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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.

322 comments

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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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    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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