Afterword

ThimphuTech was the first technology blog in Bhutan. We started writing it in 2009, just as broadband and mobile internet started to take off. (Although internet in Bhutan was launched in 1999, it was either super-slow or super-expensive, and was only used by a selected few).

In the blog, we wrote about technology and food, but also about plenty of other stuff. The blog became popular and influential in Bhutan. A companion bi-weekly column -- Ask Boaz -- was published for many years in the Kuensel, Bhutan's national newspaper. (The complete Kuensel columns are available as an ebook, Blogging with Dragons).

We stopped updating the blog when we left Bhutan in 2014, but the information within the posts can still prove useful, and thus we decided to keep it online.

We thank all our readers.
Tashi Delek,
Boaz & Galit.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Lost in translation

2002 soft cover
A Dzongkha-English dictionary is an invaluable resource for students and anyone studying Dzongkha. The DDC produced three versions that are supposed to be identical: a 2002 soft-cover edition, an online version, and a CD version (also downloadble from the DDC website). It appears that the two digital (online and CD) versions were created by simply copying the entries from the 2002 soft-cover. However, the replication was less than perfect, resulting in a major error: complete entries are missing from the digital versions. There are two types of missing information: One is due to files that do not exist on the server, leading to error pages in the online version but not the CD (see screenshot).


Error #1: Broken links due to missing pages

The other error is trickier and occurs in both online and CD versions: the file exists, but it is mistakenly empty! This leads to the impression that there are no words starting with that letter. An example is shown in the screenshot below, where it seems as if there are no words starting with ལོ ("Lo").

Error #2:  Empty pages. No words starting with ལོ ("Lo")?
No words starting with "lo" is clearly incorrect (the 2002 soft-cover lists over 50 such words). Several other pages also erroneously list empty pages.

The needed fix: DDC should upload the missing files, should update the erroneously empty files and carefully test each and every webpage. Unfortunately, new CDs will have to be burned.

A note about usability: While the erroneous missing webpages reflect an oversight, there are indeed cases where there are no words (at least in the 2002 soft-cover) starting with that letter. An example is ཙེ ("Tse"). In such cases, rather than displaying an empty page, a comment is in place such as "there are no words starting with this letter".

Usability: When no entries exist for some letter, a clarifying comment is in place.