Who cares about the readers…?

Who cares about the readers…?

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.

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24 Responses to “Who cares about the readers…?”

  1. Serajadeyn says:

    Yes; practically all fans/readers just want to see the fruit’s of a group’s effort. They don’t want to take the factory tour to “see how it’s done”. Average scanlation reader is akin to the average toyota customer. They care not for the nuts and bolts they just want something that will get them there as cheaply and as efficiently as possible. Not only do they not care for the process, but most likely don’t want to hear about it, either. I certainly hope this doesn’t fall on deaf ears, because I agree with it.

    • GBolt says:

      Speaking in analogies, there are also people who think that cars grow on trees. Now make the analogy with Scanlation.

      • Rockmanshii says:

        There’s people who thinks money grows on tree… I try to tell them each time but they don’t understand… This makes me really sad the way how people think…

        • T1 says:


          Really? Who? :O

          Man is a sad being when he gets all used to get stuff for free.

    • woxxy says:

      We just need a C coder that fixes the issues that we have in scanlating with it.


    • Lucky says:

      You do realize that for all the pretentious laughs, there are people that do work with it instead of photoshop? Exks of Nana to Kaoru fame for example was looking for help and specifically mentioned working only in GIMP.

      • woxxy says:

        The problem is that GIMP doesn’t even have the tools to get the same image quality as photoshop. However much time you take.

  2. T1 says:

    Hmmm…but what about the readers? xD

    It is as you said it yourself. Readers care only about reading the stuff. This means that there are too many manga titles being scanlated for them to waste all their time reading the titles they read and not having time to think about the scanlation process. D:

    We should either
    a) Give them the raw and the translation and let them figure it out themselves.
    b) Kill some groups and titles and give them more time free time to scanlate.
    c) Make clones of ourselves and do more. We could get tentacles too…girls like those.
    d) Look at DMG…think they got something like that. We could also check mangatranslation for some of the tools he present. Dunno if they work, never tried it. I only tried the tool from Illuminati-Manga and it worked so-so. Too many problems.

    I vote for c though…moar girl groping!

    • highwind says:

      Wouldn’t we want to clone more girls rather than guys then? o_O unless we could sync all the clones…

      • T1 says:

        True, you are right. Plus girls are much better at deadlines and editing (thinking of shoujo groups that actually do sfx redraws) than guys….and it would be a nice hare..heaven!

          • T1 says:

            What? No intercourse between the chicks in your hare…heaven?

            I want to deal with it….sadly the shoujo groups I’m in it’s more like reverse raep…I pity any new guy coming and joining us (yes, I’m used to it which is quite scary)

  3. Mashed Potatoes says:

    I would definitely love to be able to poke people while easily translating Manga =w=
    Oh, btw I saw Kannagi in my local Borders…. IT’S FINALLY COME OUT WOOT WOOT. Of course I bought it to help dear Eri =3

    • muge says:

      That’s pretty interesting, using a booru-based software to make translations.

      I was thinking of something more “real-time”, perhaps like google docs minus the horrible lag, just my two cents.

      The booru idea is great though, never thought it could be used that way. There’s also a tag/note history so you can track changes along the way. Pretty useful. The code could probably be optimized though, since you don’t need all the features the booru offers in any case.

  4. chynabrack says:

    For you what is the biggest problem of the readers?
    the fact that some readers earn profit from this;
    they don’t give the credit for who translated, edited, etc;

    I am from brazil so I wanted to understand the situation of the scanlators who translate manga to english.
    Since now thanks

  5. Anon says:

    i believe Ken Akamatsu is working on something like this? he has big plans for scanlation right? just give him billions of USD, soon all “raws” will be available/uploaded 100% clean, and paid/professional translators can fill in the blanks. complete with language selection and notes.