Web Excursions 2021-06-01

True Fans Translate: Fansubbing BookStory

  • 本屋物語, a bookstore simulator created by the Japanese videogame developer Kairosoft in 1997

  • Before I sought potential translators, I had to determine if the implementation of their work was even technically possible.

    • BookStory is written in Visual Basic 5, a programming language developed by Microsoft in the mid-90s.

    • to view this source in any meaningful way and rebuild it into a newly translated game, I figured I’d need a copy of Visual Studio 97, the original software used to write it.

    • Surprisingly, it installed and ran successfully on Windows 10.

  • Instead of consulting a lone translator, I decided to enlist the help of BookStory’s ardent Twitter following and enable anyone with the link to comment on the [Google] sheet.

    • A distributed, ad-hoc nano-community sprung up around the translation effort, with numerous threads, posts, and chats propelling the effort forward.

    • In less than forty-eight hours after my initial tweet, all menus and UI elements were translated by over a dozen volunteers


Wikipedia is swimming in money—why is it begging people to donate?

  • Keeping Wikipedia online is a task that the WMF could comfortably manage on $10 million a year

  • what does the WMF do with all the money?

    • It has used the funds to hire hundreds of additional staff and put money aside for a rainy day.

    • It has ambitious plans to “become the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge.”

    • And it is prepared to tell Wikipedia readers it really needs their money when it is richer than ever.

  • When the WMF announced the creation of an endowment with the Tides Foundation in January 2016, on Wikipedia’s 15th birthday, its goal was to accumulate $100 million over 10 years

    • the $100 million mark, now described as an “initial goal,” will be reached this year.

    • money donated to the endowment is not included in the WMF’s reported net assets ($180 million as of last June) or annual revenue ($130 million); recorded under expenditures (“Awards and Grants”).

    • WMF has effectively operated with a far larger surplus for the past five years than its financial statements indicate

  • [In 2020,] it transferred another $8.7 million to a new “Tides Advocacy” fund.

    • WMF is launching a for-profit company named Wikimedia, LLC. This will sell API services to big tech companies

  • WMF itself has changed beyond recognition

    • In 2007 the organization had 11 employees and expenses of $2 million.

    • In 2021, WMF’s job advertisement looking for a successor to CEO Katherine Maher—who left in April—says the WMF employs a team of over 500. Top-tier managers earn $300,000 – $400,000 a year. Over 40 people work exclusively on fundraising.

HN Discussions

  • zozbot234: the donation money isn't just used to keep the encyclopedia online.

    • They have hundreds of language versions of Wikipedia itself, and many related "sister" projects, with perhaps the most clearly impacting being Wikimedia Commons and Wikidata

    • Quite a bit of their funding also enables growth in least-developed countries,

    • all large organizations have some possible waste within them.

  • furi: in light of Mozilla's example the only part of this I disagree with is the article's negative angle on the endowment. Creating an endowment like that is exactly what Mozilla should have done.


How can I convert between IANA time zones and Windows registry-based time zones? | The Old New Thing

  • A customer wanted to be able to convert from IANA time zones and Windows registry-based time zones. Is there a function for doing that?

  • Yes, but it’s not somewhere you might think to look

  • The Windows globalization team emphasizes that what you should not do is take the information from CLDR, use it to produce a translation table, and hard-code that table into your application.

  • Time zones are notoriously fickle, and there’s a team of people inside Microsoft whose full-time job is to keep track of time zone changes worldwide.

  • A copy of ICU has been included with Windows since Windows 10 Version 1703 (build 15063).

    • All you have to do is include icu.h, and you’re off to the races.

  • An advantage of using the version that comes with Windows is that it is actively maintained and updated by the Windows team.

    • If you need to run on older systems, you can build your own copy from their fork of the ICU repo, but the job of servicing the project is now on you.