Which is the better deed?
Giving better tools to allow the readers to read,
or giving better tools to allow the scanlators to work faster?
Most people think only about the former, not even realizing the latter, because it’s more fun to be popular among the readers, than being respected in scanlation.
I always get mail from people who’d like to start a manga aggregator with me, because I am the most popular coder around here I guess, and because I own the code of the best reader. They want to create a new, flashy site that will host all manga for free, without profit. I kindly answer with a “no”, while many thoughts pile in my head. Nothing negative: I just realize how people aren’t familiar with the scanlation community, neither know where to address their efforts.
I agree that delivering is really important, but that’s like, 5% of the work, and it’s already dealt with through missile launchers and transoceanic cruisers. There’s literally petabytes of traffic due to scanlation.
Everyone just focuses on a 5%, and nobody really notices how there’s another 95% that can be improved, and that relies on “upgrading” scanlation itself.
People should stop thinking about how to deliver content, and start thinking about the scanlation process. There’s absolutely no piece of software for scanlators (and translation in general) that can deal with priorities, attaching extra files to a release, do messaging in a team, poking people, and much more that could make scanlation extremely faster and cleaner. We still use email, FTP, dropbox, forums, Wiki, all separated, and extremely clunky.
I imagine software that can typeset via browser by the translator, fixed on the image by the proofreaders, then be sent to GIMP/Photoshop to be refined by the editor, and an interface via HTML to point out more mistakes. A live wiki system for translations, and a priorities page updated in real time, with comments and blockers.
This is not sci-fi. It’s all doable, and it’s not difficult to do.
I wish we had the time to do this. I hope I can find more skilled programmers like prinny and Yarn, who helped me lately with the PHP code. I really want to implement the above, I am sure everyone would love it, and could cut down scanlation time by at least 30%.
Anyway, what I had to say is: stop thinking of the readers, start thinking about the scanlators. The former have plenty of options, while the latter is trying to cut rice with chopsticks.