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CX2: Explore ways to show inspectors as popups for dialogs
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Description

Content Translation provides context information as cards in the tools column in order to help translators. Preserving this metaphor has

Current situation

In order to provide a good translation, users may need to check different pieces of information to decide how the original idea is better represented in the target language. For example, in Content Translation, you can select a word and get (a) the Wikipedia article for such word (to explore it and learn more about the topic and quickly add it as a link), (b) dictionary definitions for the word, and (c) alternative translations for the word to quickly replace it. This rich context appears on a separate tools sidebar to allow users to access it when it’s needed, but avoid getting in the way of editing the content when this context is not needed.

When editing complex content elements, modal dialogs are the default components used in Visual Editor. Modal dialogs delimit the area where interaction is expected, but some of them require some of the tools provided in the tools sidebar (e.g., to add links or select the translation engine to use). Interventions were made to allow accessing the tools column (T193587) and to represent dialogs to conform with the document editing metaphor (T198390) so that the tools column is better connected to the information being edited.

This customization effort has raised some concerns on the mainteinance costs it may imply, and potential accessibility issues.

Proposal
In order to minimize potential issues it my be worth exploring alternatives that require a lower amount of customization, while keeping the metaphors that have been successfully working for translators. In particular:

  • Explore technical ways to provide tools in two different placements depending on the context: (a) as cards in the sidebar when editing the translation document, and (b) as popups when editing inside dialogs.
  • Investigate how to expose language tools in the dialog context. Tools such as the Automatic translation card can be useful to decide whether and how to translate the content of some information fields.
  • Keep track of the issues that the current customization produces.