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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

    @meraner.m - Sorry for my late response. I just returned from a short holiday without access to a computer, only to find several complaints in my inbox that RumpelstiltskinRSS has stopped functioning as of just a few hours after I left.

    Some users reported they got an error message 'Could not reach Gengo'. In my quick testing today, this error message appears if you use the tool on my first server (http://www.appje.nl/rumpelstiltskin//rss/). However, the second server (http://rmpl.nl/) seems to work fine.

    So, for the moment I blame the first provider, not the tool itself. This is one more incentive to introduce a paid version so I can afford to pick a more reliable provider.

    The obvious workaround is you should switch to http://rmpl.nl/. Note that there is no syncing between the two servers. If you only created an account on the first server, you will have to create it again on the second server if you want to use your account there. Also, if you do have an account on both servers, any changes in your preferences are not synced automatically.

    As may be clear now, I did not take the tool offline. I have no intention to take it offline in the future either. There will be a paid version alongside the current one. The current version will remain free, though I won't do any maintenance on it anymore apart from bug fixes. If I change my mind in the future, as a minimum I will post a timely announcement in this forum.

    @Alicia L. Alonso - Thanks for posting the workaround in an early stage. The number of accounts on the second server has grown by 14 in the past week, as opposed to the 3 or 4 in most weeks, so I guess some 10 people already moved to to http://rmpl.nl/ thanks to your observation.

    I'm aware there are issues with the alert mechanism. For the moment, I can only advise you to experiment with the settings under 'Alerts' in your Preferences. (If you use multiple devices, it's okay to use multiple accounts so you can use different settings for each.) In an iOS or Android app, it's much easier for me to make it work reliably.

    @juan.garcia.heredero - Thanks for your kind words. Yes, I'm aware a native iOS or Android app could run in the background, and I consider that a major bonus. I didn't think about crowdfunding yet, so thanks for the suggestion, but with the positive responses so far I feel confident that if I simply introduce an app, it will bring in enough money to justify the time I spend on it, even taking extra expenses into account like renewing my membership of the Apple Developer Program.

    As for the pricing, someone pointed out not everyone uses the tool all the time or is in a high volume pair, so a monthly fee that is sensible for one may not be sensible for another user. The fairest model I can think of is that people pay a (small) percentage of the amount they actually receive by grabbing jobs using the tool. However it's hard, if possible at all, to find out in an automated way how much that is. Another model could be that you would have to buy virtual coins for real money, and every time the tool requests updated information from Gengo you would consume a virtual coin. I could implement preferences so you could tell the tool not to check, or to check less frequently, during specific hours (e.g., while you are asleep or during the weekends). Thus you could sort of tweak your monthly fee to your needs.

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    juan.garcia.heredero

    Maybe you could set a system in which everyone could use the tool for free only for a number of hours (of their choice) per day. If they want to use it more hours, they should pay for it. That way only people that use the tool all the time or in a high volume pair would have to pay.

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    Vincent

    @Alexander Most days I'm lucky if I can buy a coffee from my Gengo earnings that day, a system that would take the reality of modest earning into account would be greatly appreciated. My lack of higher earnings is not due to a lack of time online. Perhaps there are just a lot of translators on my language pairs, not too many jobs, or a combination of both. It's not that I don't want to pay for your great tool, but a system based on times checked, time online, or jobs grabbed doesn't seem to do justice to a situation where the pickings are slender and where jobs won often earn the translator less than a dollar.

     

    My point is that your virtual coin proposal seems especially harsh for those, like me, that have to spend a lot of time 'at the ready' and who often land no more than small jobs.

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    Alexander

    @juan.garcia.heredero - I could make it such that people could use the tool some time for free to test if it is worth their money. Other than that, I don't see a reason why the same functionality should be free for some while others would have to pay for it.

    @Vincent - Again, the fairest model I can think of is that people pay a (small) percentage of the amount they actually receive by grabbing jobs using the tool. I'll try to approximate this ideal as closely as possible. I agree this is especially important for low volume language pairs.

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    meraner.m

    @Alexander - I think that as soon as the pricing of the tool becomes performance based it becomes less interesting. If I am to pay a small percentage of every job I am grabbing through the tool, I would be inclined to try and use a different tool whenever convenient. If I am to pay for the amount of time I am using the tool (or number of server calls), I would only use the tool when I really need it (right now I keep it running in the background while I am at work and I might sometimes grab a job if I feel like it, but most of the time I won't take it). So I think that a performance based tool adds some "stress" to using the tool (thus giving a negative feeling every time I am opening rumpelstiltskin). A monthly fee on the other hand provides the user with a postitive feeling every time he opens the tool, as he would be getting "more for his money" (but I don't think that it would make a big difference for the overall amount of server calls. People wouldn't just keep it running in the background because they know they paid for it).

