Google Toolbar

I've had my ups and downs with the Google Toolbar for Firefox this week. Normally I think it has some valuable features in addition to what Firefox offers although I only use a fraction of all the things you can do with it. But things have been a little frustrating the last few days.

It started with Google announcing Sidewiki. Reading their announcement really got me fired up. This is something that I've been thinking about and wanting for many years. Well frankly, the scale was a little smaller in my head. What I've been after is a way for academics to annotate papers they read with comments and share them with others in a simple way. I've discovered quite a few bugs in research papers over the years and at times I've been frustrated with the fact that no one takes responsibility for these, not the published and very seldomly the author(s). So naturally Sidewiki got me very enthusiastic because it's just what I wanted, and on steroids even!

So I rushed to download the new Google Toolbar which is needed to access Sidewiki. After I restarted Firefox I looked around for the new feature. After a few moments of unsuccessful searching I went to consult Googles help section. As it turns out Sidewiki doesn't work in all languages yet, and one of the unsupported languages is Swedish. Dang! But why am I using a Swedish toolbar in the first place? I often use the English language version of software because I often find that the Swedish translations can be confusing and I tend to use the English terms anyway.

The next step was naturally to download the English version of the toolbar. But the download page didn't give me any choice of language. After a couple of minutes of more research I find out that the language of the toolbar is determined by the language used for Firefox. So it turns out I have a Swedish version of Firefox, something that is complete news to me, especially since all the menus are in English. Argh! And the reason for this is because I choose the Swedish as my language when installing Ubuntu some two years ago since Ubuntu handles the installation and upgrading of Firefox.

To sum up, I can't use Sidewiki because some decision I made a couple of years ago. Sigh. There are of course a whole number of things I can do to make it work but I don't know of a single one which I would actually be prepared to do at this point. I just have to be patient for a Sidewiki to be translated to Swedish.

There was also one other thing today. The new version of Google Toolbar that I now have installed has a feature for translating web pages and offering this translation of pages not in your home language. I've already disabled this feature for English pages. But a few moments ago I visited a Swedish page. Google Toolbar identified it as being in German and offered to translate into Swedish. Hello?

No comments: