an Android version. On the other hand, such an app could contact Gengo's server directly, avoiding instabilities due to quirks of my provider.

    So I would welcome votes for a (paid, stable) Android or iOS app, or even an app on another platform. No promises, I just want to know how many people would be interested (and how much they are willing to pay).

    As for the current freeze on http://rmpl.nl/, I think I located the problem and fixed it.

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    Lara Fernandez

    Hi Alexander,

    Thanks for your hard work and generosity in developing and sharing Rumpelstiltskin with your fellow translators for over a year! :)

    @All RumpelstiltskinRSS users:

    We are aware that Rumpelstiltskin is very popular among our translators, and are interested in knowing more about it: what is it that sets it apart from other RSS readers? what is the user experience like? If you have a few minutes to spare, we would appreciate it if you could share your experience and feedback with us. You can do so either here on the Forums or, if you prefer, you can email me directly at lara.fernandez@gengo.com.

    I am looking forward to hearing from you all :) 

    Thanks,

    Lara

     

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    meraner.m

    Rumpelstiltskin seems to be completely offline now. Terrible situation.

    @Lara: The best thing for me about Rumpelstiltskin is that whenever it finds a job, my browser automatically jumps to the Rumpelstiltskin Tab and I just have to hit enter to be redirected to the job page. And it can be used on mobile phone and computer from the same account (without making more than one server call every 30 seconds).

    @Alexander: I would definitely be willing to pay some money for Rumpelstiltsking if the performance is stable. I guess I would be fine with 5-10$ per month.

    Did you take rumpelstiltskin offline now or are the current performance problems just temporary. I would greatly appreciate it if the tool was not down until you figure out if you will charge for the use or not.

    @all: are there other usable RSS readers out there to use in the meantime until Rumpelstiltskin is back? I can't seem to find any browser based version that lets me choose how many server calls it should make per minute. Or any feed that gives me push notifications on my browser?

    Thanks,

    Michael

     

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    Alicia L. Alonso

    @meraner.m : Rumpelstitskin is working on my side. I did stop working when I used a previous addresss I had but then I went to http://rmpl.nl/index.php, re-logged and it's going smoothly as always.

    @Lara: My experience has been extremely good. I would only add that maybe it could be tweaked so that the sound goes off on hand held devices (iphone, tablets, smartphones...) because I have found that this feature doesn't work outside the PC / Mac plaftorm.

    @ Alexander: I would definitely be willing to subscribe and pay a sensible monthly / yearly rate. Thank you for your work!!!!!

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    Vincent

    Many thanks for the link Alicia. I was experiencing the same difficulties Michael was.

    Alexander, please ignore the message I sent you concerning my Rumpelstiltskin woes. I greatly appreciate your RSS reader (even though I now think I hear Tarzan 'howling' even when my laptop is turned off).

    Best,
    Vincent

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    juan.garcia.heredero

    Hi,

    Although I don't use Rumpelstiltskin (I tried it at the beginning and ended up using another RSS reader instead), being a software developer myself I have some things to add.

    1) I'm pretty sure Alexander has spent dozens (hundreds?) of hours on that program. He could have used those hours to make something (other programs, apps, working as a freelancer for Fiverr or Clickworkers or other sites...) that would give him money directly, but instead of that he decided to make a tool to share with everyone for free. Given his level of expertise, I'd say that his salary could be on the range of $25-$50 per hour, depending on where he lives/works and some other factors. So the tool is probably worth many hundreds (maybe some thousand?) dollars, only taking into account the hours to develop it and not taking into account the monetary benefits it can give to its users.

    2) By sharing that tool, Alexander is not only giving this work for free, but also he's taking less translation jobs (because people using Rumpelstiltskin can reserve those jobs before Alexander).

    3) So I think that people who are seriously using this tool, and earning money thanks to it, should be willing to pay some amount, even although there are some stability or performance issues. I don't know how many people are using it, but if there are, say, 50 people, $5-$10 dollars could be enough in the short term to cover the expenses so far and the future improvements and maintenance.

    4) This tool is saving Gengo money. People that use it are making calls to Gengo servers only once per minute, and are not refreshing the complete dashboard (thus not having to retrieve data about the quality score, the units translated so far, and so on). Translators that can get jobs because of this tool are happier translators and they stick with Gengo, so Gengo does not need to look for new ones and expertise/talent is retained. The jobs are more likely to be translated soon, so the customers are happier and prone to use Gengo again. I think that Gengo could seriously think about talking with Alexander so they can buy/license/adapt the tool and offer it as a part of Gengo environment, or at least Gengo could support Alexander directly somehow.

    5) @Alexander: the problems you say your program has when using it on a mobile device could be avoided if you develop a native mobile app and let it run on the background. I'm sure you know it, but I wanted to say it here because maybe if people know that this is a possibility, they're more willing to pay for you to build those versions. People: if Alexander builds a native mobile app, it can run on the background and let you play Candy Crush, and notify you if there's a job. But building mobile apps is not easy/fast and it's not free to put them on Apple Store or Google Play.

    6) Again @Alexander: I suggest you start a crowdfunding (e.g.: https://www.kickstarter.com/). This looks like a perfect project for this kind of funding. For instance: if you get enough money, you'll build the mobile apps or migrate the tool to a stable environment or whatever you promise; and people who contributed will get free access for some time. And people that did not contribute should pay to use it. In fact you could start several crowdfundings: one to migrate the app to a better environment, another one to build an Android version, another one to build a iOS version...

    Hope it helps somehow. Cheers.

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    juan.garcia.heredero

    Correction: when I said "$5-$10 dollars" I meant "$5-$10 dollars per month".

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