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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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    damien.etourneau

    Hi Alexander,

    I don't know if it's a coincidence, but http://rmpl.nl did not work today for me, no matter which web browser I was using. In fact, it was OK this morning, and suddenly, it "disappeared" (I have message errors like "connexion timed out" on Chrome or the server is too long to answer on Mozilla)

    I never had any problems with http://rmpl.nl so far. Am I the only one who can't access the website today?

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    Alexander

    Hi damien.etourneau,

    The actual reason I upgraded today is more involved than I just described. I saw several problems, which all seemed to be related to a too high traffic load.

    I hope http://rmpl.nl now works fine again. If not, I'll have a closer look at it next week. Alas, I don't much have time for it within the next few days.

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    damien.etourneau

    Right now, it is working. Thank you for all your work.

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    Alexander

    In response to an anonymous question via the RumpelstiltskinRSS contact form: there is no option to remove your account at the moment, other than asking me to do so manually, in which case I need to know your RumpelstiltskinRSS account name.

    I never included such an option because it never occurred to me someone could need it. An account doesn't take much disk space, so it's fine with me if you leave an inactive account on my server (because after some testing you find the tool doesn't work for you, or for whatever other reason). In fact, it's okay if you create multiple accounts (so you can run RumpelstiltskinRSS on several devices, each with different settings).

    If you're worried about security issues, about the only sensitive information stored is your Jobs RSS. Just clear that field in your preferences if you want my server to forget about you.

    Talking about accounts and security, let it be clear that Gengo and RumpelstiltskinRSS are separate products. Make sure to use a different username and password than your Gengo account.

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    Alexander

    I'm starting to doubt if the estimate I made at August 15, 2016, 01:20 (that I would release the mobile app version for iOS somewhere in September) was correct. Merely renewing my subscription to the Apple Developer Program (which is needed to publish the app in the App Store) took me over a week because I had to upgrade to the latest software and accept several agreements. (I'm the type who actually reads an agreement before checking the Accept box.) Also, in the past few weeks there were more paying and non-paying distractions in my live than I had foreseen.

    Fortunately, it was just an estimate, not a promise. My current estimate is that I will release the mobile app version for iOS in the first half of October.

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    Alicia L. Alonso

    Thank you so much for this, for your effort and for your great contribution to this community. I will certainly be rumpelstiltstkining with my phone!!!!!!

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    juan.garcia.heredero

    Congrats, Alexander. Although I don't use your tool, I'm glad you could finally make it. Your workaround will surely be good enough, I'm sure. And I think you are doing well setting a non-zero price for it and then a subscription model.

    Since you haven't developed with Android before, maybe you should know that you have to pay a small fee ($25) to be able to publish apps on Google Play. You have to pay it only once though, it's not a yearly payment.

    Also, may I suggest you have a look at tools like React Native (https://facebook.github.io/react-native/) that would allow you to develop just one version of your app, and then it will be transformed to a native Android or a native iOS app. Due to the fact that you have to learn Android, maybe it would be more useful for you to learn React Native or other similar tool instead.

    Cheers!

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    Alexander

    I submitted the iOS app version to the App Store about an hour ago. I expect Apple will take a week or two to review the app.

    In the past 48 hours, I also updated the scripts on my server so they will support the iOS app version. Due to some errors I made in the process, you may have experienced short interruptions in the web based tool. Sorry for that. If you still have problems, let me know. Everything should work fine again.

    The next step is creating an Android app version. Once both apps seem to work fine, I will ask a monthly fee for both. Until then I only ask the lowest non-zero price the App Store / Google Play allows.

    @juan.garcia.heredero - Thanks for your suggestion about React Native. I wasn't aware of this possibility yet, or I would have considered to use it for the current iOS version.

    In my current approach, most of the logic is in the scripts on my server. The apps only need to display what the server tells them to display, and perform basic actions when a button is pressed. I don't expect much maintenance is needed once the teething problems of both apps are solved.

    In the future, I might put more logic into the apps themselves. A tool like React Native could be helpful to do that without having to maintain duplicate code.

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    juan.garcia.heredero

    No problem. You could take a look at Ionic too http://ionicframework.com/

    Good luck!