    I totally see the value of the tool and would be willing to pay for it. But I'd rather pay a little more for a monthly fee and I would then be allowed to use the tool stress free whenever I want.

    Best regards,

    Michael

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    Alexander

    @Michael - Thanks for pointing out that by making the pricing too flexible I might cause stress. I'll keep that in mind. I never realized setting the right price for a service could be such a challenge :-)

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    Alexander

    I contacted my provider about the 'Could not reach Gengo' problem that started last week. They believe Gengo's firewall somehow has decided to block calls from my server. I'll concact support about the details and hope the dev people can solve this.

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    Alexander

    Only minutes after my previous post, my provider told me they themselves had blocked outgoing traffic from my server to Gengo. The traffic load is too high. I guess this means I'll have to negotiate with them about more bandwith.

    Meanwhile, remember you can switch to http://rmpl.nl. On that server, this problem does not (yet) exist.

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    Alexander

    Some users told me the huge font I use for better readability on small screens is actually problematic on their devices. Therefore, I have placed "smaller" and "bigger" buttons at the top left of each page, so you can resize the text (and buttons) as you wish.

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    Alexander

    I got new information from my first provider. It's not that Rumpelstiltskin causes too much traffic. The server is shared by others, and the traffic load is very high in general. My provider no longer deliberately blocks outgoing traffic to Gengo, but in my tests the problem still occurs every now and then.

    Whenever the problem occurs, RumpelstiltskinRSS will automatically recover after a while, but you will lose some time in which you might otherwise have had a chance to grab a job. And even when the problem does NOT occur, the server is often slow in responding.

    So the first server sort of works again, but I advise you to switch to the second server http://rmpl.nl (if you haven't already) for better performance and reliablility.

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    Alexander

    Hi ElectricSix,

    I received your report via the contact form that in the past few days RumpelstiltskinRSS did not alert you for Pro jobs, only for Standard jobs. I checked your preferences but they seem to be okay. I switched on logging for your account, so I can see in more detail what's happening. It seems you haven't been using your account in the short time I switched on logging, though, so I cannot draw any conclusion yet.

    You say you are sure there are Pro jobs, because you see them on your dashboard. However, it's possible that they are taken before RumpelstiltskinRSS refreshes its info via the RSS feed. In that case, the jobs will not be visible to RumpelstiltskinRSS and you will not be alerted. Depending on the details of your pair, this could occur several times before there is a Pro job again that is seen by RumpelstiltskinRSS.

    Another explanation could be that Gengo changed the details of the RSS feed info format so that RumpelstiltskinRSS has problems recognizing Pro jobs. However, I think that is not likely. First of all, such a change would affect both Standard and Pro jobs. Second, it would affect all users, including me. Yet I was alerted several times for a Pro job after I received your report. (That's not to say there has been a Pro job in YOUR pair, of course, only in mine, but it means the basic mechanism still works fine.)

    Anyone who experiences the same problem, please let me know and I will have a closer look at the issue.

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    Alexander

    Hi ElectricSix,

    Thanks for your second message. Yes, I can see in your log files RumpelstiltskinRSS sees multiple Pro jobs, but decides 0 of them are worth alerting you.

    It's rather late now in my time zone. I'll have a closer look at the data tomorrow. Meanwhile, it could be helpful if you sent me your email address so I could contact you directly if I need more information.

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    Alexander

    Hi ElectricSix,

    I think I found the bug: if the source language is character based and the job is Pro, the job is treated as Ultra (Proofread).

    Apparently, most people set their preferences for Pro and Ultra the same in the past, so the bug was never noticed. However, since the Ultra level has been discontinued by Gengo long ago, I recently decided it was about time to remove the Ultra preferences.

    So, when a Pro job is found, it's checked against your non-existent Ultra preferences, and as it happens the outcome is always this job is deemed not interesting for you. Also, since my pair is word based, I was not affected by this bug and had no clue what you were talking about.

    As a workaround, I put back in the Ultra preferences. Please set them manually the same as your Pro preferences. This should restore the previous behavior.

    One of these days, I will modify the code so it properly uses your Pro preferences. After that, your Ultra preferences should not make any difference and I will remove them again.

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    Sara

    Hi Alexander,

    Just a heads-up that both sites are not working... http://rumpelstiltskin.appje.nl/rss/ can't connect to Gengo, and rmpl.nl/index.php won't even load the page (HTTP error 500). Don't mean to pressure you to sort it out if you've got other things to do, but I'm just writing this so that you're aware of how things are going in case you haven't taken a look in a while. Rumpelstiltskin RSS is a great tool and I've enjoyed using it. Just say the word about how much you want to charge for it, and a bunch of us will be happy to chip in, I bet.

