Tower of Babel Hints


My ERD ended up looking like the below.

Show ERD

Steps for setting up the CRUD infrastructure

  1. Generate user accounts.
  2. Generate chat resources.
  3. Force users to sign in before they can do anything else.
  4. Modify the generated chat resource code to automatically associate a chat with the signed in user.
  5. Use the Language seed data to create a dropdown in the new chat form.
  6. There’s a helper method in actions and view templates that you can use to find out the URL of the current request: request.original_url (to display the share link).
  7. Whenever a visitor arrives at a chat details page:
    • Check whether we know this visitor or not (look in their browser cookies).
    • If not,
      • Create a new record in a table to keep track of them. I called this table Speaker.
      • Default their name to “Guest” (unless they happen to be a signed in User, then set their name to their name).
      • Default their language to the chat’s default language (unless they happen to be a signed in User, then set their language to English).
      • Save them.
      • Set a cookie with their newly assigned ID number in this table.
    • If so,
      • Look them up.
  8. Make a form on the chat details page to allow speakers to modify their display name and language.
  9. Make a form on the chat details page to allow speakers to add messages to the chat.
  10. Display the list of messages associated with a chat on the details page, along with the speaker’s name, in ascending order that they were created_at.
  11. There is a view helper method called simple_format that will do basic formatting of long pieces of text, like adding line breaks.

The crux of it

Now that you have the basic CRUD of the application working, the crux of the application:

  • Create a table to store translations of each message. I called mine Translation, with a message_id, language_id, and body.
  • As you are looping through the messages for a chat to display them on the details page, for each message:
  • Look up the translation of the message in the current speaker’s language.
  • If it is not nil,
    • Display it.
  • If it is nil,
    • Translate it with the Google Translate API and save it.
    • Then display it.