    Edited by juan.garcia.heredero
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    Alexander

    Last Thursday, the app was rejected due to a rather trivial issue. Today I submitted a corrected version. Fingers crossed.

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    Alexander

    The iOS app has been approved and should become visible on the App Store within the next 24 hours. It should run under iOS 7 and later, though I only tested it under iOS 9.2.

    To use it, you still have to create a RumpelstiltskinRSS account on http://www.rmpl.nl if you don't have one already. Use your RumpelstiltskinRSS username and password (as opposed to those of your Gengo account) on the login screen of the app. Other than this, it should be obvious how to use the app.

    Note that your Preferences page has changed, even if you don't use the app. The box 'Alerts' has been renamed to 'Alerts for browser version', and there is a new box 'Alerts for iOS app', where you can set the way you want to be notified by the iOS app.

    Since this is the initial version, no doubt it has bugs though I am not aware of any. Please use this forum or the Contact page on http://www.rmpl.nl to let me know about any problems you experience.

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    Alexander

    The first bug has been reported, and hopefully it was fixed by a quick change I made in the scripts on my server. Due to the bug, you may have seen a "Version not supported" message on the Feed area of the app. The fix is that my scripts don't check the app version you are using, which can currently only be the initial version (2016.11) anyway. This message is supposed to pop up only at some point in the future when for some reason I want you to move to the latest app version.

    Talking about versions, the browser version used to exist on two separate servers for some time, but as of January 1, 2017, I discontinued the one on the old server. You can now only use the browser version on http://www.rmpl.nl or the iOS app version.

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    Alexander

    I just fixed a bug in the Contact form of the web version. Due to this bug, messages that were posted via this form on or after December 5, 2016, vanished into thin air. If you sent me a message in the past month about an issue that has not yet been solved, you may want to send me a new message.

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    Val

    Hi! Thanks of all, thank you Alexander for developing this tool.

    I have downloaded the app, and I'm wondering how it will work on my phone. Will it work if the phone is blocked? If I'm using other apps? Or would it have to run on the foreground?

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    Val

    *First of all!

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    Alexander

    Hi Val,

    Like I wrote before, one major feature of the app was supposed to be its ability to run in the background, but it turned out that Apple is very restrictive in allowing this.

    The current version can only run in the foreground, but it keeps running while the device is asleep. So yes, the app still works while the phone is blocked, but no, it does not work when you are using other apps.

    To test the behaviour, open your Preferences page in a browser, scroll down to the 'Alerts for iOS app' box and check 'Insert dummy job 12345678 (to trigger demo alert)'. Replace 12345678 by the id of a collection you translated in the past. Be sure to press the Save preferences button.

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    Alexander

    In the past few weeks, two or three users reported independently the iOS app version does not work for them. The problem appears to be that when they try to log in, the server does not recognize the request came from the iOS app version. So it replies in the way that is meant for browsers, which is not of any use for the app.

    Not all iOS versions and device models are affected (or I would have hit on the bug long before). You can check if you are affected by this bug by tapping Help. It should say "You are logged in as ...". If the Help screen says something else while you believe you should be logged in, contact me.



    I plan to make a new iOS app version in the near future, and I will probably ask some people to beta test it before I submit it to the App Store. So it may take a while before this issue is fixed, but rest assured I'm working on it. The problem itself seems to be rather trivial. The hard part is to find time to work on it.

    Also if you experience any other problem with the app or the browser version, please let me know so I can look into it.

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    jwspaans1995

    Hiya, first of all thank you for creating this great tool! 

    Being a tech nitwit of the highest order, just a little question which I hope someone might be able to answer: I'm running RSS Feed Reader(a fine service but frustratingly just a second late sometimes) in Chrome and Alexander's tool in Opera - would they conflict each other or should it work? Jobs for English > Dutch are few and far between at the moment so unfortunately I haven't heard the famous jungle sound yet.. 

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    Alexander

    Hi jwspaans1995,

    Technically speaking, the combination should work fine. My tool simply loads a web page, wich has an instruction in its HTML code to refresh after the interval you specified (31 or 62 seconds).

    To play the game according to the rules of Gengo, though, the combination of the tools you use should check at most twice per minute. If you set the interval for my tool to 62 seconds and for RSS Feed Reader to 1 minute or more, there should not be any problem.

