Multilingual Support

Where developers, translators, and users meet...
serendipity
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Location: NJ/NY

Re: Multilingual Support

Post by serendipity » 07 Feb 2012 21:14

admin wrote:Let me give you only one example why I think this is a good decision: A typical German company would LOVE to buy software from Cologne, Germany, but ONLY if it is in GERMAN. Whatever the reasons, this is a fact, and IMO this fact currently costs me a fortune.
Having lived in Germany once upon a time I totally agree with that point. I wish you good luck too.
One suggestion though, instead of going all out with opening your app to language, it would be better to do it in stages with layered method and intermittent public testing. Easier to quash bugs which come up with each stage.
Last edited by serendipity on 07 Feb 2012 22:58, edited 1 time in total.

PeterH
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Re: Multilingual Support

Post by PeterH » 07 Feb 2012 22:13

admin wrote:Let me give you only one example why I think this is a good decision: A typical German company would LOVE to buy software from Cologne, Germany, but ONLY if it is in GERMAN. Whatever the reasons, this is a fact, and IMO this fact currently costs me a fortune.
I see, and understand...

But other things to account for...

What about the forum? People not feeling able to use an English program might have problems to go to an English forum? And the base of users to help them in other languages will be much smaller. (OK: German, even Kölsch, will be no problem, I think. :lol: )
And OK again: people in a company can work on native language XY, and for help they have an admin, who can go to the English forum...

Quite another aspect, here as a funny (but real) example:
Maybe 100 years ago, at my workplace, I "tested" XTREE Pro Gold, as an English version. As I liked it very much I asked to buy me the official product. After some time it arrived - in German! I thought: not bad!
XTREE is only keyboard-oriented: every key has a function. d=display, b=branch, ..., every key, even combined with control, alt and shift. (No Win-key in those days... :shock: )
The German version had German abbreviations. Always when I thought about what key to press I pressed the right key. Every time I thought about what I wanted to do my fingers (not me!) pressed the English key - leading to the (surely unwanted) German function.
After just 15 minutes I had made enough rubbish: I deleted the German version and re-ordered it in English...

Now thinking about German XY I thought of dialogs saying "press Continue" and then showing buttons with "Weiter" und and "Abbruch": funny when an English program works on deutsches Windows. But I'm sure: I'll keep it in English!
W7(x64) SP1 German
( +WXP SP3 )

j_c_hallgren
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Re: Multilingual Support

Post by j_c_hallgren » 07 Feb 2012 22:28

PeterH wrote:What about the forum? People not feeling able to use an English program might have problems to go to an English forum? And the base of users to help them in other languages will be much smaller. (OK: German, even Kölsch, will be no problem, I think. :lol: )
And OK again: people in a company can work on native language XY, and for help they have an admin, who can go to the English forum...
What appears to work on some other sites is to have one common non-English sub-forum where any type of issue can be posted...this keeps the core sub-forums available for us who are limited to English...hey, I know I should have learned Swedish from my parents but never did and at my age now, it ain't going to happen! :oops:
Still spending WAY TOO much time here! But it's such a pleasure helping XY be a treasure!
(XP on laptop with touchpad and thus NO mouse!) Using latest beta vers when possible.

FeatureCreep
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Re: Multilingual Support

Post by FeatureCreep » 08 Feb 2012 02:00

6 MONTHS! COLD TURKEY? YOU CAN'T BE... :shock:

This is 100% the right decision. I'll miss the new features for a while but I understand the commercial imperative.

Perhaps there's a middle road?

XYplorer already has customizable user buttons with dropdown menus.
I suspect most users who add a user button with a single action for the left-click don't waste the opportunity to add a right-click menu.
I typically add all related commands (and scripts) to these drop down menus. After adding all available custom buttons I have most of the menu items available from the toolbar.

The point is, you can add your own text next to each item in the dropdown lists and this can be in any language you want.

Suggestion:
-----------
Tweak the existing toolbar functionality to allow the main menu to be accessed via toolbar buttons so that 12 toolbar buttons replace the menu.

The tweaks
----------
1. Remove limit on number of custom user buttons
2. Add additional toolbar (row)
3. When "label" is used in the icon field make the menu button width automatically grow to match the length of label text. Otherwise provide icons to represent the main menu headings.
4. Add the option for a user button to be defined as a "menu button" (i.e. a special category of user button). Menu buttons would popdown their menus on mouseover (after the first menu button had been clicked).
5. Enable submenu flyouts

The benefits
-------------
Better use of screen space -with the menu and all or some of the buttons on one row.
Users can customize the menus any way they want (a major feature in itself).
Volunteers can translate complete menus and upload them to the forum.
No code changes would be required to facilitate translation of XYplorer's menus leaving only dialog and message boxes to be done.
Subsequent changes to the menu would not have to take translation into account.
When new features are added but a particular translation has not been updated, any user already familiar with menu customization can easily add their own to their menu.

Other considerations
--------------------
The original menu is not removed nor is it translated into other languages. It is merely hidden by default (i.e Alt+Up/#1061). It is always available in English on all future language versions of XYplorer. This makes providing help to non-English speakers on the forum much easier. You can always just give them menu items in English and let them find the corresponding term in their language by referencing the position in the English menu e.g. just tell them to press Alt+Up then click "Tools > Disconnect Network Drive" not "Herramientas > Desconectar unidad de red" or "Nástroje > Odpojit sítový disk".

