Translation app design testing—any volunteers?

Currently our translations are working through Pootle. However with the abandoning of that project and the remaining bugs, we have decided to implement our own bespoke translation app, which we call Bilara. It’s currently under heavy development. @blake is building it, and I am designing the UI.

My thoughts on UI are heavily influenced, of course, by the way that I work, and my experience on Pootle. I spent basically two years with it every day.

I much prefer a very simple and clean interface, and find much of the information presented to a user on Pootle to be useless if not downright distracting. So over time I developed my own modifications to the pootle interface, mostly consisting in taking things away. I have further developed these based on thoughts for Bilara. Now I have what works for me as a much nicer UI.

My design for Bilara will be based on this. My detailed proposal is here:

But of course, different people work in different ways and have different preferences. So I thought I’d see if any of our volunteers who are working on pootle would like to try out my modifications and give feedback. That way I can try to shape the design of Bilara to better serve the users.

To use this modified version, you need to first install the “Stylus” plugin for Firefox or Chrome. (Be sure to avoid the similar “Stylish”, which has been caught stealing user data!) Then create a style for the url, and paste this CSS code in there.

Et voila! It looks very different!

This approach uses CSS to style everything, and it is bad! Many things are outrageous hacks and code perversions of the most disgusting kind. Never mind, it’s only for messing around!

Not everything works perfectly, although I have been using it regularly for some time. The goal is not to fix the Pootle skin, but to see what is useful and pleasant for translators when building Bilara.

One detail: the color scheme is Solarized, which is quite low contrast. I like it, but it will be best as an option, as it is not very suitable for people whose vision is not good.

@sabbamitta @greenTara @Gabriel_L @Brahmali @Aminah


Very happy to volunteer for testing—if I manage to get this thingy installed… probably not today.

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I am in. And I assume @Marco will be interested as well!



I’m also in! Thank you!


Do I need to be logged in to Pootle in order to create a style, or is this independent?


no, just create a style and put the url in. The plugin is completely separate from the site. Set it to “URLs on the domain”

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I opened and then clicked on the “Stylus” symbol, then was asked if I want to create a style for this url which I agreed.

Now it shows me this screen:

Unfortunately it only speaks German with me…

I am not sure what to do next.

unzip the css file linked in the post, open it, copy and paste into the field. save and you’re done.

Into which field? Code 1 (the large field on the right)?

yes. where else? (rhetorical question!)

I don’t see a “save” button.

Edit: Oh yes, I did!

it’s on the left near the top.

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Can I close that site now, or what else do I need to do?

do you see the changes on Pootle?

Hmm… haven’t logged in before, so difficult to tell if it’s different.

Right now I can see a list like this:

And when I open a file it looks like this:


Is this as it should be?

OK, when I go to the suttas instead of the vinaya I get this:

That looks already better!

That’s it! You can switch the theme on and off in your browser. Just click on the little “Stylus” icon and toggle the theme.

But if you’re completely new to Pootle, I would recommend using it without the skin to get used to the site. Figure out what’s what and how you work. Then switch on the new skin and see how it goes.

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Yes, I’ve never worked with Pootle. Does there exist something like a user manual?

Glad you asked!


Thanks! Will come back to you if I get stuck somewhere… :wink: