Start a new topic

Amara-slapped task for Amara-deleted subs?

Last Friday, two videos  about the NALEO conference were added to the PBS NewsHour team:

In spite of the team settings not foreseeing task setting, the Amara software was particularly active at slapping tasks on these two videos over the week-end:

  • "4 Open Tasks", resulting in "5 languages (no completed language)" for the Obama video (1).
  • "2 Open Tasks", resulting in "1 language (no completed language)" for the Rubio video.

(see attached amara_newshour_naleo.jpg )

Of course, Amara's task slapping on subs of videos added to teams who don't want workflowed tasks and don't foresee them in their settings has been going on for at least 20 days now, and is already discussed in several threads of this forum.


However, there are several interesting characteristics in this particular bout of task-slapping:

  1. It happened after Darren Bridenbeck publicly wrote on June 22 about this "glitch": "Our developers know about this, and I have been making sure they understand the high importance of getting this fixed. " Actually, he wrote me the same thing by e-mail several days before that.
  2. The odd 2 tasks for only one subtitle set for the Rubio video
  3. The odd non-intuitive lay-out of the actions for these tasks, which first gave me the impression I couldn't decline the one assigned to me.

Re 1: It's high time the developers condescend to come to this help forum themselves and explain why the heck working on the removal of that glitch results in making the forms of its paralyzing effect proliferate.


Re 2: these 2 tasks for 1 set of subs (Spanish subs) seems due to the fact that Amara deleted the English set where I had transcribed 9+ minutes of the video. The team activity page still lists my starting then editing this set: see the amara_rubio_naleo_activity.jpg attachment, but though the 9+ minutes of unsync'd subs did appear when I did "Save and Exit" the second time, the whole thread was fully gone when I returned to the video a little later.

Now Amara deleting people's work is nothing new either: see the comments to the Spanish, Mexican subtitles of another video added to the NewsHour team. And there has been a moment when subs got saved, but no link for them appeared in the navbar: see Can't subtitle videos today - 15th June and Can't upload subtitles directly today.

But this is the first time I at least see a whole set of subs really deleted by Amara - maintaining the task for them into the bargain.


Re 3: the option to decline a task used to appear in the drop list attached to the "Perform this task" link. Now it only appears if you happen to mouse-over the empty space below, presumably because the Amara developers had the bright idea to start a new 1-item list for it and mark it "...form class="hidden" ...": see amara_naleo_rubio_source.txt attachment. Apart from being non-intuitive for everybody, it means that the decline option is not read by the screen readers used by blind people. True, Amara is also inaccessible to the blind in other ways, but a blind person might e.g. make subs with, then upload them to an Amara video page.

Could Amara developers come here and explain

  • what is the rationale for making task declining difficult for everybody, and impossible for the blind;
  • why they are messing around with this decline feature instead of working on the removal of the paralyzing glitch.

More in general: glitches don't suddenly appear of their own bat. Some human must have made a change to the Amara software part concerning teams at some point shortly before June 5. So why can't this human intervention be identified and reverted?




(1) Actually, the only language subs set that Amara didn't slap a task on is English, British, for which I created an unsync'd .srt file on, as the Amara software has disabled copypasting a transcript: see Darren Bridenbeck's June 22 explanation in Can't upload subtitles directly today) then uploaded marking the subs as complete though they weren't sync'd.
1 Comment

Now, a couple of hours later, the English subs for Marco Rubio's speech haver reappeared: not in the navbar of the video - that would be too user-friendly - but they can be found via the Activity subpage of the video where the link on the words English subtitles lead to, however only with the title and description and a doubly erroneous banner that says:
Subtitles translated from Spanish. Showing Revision 1, created Yesterday by Claude Almansi .
This is doubly erroneous because:
  1. I didn't translate this "Revision 1" (i.e. the 2nd version, in Amara parlance) from Spanish: I directly worked from the video.
  2. This empty "Revision 1" is not the one I created, where the transcript covered over 9 minutes of the video.

So this looks like the attempt to fix bugs by Amara people esther434 suggested as an explanation for the disappearance of her own work in the already mentioned comments to the Spanish, Mexican subtitles of Watch President Obama's Remarks on New Immigration Policy.

Considering this at times deleterious effect of such bug-fixing attempts, they should also be clearly visible in

  • the history of revisions of the subs' page
  • the Activity page of the video
  • the Activity page of the team

And they should be notified by e-mail to people who are following the involved subs, or the all the subs of the video.

At least, revision 0 (i.e. the first version) of the subs has also reappeared, so some of the transcript is saved. Of course I can't revert to that one - again, that would be too user-friendly.

However, I've been able to download them and reupload them as English, British subtitles, to leave the evidence concerning the just English subs as it is. For the time being, Amara created no task for, nor did it slap a draft status banner on, these English,British subtitles. Should one or the other thing happen, for Pete's sake, don't attempt to manually bug fix it without letting me know, so I can download what I've done before you touch the subs. And if you can't leave a clear trace of the attempt in the above mentioned pages, no need to ask: I'll just refuse.


Login or Signup to post a comment