Computer Science student, web professional

Utilizing Facebook’s ui method (http://bit.ly/mvcPSG) has been a great success. I established a page that had a input textarea to make one’s comment in English. Then I did a GET action for the form, to pass the textarea’s value to the url. Once the value was passed, I had envisioned the page grabbing that value, posting it to facebook and then doing the translation. With the translation done, then it would do another post.

The Project In Review

I encountered some issues with deciding what type of technology to use and what process actually worked using the Google translation api and the Facebook’s UI method.

google's code logo

I decided upon using PHP with HTML and JavaScript. I found it quite easy to pass the data from the text area to the URL in this fashion. What I found difficult was how to do the translation and when. I attempted to do it first on the page that I passed the value to. Unfortunately, this was causing a bit of a cumberson nature of use for the user. I stepped-back at this point to re-evaluate the project and how I would want to use this as a user. I wanted to be able to input the facebook status (comment) and click post, and it would go to Facebook. I decided to move the translation to the initial page as well.

The Translation Revamp

I decided that if I was going to do a translation on the same page as the input area, I didn’t want the user to have click excessively. As a result, I decided to implement an onchange javascript call to a function that would do the translation. Then with this, Google’s api has a callback feature. With the callback feature, I was able to reassign the value of an HTML’s element. I updated a hidden translation input field for the form. With this done, I was then able to easily pass the value’s of the english input textarea and the hidden tranlsation element to the URL. On the receiving page, I pulled the data from the URL via PHP and passed the value to the Facebook’s UI. It functions sort of like this:

User input -> click post -> popup for translated post -> user click post or skip -> popup for english post -> user click post or skip

Analysis of Project

I believe that I’m going to work on implementing it a bit differently. If I combine the english & the translated text, I feel this would be easier for the user.If the user decided they didn’t want to include the translated piece then they could delete it. This is more difficult than just clicking skip, but on the flip-side it is much faster than clicking post twice. In addition to this, the wall would not have two posts, but one single one, which will result in a ‘cleaner’ wall. Next steps: modifications to the application and attempting to incorporate it into Facebook’s canvas (https://www.facebook.com/developers/).

Auto-Translate Post
http://www.stan-wood.info/apps/translate/graphcomments.php 

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