Sunday, November 27, 2011

AnkiDroid 1.0 released!

Yesterday I released version 1.0 of AnkiDroid (flashcards app for Android).
With already 140.000 users, why is AnkiDroid only at version 1.0?
We released many 0.x versions, and now we feel the app is ready to be called 1.0!
The number of users has been multiplied by 8 in less than a year:

With 1.0, today is a good opportunity to describe how the AnkiDroid community of contributors works.

1) We do all we can to be friendly with all newcomers. We answer all questions and thank users for using the product.

2) We encourage everybody to participate, at every level. We introduce users to the bug tracker, and liberally give them rights to edit the Wiki, which makes them feel they are contributors rather than just users. Similarly, everyone is able to fork and edit the code, without having to ask the permission to anyone. Localization is the archetype of this spirit: Anyone can translate strings, and they are included in AnkiDroid automatically. Like on Wikipedia, consensus is the rule.

Why do we need to keep involving more and more people? Well, contributors have day jobs or exams, so their individual participation includes periods of activity alternating with periods of inactivity. See for instance this timeline of contributions, one color per contributor:

The huge majority of contributors are volunteers, but some people are also paid to contribute. Notably, the first Simplified Chinese localization has been sponsored by a Chinese company.

Geographically, developers have always been coming from very various countries: Egypt, Japan, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Brazil... Beta-testers come from virtually all over the globe, with even one in Antarctica. Thanks to this diversity, tricky issues with right-to-left languages or special characters are detected and fixed early. AnkiDroid is now available in 27 languages.

Feel free to comment if you have any question!
Nicolas Raoul

Friday, November 18, 2011

Targeting China? Be prepared for additional web development costs

If you want your web application to tap into the huge Chinese market, I have a bad news for you.

Until April 2011, IE6 was still the #1 browser in China. Now it is still at 37%.
That's bad news, because IE6 is an old browser with many bugs. Making your website usable on IE6 is very complex, it will typically double your UI custom widgets development costs.

If you are not targeting China, then do like Google AppsFacebook, Twitter and YouTube: don't invest time in making your website compatible with IE6. Actually 87% of the global top-30 websites offer a sub-optimal experience to IE6 users.

But if you are targeting China, be prepared. In particular:
Chrome recently became the second most-used browser in China, but guess what was the second-most used web browser earlier this year? Not Firefox, not Safari. It was Maxthon, from Hong Kong. It is based on Trident, just like Internet Explorer. There is also 搜狗, that can use IE and Chrome as a rendering engine. Finally, claiming 172 million active users, 360安全 is also based on Trident, and shows the same faults as IE6.
Nicolas Raoul



昨日Trooisという新しいオープンソースプロジェクトをリリースしました。Google App Engineで動作するAmazon S3のクローンです。

Amazon S3はファイルを書きこんだり、読み込んだりするアプリケーションにすごく便利です。とくに:

しかしAmazon S3は有料です。安価ですが、無料の選択肢があれば、下記の場合にメリットがあります:

Amazon S3の無料版がなかったので、作りました。Google App Engineで動作します。ソースコードをAffero General Public Licenseでオープンソースにしたので、皆さんは自由に使うことができますし、オープンにすればソースコードの変更もできます。

プロジェクトの名前は、「Troois」にしました。S3のフランス語発音「S trois」の「trois」に、Googleの「oo」を入れました。日本語の発音で「トローワ」かな…

Amazon S3と同じく、REST HTTP POSTで送ったファイルを、REST HTTP GETでダウンロードできます。

是非あなたのGoogle App Engineインスタンスで試して、フィードバックを送ってください。そして、是非是非新しい機能にご協力ください!