I keep getting asked 'Who are you guys?,' so to help unload some of that extra mail from my inbox I have now provided this nice little page with a summary of the active Authors, Editors and Managers here, along with the number of articles that they have posted.


Babel is currently expanding to be able to offer content and threaded discussions in over 400 languages on the site, which means building 400 brand new sections, each one which will be hosted by Authors, Editors and Managers in their own native language for our progressive academic journal and eventual online university. The main idea is to simply take the English-language prototype of Babel) and have different language versions of the site with the same goals and aspirations as the original English-speaking version.

The Babel foreign language sections currently built (but not yet visible online) are for:

English -- http://en.towerofbabel.com 
Spanish – http://es.towerofbabel.com 
French – http://fr.towerofbabel.com 
German – http://de.towerofbabel.com 
Italian – http://it.towerofbabel.com 
Estonian – http://et.towerofbabel.com 
Dutch – http://nl.towerofbabel.com 
Japanese – http://ja.towerofbabel.com 
Russian – http://ru.towerofbabel.com 
and Arabic – http://ar.towerofbabel.com 

Soon another 400 language sections will also be built, with the most popular languages continuing the subdomain style of having two character designations for their sections and the more obscure languages having three character designations for their sections. (http://www.w3.org/WAI/ER/IG/ert/iso639.htm)

(What Babel is attempting to do with Slash is not something which has been tried before, so it could be a bit of a slow process getting all 400 language section versions up and going on the site. So please understand if it takes a while for me to answer your queries right now. I thank you all in advance for your patience.)

What this means for languages spoken in more than one country is that in the, say, Spanish Babel section there will be Authors, Editors and Managers who are native Spanish speakers, but hopefully not from the same country. It would be ideal if there were Authors, Editors and Managers from Argentina, Mexico, Spain etc. so you will all be able to post stories submitted in Spanish about issues particular to your specific country or your specific artistic passion so visitors to the site can comment in Spanish about what is posted in that language’s section.

The main thing I need to clarify before we go any further is what the terms “Authors” “Editors” and “Managers” mean because they may not mean what you’re used to them meaning because they’re terms which apply to how they’re designated in Slash. If you’re not familiar with Slash or Slashdot I recommend that you go to http://slashdot.org, which is the site which developed Slash specifically for the Slashdot site. For a short and concise explanation about what Slashdot is, go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slashdot.

The way Slash is set up there are simply users and Authors, but for the purposes of Babel I’ve decided to expand the designations to “Authors” “Editors” and “Managers” because this way it's easier to tell the difference between the three different levels of security access which will provide you with access to the various administrative parts of the site. The term “author” is actually a bit of a misnomer as used in Slash because as you can see from my status as an author further down this page I’m the “author” of over 700 stories even though I’ve only written a few (Neal Robbins is currently responsible for most of them). It’s better to think of an author as “one who authorizes stories to be displayed, whether they’ve been submitted by others or posted by oneself” when dealing with Slash.

While site users only see the front end of Slash, the Authors, Editors and Managers have a special interface called backSlash, which controls everything from posting Stories to managing Authors.

Any logged-in Author, Editor or Manager will see a special row of links below the main title banner of any page. This is the Admin menu. If the heart of Slash administration is the backSlash interface, its nerve center is the Admin menu. It holds the keys to unlock the remote administration features provided by the admin.pl applet.

A Slash Author, Editor, or Manager is simply a user account that has been granted additional privileges. Each user account within Slash has an assigned security level or “seclev.” This is an integer between 0 and 10,000. Regular users start with a seclev of 1, and the Anonymous User has a seclev of 0. Authors must have a seclev of at least 100.

