Thanks! (and a wishlist)

I just wanted to express my gratitude to Indico developers.

We have a traditional Condensed Matter meeting here in Ankara “YMF Ankara” Which has been going for 27 years now. It is free to attend, we try to arrange sponsors for free food and prizes. It is intended to bring young researchers and established researchers together. It is so very rare here something lasts that long here, so it makes it all the more precious.

This year, for some particular reasons, the organizers were very late starting the organization procedure, and asked my help. I have seen Indico being used in TRUBA, so I decided to give it a try.

Long story short, I was able to bring a site together in relatively short time, thanks to detailed documentation, and with very limited resources thanks to optimization (a single Raspberry Pi 4 with no load balancing). There were ~300 Attendees, with around 50 posters and 13 invited talks. Everything went exceptionally smoothly save some translation requirements.

I am especially thankful for the thoughtful features such as badge tool, latex export tool, surveys. Overall, this tool is awesome, and is an enabler for low-budget, free-to-attend events like this. Thank you very much.

That being said, I do have a wishlist if I may:

  • I am submitting the Turkish translations of the terms as mandated by the bureaucracy of some universities here, however I realized that not everything can be translated at the moment using that mechanism (for example, the new “features” seem not to be implemented yet), and there is no “single translation” that fits all purposes in my language. (Translations between languages are rarely linear maps anyway) So maybe, a content management approach to translations that can be adjusted per event and globally (i.e. the translation menu in Drupal etc.) might be a good feature?
  • Some names, surnames, or affiliations are arbitrarily long. In the badge tool possibility to set a “dynamic size” field, which the font size will be adjusted to fit the text in the allocated box will be a great feature.

  • Happily running Indico with no CPU bottlenecks whatsoever.
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This is pretty cool! I’d have never thought to run Indico on a raspi, but it’s indeed not very CPU-bound. Memory is more important especially to run multiple processes for dealing with parallel requests.

Ideally the global translation should be of high enough quality to cover all events. Event-specific strings (like registration form field labels) are a different topic though, we do want to add something for those at some point. But I think customizable translation dicts on the event level (or even admin level in the UI) for “system strings” are unlikely to happen.

That sounds like a good idea, but unless someone contributes it, it’s unlikely to happen until we rewrite this rather legacy module at some point.

This is an interesting point. Up to now, our users were mostly scientists, who focus on the essential (and mostly don’t need translations). But there are ambiguous cases like “programme”, “timetable” and “agenda” (and even “program” can sneak into the discussion). In de we had (have?) “Programm”, “Stunden-/Zeitplan” and “Tagesordnung”. Although they are functional synonyms in Indico, some events may (virtually) not be organisable with one or the other name of schedule.
The end of a year is time to look back at andecdotes; some years ago, I got negative feedback about the term “Apply” (to attend a closed meeting). In circles, where people address each others as spectabiles or excellencies, it may be deemed offensive by some members that they have to apply for a closed meeting, where they are usually invited. I ended up patching the sources.

For sure, Indico is not meant to solve problems, which linguists did not solve for decades, neither can we refresh fusty codes of conduct.
But I think the above request is a little reminder that with a growing community, we may face more and more of what looks at first sight like a caprice or allure. And some of them may be legitimate in view of the increasing capacities of software and hardware to handle an Extrawurst.

– By the way, nice proof of principle to run the complete system on an RPi, @osbama. The distrubution of an all-inclusive Indico-as-a-box comes into reach for ephemeral events. Only sustainability prevents us from doing so (and I hope it will).

For the records, would you mind to point out, exactly which items or synonyms posed problems in Turkish for you (and you could not fix permanently by updating the translation on transifex)?