    Thanks,

    Sara

  • 0
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    Sara

    P.S. - Sometimes I have success with http://rumpelstiltskin.appje.nl/rumpelstiltskin//rss/index.php... it's just super hit-or-miss.

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    Alexander

    Hi Sara,

    Around the time you wrote about this HTTP error 500, I was uploading a new version. Because of your message, I restored the old version, and it seems to work fine again. Please let me know if you still experience this problem on rmpl.nl.

    I cannot solve the problem that the other server can't connect to Gengo. It's caused by the high traffic load due to other customers of my old provider. Everyone who still uses that version: please switch to http://rmpl.nl for your own good.

    I plan to create native mobile app versions for iOS and Android. I expect it will take me a month to create the initial versions. Due to other things in my life, I cannot tell yet which month that will be, but it has a high priority on my to do list.

    Once both native mobile app versions have proven to be as reliable as I want them to be, I'll return to the issue of charging for using them. From the responses I received so far, both on this forum and in private mails, I feel confident I can get enough financial support one way or another to justify the extra time and money I spend on further development and maintenance of RumpelstiltskinRSS. So I'll be happy to pick a more expensive provider if that appears to be the only way to make the current web based version stable in the near future.

    Everyone, please keep sending bug reports and feature requests, either on this forum or via the Contact page within RumpelstiltskinRSS, and I will see what I can do for you.

    Thanks,
    Alexander

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    Alexander

    Just a small update: chances are I will release the mobile app version for iOS somewhere in September. It will be able to run in the background, and alert the user with a sound and a text at the top of the screen when it detects a job. Of course, it can also run in the foreground. In that case it resembles the web version, except that it is much more stable. It should run on any iPod touch, iPhone or iPad with iOS 7 or later.

    After releasing the iOS version, I will focus on the Android version. That will take some more time, since I don't have experience with programming for Android, but from the research I did so far I expect I can mimic all functionality I put in the iOS version. My first guess is I will release the Android version around November.

    The hardest part of this project is to find time to work on it. In the past 3 weeks, I spent some 25 hours on it. The current iOS version seems to work fine, except that it runs in the Xcode simulator only (Xcode = the programming environment). I plan to buy a real device with a recent iOS version to test some functionality that is not available in the simulator (nor in the aging iOS devices that I own right now).

    In 2017, I plan to put in more features, and perhaps (depending on user demand) to support more platforms.

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    Paulo C.

    Comment deleted per user's request. [Lara]

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    Val

    Hi, Alexander! Thank you so much for your hard work!

    Maybe you could start a crowdfunding project, I'm sure many of us will be glad to chip in, as Sara said.

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    Paulo C.

    Comment deleted per user's request. [Lara]

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    Paulo C.

    Comment deleted per user's request. [Lara]

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    Val

    How? It's just like any other RSS feed, only dedicated to Gengo. But still a RSS feed which is Gengo's way to check jobs.

    I don't get errors. I do get errors sometimes with other RSS feed readers. 

    The system is blocked because there are too many of us and not enough jobs.

  • 0
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    Lara Fernandez

    @Paulo - I received your email earlier today, but didn't have time to reply to you yet. I apologize for that.

    We have looked into RumpelstiltskinRSS before, and found that it complies with Gengo's policy and didn't break any rules.

    I understand your frustration, but I don't think the forums are the best place to lash out, especially against your fellow translators or translator developers like Rumpelstiltskin creator, Alexander. I'd like to use this opportunity to remind you all of our Guidelines for Participation - so that we can all have a calm discussion :)

    Guidelines for Participation
    DO help others—if you can! :)
    DO respect your fellow translators and Senior Translators
    DON’T report urgent technical issues; these go here
    DON’T make comments that are hurtful, mean or likely to make anyone uncomfortable

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    Sara

    @ IN VACATIONS   You do know that Alexander isn't a Gengo employee, right? He created and maintains the RSS feed project on his own time, with his own resources, thus sacrificing time he could be translating or relaxing. He doesn't owe us anything. If anything, I'd say that we owe him!

    Edited by Sara
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    Paulo C.

    Comment deleted per user's request. [Lara]

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    Lara Fernandez

    @Paulo - Of course you can express your opinion, and I understand your frustration.

    What I am saying here is that we have never found RumpelstiltskinRSS to break any rules, so while your opinion is greatly appreciated (if the fact is that it doesn't work for you, that would be an objective fact), accusations are a different thing (blaming lack of jobs solely on Alexander's tool, for example, as in "This RSS is blocking the system.")

    Feedback is always welcome, all I wanted is to remind everyone here to keep their cool ;)

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    Paulo C.

    Comment deleted per user's request. [Lara]




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    carla m.

    Do you have two accounts?

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    Lara Fernandez

    @cm - I have checked and he doesn't. He just changed his nickname and picture ;)

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    carla m.

    A bit confusing but ok, I guess :-)

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