    Note that you can run my tool on as many devices as you wish simultaneously without breaching Gengo's rules, because Gengo's info for your feed is cached on my server for the specified interval.

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    jwspaans1995

    Hi Alexander, thanks for clearing that up! I'm now up and running with the tool. Even if you play within the rules it's good to note that in some cases I got noted about a job a good couple of seconds earlier than normal :). Thank you so much!

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    Alexander

    I modified both the server scripts and the app to address the problem I mentioned on February 03, 2017 21:37, and the fix seems to work fine for the beta testers. I plan to submit this version to the App Store this weekend, and expect it will be available in the course of next week.

    As for the Android version, I wasted quite some time trying to get a sample app running in the simulator. The problem I experience (a timeout while launching the simulator) is discussed in several places on the internet, but none of the suggested solutions works for me. So I finally bought myself a real Android device, and the sample app runs fine. I plan to modify the sample app little by little to include all features I need (most of which I can copy from other sample apps).

    Furthermore, I plan to extend RumpelstiltskinRSS's functionality with push notifications. I already figured out how to do it under iOS, and I am currently using the app as an alarm, triggered by my server. This alarm feature will NOT be an option in the release version, though. :-)

    Push notifications have several benefits. First of all, this "don't call us, we'll call you" approach means you don't have to keep the app running, not even in the background! What's more, I will be in control of the traffic to and from my server. Some people mentioned problems recently that I ascribe to too many users accessing the server at the same time. I checked with my provider, and while on average the number of simultaneous requests is well below the allowed maximum, that maximum is actually reached from time to time during random peaks.

    Despite the benefits, I did not implement push notifications in the iOS version yet for two reasons. The most important one is that I have to rethink the basic design of my server functionality. I plan to do that along with creating the Android version. So the Android version will support push notifications from the beginning, and I will implement it in the iOS version soon thereafter.

    The other reason is that push notifications are only possible under iOS 8 and later. Currently, my app supports iOS 7 as well. If you are still using iOS 7 and for some reason cannot upgrade to iOS 8, please let me know. If no one seems to be in this situation, a few months from now RumpelstiltskinRSS will no longer run under iOS 7.

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    Alexander

    One user reported a crash in the latest iOS app version. I created a beta test version which seems to solve this issue.

    If the app crashes on your device as well, contact me so I can send you this beta test version.

    Depending on further test results, I will probably submit this version next week to the App Store.

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    Alexander

    As mentioned on a different forum, Gengo recently added info about the language pair to the RSS feed. I updated the scripts on my server to use this info both in the browser and in the app version.

    On your Preferences page, look for the new box "Language pair(s)". The default settings result in the same behaviour as before, except that for every job that is found, the language pair is displayed. If you are in a single pair, you may find this "information" boring and therefore want to uncheck "Show the language pair for each job".

    Also if you are in a single pair, leave the other box unchecked and stop reading this forum post.

    Since you are still reading this, I assume you are in multiple language pairs. Here is where the fun starts.

    Make sure you have multiple RumpelstiltskinRSS accounts, one for each language pair. For each account, on its Preferences page check "Apply the preferences of this account to the pair ... only. For jobs in my other pair(s), use the preferences of my other account(s)". Also, use the popup menu to tell which language pair you want to associate with this particular account. Make sure all other settings are correct for this particular language pair, including your Jobs RSS. Exception: the settings under "Alerts for browser version" and "Alerts for iOS app" are only relevant in your main account (the one you are logged into when you run RumpelstiltskinRSS).

    After you have thus specified your preferences for each language pair in its own account, when you run RumpelstiltskinRSS, each job is checked against the relevant preferences to decide if it is an interesting one (in terms of units count, level, and if you can complete it within the allotted time given the time of day). If an interesting job is found, you will be notified the way you specified under "Alerts for browser version" or "Alerts for iOS app" in your main account.

    It is not really necessary to use multiple accounts for multiple pairs. If you are happy with a single set of preferences for all pairs, you can leave "Apply the preferences of this account to ..." unchecked. But this refinement allows you to be notified for Pro jobs only in one pair, and for all jobs in another one. Or you can set different preferences in terms of units count, which may be helpful if one of your source languages is words based and another one is character based.

