Introducing FISSION Translate: A Global Translation Layer for Smart Contract Communication

Jenn Cooper
Oct 4, 2018 · 4 min read
Photo by Jes

Hi, I’m Jenn Cooper, the newest contributor on the FISSION Suite team.

After years of helping companies successfully create and enhance their software systems in both development and leadership roles, I’m happy to say that I’ve made the leap into research & development with a primary focus on open source software in the blockchain space. This has been an important step for me, as I derive great satisfaction from helping to make technology accessible to as many individuals as possible — developers and end users alike.

My current focus, as part of SPADE, is contributing to the FISSION Suite as a means to provide a standard way for smart contracts to communicate, and thus advance the accessibility of Ethereum to a global user base.

In The Spirit of Decentralization

When we talk about what decentralization is as it pertains to blockchains, we often talk about what it means from a technology architecture standpoint. But decentralization is also about the redistribution of power from a few, to many. In order to achieve this, it needs to be about more than just scale — we need to ensure uniform accessibility of information. It is through wide-spread access to Ethereum, for both developers and end users, that we can catalyze further growth and mass adoption of blockchain technologies.

Enter FISSION Translate

Having accurate cultural, linguistic, contextual, and fully customizable translations tuned to each user is an important and necessary goal for Ethereum. The current method of communication between smart contracts and end users, is through hard-coded messaging following a failure/revert (typically in English). This approach serves only a small segment of the global population — technologically literate English speakers, global developers who all program in English, and a handful of Chinese smart contract developers who use their native language in revert messages. On success, despite not truly knowing that the transaction was successful, we hope to receive nothing — nothing is a good sign.

FISSION Translate addresses these issues by handling the registry of translations for you in a maximally decentralized way. For those of you familiar with The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, it’s essentially a Babel Fish.

Screen Cap from Babel Fish: The Oddest Thing In The Universe (The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy)

An Implementation of EIP-1444

EIP-1444 is an Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) that suggests a standardized approach to providing end user feedback, specifically by converting machine-efficient codes into human-readable messages in any language or phrasing. The system does not impose a list of languages, but rather lets users create, share, and/or consume the messaging of their choice.

ERC-1444 was designed to work with the FISSION Suite, but is a general implementation and can potentially be applied in many different circumstances. If you are a developer and would like to use the EIP-1444 standard in your own projects, we encourage you to check out our ethereum-localized-messaging npm package.

Translations Bounties

As a means to kickstart community participation, we are offering translations bounties! We are currently on the lookout for individuals who are fluent in English and one or more other languages, to provide translations of FISSION Codes.

FISSION Codes are broadly applicable status codes for Ethereum smart contracts that enable a standard vocabulary of messages. They provide maximally efficient communication and interoperability. In order to make FISSION Codes accessible to a diverse end user base, FISSION Translate allows anyone to deploy a localization in different languages, phrasings, and in varying levels of technical detail depending on the end user’s needs and preferences.

If you are interested in getting involved, you do not need to be a developer! Check out our list of active bounties on Bounties Network, or see our Translations Contribution Guidelines for more information.

Our Community repo is just slowly getting started. We’ll be scheduling regular community calls and you can follow our bounty board on Github here.

I’ll be managing translations bounties, along with the technical implementation and review process for this project. If you have any feedback or suggestions regarding how we can make this project better, feel free to reach out or submit an issue on the FISSION Translate repo.

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