Specific author abilities kick in at the following Security Levels:

100 – the “Author” level

View Admin menu
View Stories list
Edit Stories
Use block editor
Post new Stories
Create and edit polls
Unlimited moderation
Delete posted comments

500 -- the “Editor” level

View and approve submissions
Edit templates
Edit site colors

1,000 – the “Manager” level

Manage Sections
Manage comment filters

10,000 – “God”

Manage Authors
Edit variables
Edit Topics
Ban user
Edit IP block list
Expire user Session
Set default user comment score
Set user read-only flags

One day, hopefully soon, Slash will be threaded with Unicode so anyone can post stories and/or post comments in any character set they wish to type. But for now I’ve decided that the easiest way to make Slash multilingual is to create 400 new “sections” of Babel, which will be designated by language. What this means is that each language’s section will be needing Authors, Editors and Managers so each section can be its own version of Babel.

As far as the graduated positions are concerned, a Manager is also able to be an Editor and an Author. An Editor can also be an Author, but not a Manager. And an Author can only be an Author, not an Editor or a Manager. Unless of course Authors and Editors do such a stellar job that we decide to promote them.

I'd like those who are interested in being assigned to the section of your native language version of the site to write and explain which position you’d like and why so we can measure how much time, energy, enthusiasm and creativity you’re planning on bringing to Babel. The security levels for Editors will provide opportunities for creativity and enable you to customize your section as you wish. I like the idea of Editors being able to design their own section of Babel as they see fit, perhaps taking a completely different approach to a design of the tower of Babel.

One of the main responsibilities of the section Managers is to spearhead the initiative to have the content of the user interface pages as well as the inner workings of the administrative pages of Slash translated into their own section’s native language so you can be free to deal with the code on an administrative level in your own native language. This will also be of great benefit for the Slash developers community so that website owners wishing to add Slash to their code will be able to deal with it in their own language straight out of the box. This does not need to be accomplished by the section manager alone, and I recommend getting a hold of other webmasters utilizing Slash in their own non-English speaking websites to see how much of their sites have been translated so unnecessary work can be avoided.

This list of other sites which are either using Slash in other languages or else building sites similar in spirit to Slash will give you some ideas as to how much customization can be done with the code, as well as see all of the various parts which will need to be translated so each section can be as independent from the English language as possible.

http://www.nlroei.nl – A Dutch-speaking site using Slash

http://www.minut.ee – An Estonian-speaking site using Slash

http://www.symlink.ch -- A German-speaking site using Slash

http://www.accordo.it -- An Italian-speaking site using Slash

http://www.citinv.it – An Italian-speaking site using Slash

http://www.dsmodena.it – An Italian-speaking site using Slash

http://www.inRoma.it – An Italian-speaking site using Slash

http://slashdot.ne.jp – A Japanese-speaking site using Slash

http://gildot.org -- A Portuguese-speaking site using Slash

http://nou.surse.ro – A Romanian-speaking site using Slash

http://slashzone.ru – A Russian-speaking site using Slash

http://puntbarra.com -- A Catalan-speaking site in the spirit of Slashdot

http://linuxfr.org/pub -- A French-speaking site in the spirit of Slashdot

http://barrapunto.com -- A Spanish-speaking site in the spirit of Slashdot

Babel is also an online translation laboratory with currently over 300 translators in 75 languages offering their services to help translate the site. We are a non-profit organization, the translators are voluntary and work on the site because they enjoy it (kind of like Linux). Those translators who work on the site get their resume featured on the site. Potential translators and journal editors submit their resume or CV before being allowed to begin helping with the site so their education, skills, experience and knowledge base with translating can first be evaluated in order to ensure that Babel’s standards of excellence are maintained.

If you’re interested in being a voluntary foreign language journal author, editor or manager for Babel,
send us an email with your current resume or CV attached as a Microsoft Word attached document so we can see what your education, skills and knowledge base are.

If you’re interested in being a voluntary translator for Babel,
send us an email with your current resume or CV attached as a Microsoft Word attached document so we can see what your education, skills and knowledge base are.

706 malcolm

Generated on Thursday August 12, @01:19AM.

Malcolm Lawrence
Babel: The multilingual, multicultural
online journal and community of arts and ideas.
Babel reminds you: Man is distinguished, not only by his reason, but by this singular passion from other animals, which is a lust of the mind, that by a perseverance of delight in the continual and indefatigable generation of knowledge, exceeds the short vehemence of any carnal pleasure. -- Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan, Part I, Chapter VI.