    Speaking of character based languages, it would be nice if some of you could for a handful of jobs tell me the character count and the allotted time. For words based source languages, I know the relationship between units count and allotted time in quite some detail from my own feed, but for character based source languages I can only make a wild guess. The guess I use in my scripts is that the allotted time to translate N characters equals the allotted time to translate N/1.6 words, though I forgot how I ever arrived at that guess, let alone have any idea how close this is to truth.

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    Alexander

    Like I promised a few days ago, I submitted a new version to the App Store to solve the crash that one user experienced. I expect it will be available for download within a few days.

    Before you install this new version, be sure to make a backup of your device. (The user who reported the crash learned the hard way there is otherwise no way to downgrade if the App Store version doesn't work for you.)

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    Alexander

    Bonus info (like 'Bonus +30%') is now displayed as well. You can turn it off by unchecking 'Show bonus info' under 'Sundry' on your Preferences page.

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    Alexander

    I just pressed the 'publish' button for the Android app version. RumpelstiltskinRSS should be visible in the Google Play Store within a few hours.

    Please be aware what it means that this is the initial release: while it works fine on my test device (running Android 5.1.1), no doubt it has some quirks, like any software in its initial version. Please contact me if you hit on any problem and I will see what I can do about it.

    I ask a small fee for the app itself, just to put off people who download anything that is free and would cause unnecessary load on my server. After overcoming the teething problems in the Android app, I will start asking a monthly fee for both the Android and the iOS version.

    Other than I promised before, I did not yet include push notifications. Given the time I already spent on creating this initial version in the first place, I thought it wise to postpone push notifications to a (near) future release. I am aware that push notifications is for many users the major feature they are waiting for, and plan to implement it in both the iOS and the Android version before I start asking a monthly fee.

    Also, the only alert options in this release are a sound and vibration (if your device supports it). The good news is that it keeps running when your device is in sleep mode and automatically recovers from problems like when there is an interruption in the internet connection.

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    Val

    Thank you for your hard work, Alexander! This is great news and I can't wait to download this app.

    Since I'm not fully versed in technological stuff, let me see if I understood correctly: since it doesn't have push notifications, it won't work in the background and alert me that a job is available. I would have to keep it in the foreground, as I believe was the case in iOS (I had it, then my iPhone got stolen :(( but I didn't use it much because of this. Is this correct?

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    Alexander

    Hi Val,

    Yes, you understand it correctly. Like the iOS app, the Android version blocks you from using your device for other tasks. Being able to run in the background would be a solution, but relying on push notifications is better for several reasons. I opted not to spend time on a feature that will soon be obsolete.

    While RumpelstiltskinRSS can not truly run in the background, it will keep running (and alerting for jobs by a sound) when your screen goes dark (after the interval you set in the system preferences, or after you press the sleep button). For many people, this is already very useful. That's why I decided to release this version even though it does not yet support push notifications. Stated differently, you may consider the current version a pre-release of the real thing, which I plan to publish later this year. :-)

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    Val

    Hi, Alexander

    Despite your last comment, RumpelstiltskinRSS is alerting me about jobs without keeping it in what for me is "the foreground". I keep the app open, but do other things with my phone, and a very loud sound plays when there's a job. As long as it is running, if I close it, it stops. What happens is that if I click on the link, it will get "stuck" there, maybe it will even play the sound again when I open it again. Even hours after the fact. And if I ignore it, it will refresh and (presumably) continue checking for jobs. I don't know if it works all the time, but there have been instances where I was able to grab jobs like this. It would be useful if it would come to the foreground when a job is available, like it does on Chrome.

    (Disclaimer: I am not sure if I'm using the correct terminology.)

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    Alexander

    Hi Val,

    I am surprised to read you can do other things with your phone while RumpelstiltskinRSS is running. Either this is a bug (and I will not hurry to fix it!) or I am missing some feature of the Android OS.

    In my understanding of Android, you can run only one app at a time. But perhaps this is true for old Android versions, not for recent ones. Which Android version are you using? I tested under 5.1.

    How do you start another app while RumpelstiltskinRSS is running?

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