What is it?

Transcrobes is an open source project that puts the learner at the centre of the “extensive content consumption” process. It builds a representation of the learner’s lexical (and soon grammatical) knowledge and then uses that information to enrich (gloss) real-world texts in-place as learners consume real-world content, on their preferred devices and in their preferred applications.

Current Status

Transcrobes currently only fully supports learning Chinese for English speakers. If your English is very, very good then you should be Ok, but otherwise you’re better to wait until your preferred language has been implemented. Partial support is also available for Chinese speakers learning English but it is not yet mature.

Anton's PhD thesis

I (Anton) have been accepted to develop the ideas in this project for a PhD thesis at the Linguistics and Translation department of the City University of Hong Kong from September 2019. While it is not certain that this particular code-base will be developed for the PhD, the PhD work will be open source, and there is no particular reason for it not to build on the existing code. This means I will be working on this (or an equivalent) project for the next four years! [Read More]

English support

Preliminary support for Chinese learners of English has been implemented and is now available for testing. As expected, integrating a second language pair required basically rewriting the entire system to be able to handle any input and output language. That said, the inflectional characteristics of English are a new challenge for the system and have not been fully integrated. Quite a bit of work is still to do there. When that work is done it will mean it will be relatively easy to integrate most of the world’s major languages. [Read More]

Gitlab All The Things

When all you have is a magical hammer...

This is Part 4 of a mini-series of my experiences getting Transcrobes migrated from separate server apps on a 4gig Alibaba Cloud VM to microk8s on the same VM, and automating (almost) everything with Gitlab CI. Check out Part 1 here, Part 2 here and Part 3 here Gitlab all the Things Automating container builds In the middle of writing the server install documentation, I realised that I had just been manually building and pushing the images to Gitlab’s image registry. [Read More]

Migrating to Kubernetes

A square peg in a roundish hole

This is Part 3 of a mini-series of my experiences getting Transcrobes migrated from separate server apps on a 4gig Alibaba Cloud VM to microk8s on the same VM, and automating (almost) everything with Gitlab CI. Check out Part 1 here and Part 2 here. Kubernetes Migration Woes nginx-ingress I was coming from a setup where I knew the component parts (Apache + mod_wsgi) pretty well. I haven’t been working on high-load web stuff for over 8 years now, and always thought that nginx was a lot of hype for not much benefit. [Read More]

The Gory Details

To microk8s, or not to microk8s

This is Part 2 of a mini-series of my experiences getting Transcrobes migrated from separate server apps on a 4gig Alibaba Cloud VM to microk8s on the same VM, and automating (almost) everything with Gitlab CI. Check out Part 1 here Some Detailed Gripes and Gotchas Building Snaps I had seen a couple of talks on service meshes at a conference a while back but hadn’t had a play yet - microk8s ships with istio, and istio is all the rage these days (apparently), so I definitely wanted to use that in the system. [Read More]

Single-User Production on Microk8s

Never Say Never

This is Part 1 of a mini-series of my experiences getting Transcrobes migrated from separate server apps on a 4gig Alibaba Cloud VM to microk8s on the same VM, and automating (almost) everything with Gitlab CI. Introduction Microk8s is a kube-in-a-box distribution sponsored by Ubuntu, and in this blog post I recount my experiences getting my own personal Transcrobes installation migrated to a Kubernetes Helm chart and running on it on a 4GB VM on Alibaba Cloud in China. [Read More]

Hello, World!

Transcrobes is born

This blog post announces the official open-sourcing of the (brand new) Transcrobes project. Code is available for all components on Gitlab. Some ideas were originally posted to Blogger before the code was open-sourced. Future blogposts on the project by the maintainers should happen directly on https://transcrob.es. Transcrobes proposes a new paradigm for language learning, one that finally puts each individual language learner at the centre of everything. Content-based instruction, extensive reading and other modern approaches have been pushing in this direction for several decades, Transcrobes is an open source project that takes this approach to the logical conclusion. [Read More]