It might be better to separate the toolbar section of the config file from the rest i.e. a separate toolbar.ini or menu.ini. This would make it easier for users to switch languages and to save and restore their own customized toolbars and menus.

admin
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Re: Multilingual Support

Post by admin » 08 Feb 2012 09:52

FeatureCreep wrote: Suggestion:
-----------
Tweak the existing toolbar functionality to allow the main menu to be accessed via toolbar buttons so that 12 toolbar buttons replace the menu.
Interesting idea, but the main menu is only a part of what has to be translated. Anyway, I store it in my idea pool, thanks.

admin
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Re: Multilingual Support (MLS)

Post by admin » 08 Feb 2012 10:02

PeterH wrote:What about the forum? People not feeling able to use an English program might have problems to go to an English forum? And the base of users to help them in other languages will be much smaller. (OK: German, even Kölsch, will be no problem, I think. :lol: )
And OK again: people in a company can work on native language XY, and for help they have an admin, who can go to the English forum...
Yeah, I thought about that half of last night. Support, particularly support expectations, is a problem. Half of last night was not enough to find a satisfying answer to this.

There is also the question of control. I like need to be in control! The vision of XY drifting through the web in dozens of half-baked translations is not funny to me, it's a nightmare.

Meditation goes on...

j_c_hallgren
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Re: Multilingual Support (MLS)

Post by j_c_hallgren » 08 Feb 2012 10:21

admin wrote:There is also the question of control. I like need to be in control! The vision of XY drifting through the web in dozens of half-baked translations is not funny to me, it's a nightmare.
I think the way that some places handle it is by having a HUGE disclaimer that any/all translation files are "use at your own risk" and are only available from vendor web site as add-on pack so distibution is centralized.

The think about multi-lang products that I really DETEST are those which (even though I pick English on install) still proceed to clutter up appl folder with dozens if not nundreds of language files!
Still spending WAY TOO much time here! But it's such a pleasure helping XY be a treasure!
(XP on laptop with touchpad and thus NO mouse!) Using latest beta vers when possible.

admin
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Re: Multilingual Support (MLS)

Post by admin » 08 Feb 2012 10:27

j_c_hallgren wrote:
admin wrote:There is also the question of control. I like need to be in control! The vision of XY drifting through the web in dozens of half-baked translations is not funny to me, it's a nightmare.
I think the way that some places handle it is by having a HUGE disclaimer that any/all translation files are "use at your own risk" and are only available from vendor web site as add-on pack so distibution is centralized.

The think about multi-lang products that I really DETEST are those which (even though I pick English on install) still proceed to clutter up appl folder with dozens if not nundreds of language files!
I think disclaimers are only read by lawyers. User don't read this stuff but use their time to bomb you with emails. :P

clutter up: same here. Like when your phone manual has 1520 pages and the weight of the bible just to provide you with East-Alaskian usage tips.

highend
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Re: Multilingual Support

Post by highend » 08 Feb 2012 11:13

6 months without new features? damn...

If you could only implement http://www.xyplorer.com/xyfc/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=7547
before, I can swallow this ;)

Beeing able to run scripts in the background that don't block the XYplorer GUI while
waiting for a function / command to finish would bring scripting to the next level.

Commands like
RunWait / ShellExecuteWait http://www.autoitscript.com/autoit3/doc ... unWait.htm
One of my scripts helped you out? Please donate via Paypal or highend (at) web (dot) de

eil
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Re: Multilingual Support

Post by eil » 08 Feb 2012 11:15

j_c_hallgren wrote:The think about multi-lang products that I really DETEST are those which (even though I pick English on install) still proceed to clutter up appl folder with dozens if not nundreds of language files!
admin wrote:clutter up: same here. Like when your phone manual has 1520 pages and the weight of the bible just to provide you with East-Alaskian usage tips.
both these are so true! :lol:

TheQwerty
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Re: Multilingual Support

Post by TheQwerty » 08 Feb 2012 14:07

Don, as you want (need?) to make this a community effort I hope you are giving a lot of thought to what the process and system for translating (not implementing) will be. I don't have confidence in this working well through the forum alone.

Maybe use http://www.getlocalization.com (or similar) to concentrate, organizing, and manage the translation efforts. I haven't used it myself, but it seems popular among the projects I've seen making this effort.

To lessen the mountain of translating (again not implementing), it might make most sense to pay and have the initial set done professionally. Maybe, actively seek donations for this or speak with a potential corporate customer to see if they'd be willing to purchase some licenses in advance, probably at discount, with a contracted promise that XY will be translated by such-and-such date.


Unfortunately, the only help I can offer to the actual effort is piping strings into Google Translate, but as I'm a typical only-knows-one-language American I cannot judge the results in any meaningful way. :oops:

admin
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Re: Multilingual Support

Post by admin » 08 Feb 2012 14:22

TheQwerty wrote:Don, as you want (need?) to make this a community effort I hope you are giving a lot of thought to what the process and system for translating (not implementing) will be. I don't have confidence in this working well through the forum alone.

Maybe use http://www.getlocalization.com (or similar) to concentrate, organizing, and manage the translation efforts. I haven't used it myself, but it seems popular among the projects I've seen making this effort.
Interesting, thanks!

FeatureCreep
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Re: Multilingual Support

Post by FeatureCreep » 08 Feb 2012 15:25

I wrote: e.g. just tell them to press Alt+Up then click "Tools > Disconnect Network Drive" not "Herramientas > Desconectar unidad de red" or "Nástroje > Odpojit sítový disk".
You guys didn't really think I knew how to say "Disconnect Network Drive" in both Spanish and Czech?
J_C wrote: The think about multi-lang products that I really DETEST are those which (even though I pick English on install) still proceed to clutter up appl folder with dozens if not nundreds of language files!
Me too. I used to delete language files but don't bother anymore as they just reappear when you upgrade. But for this issue they could be very useful.

There are many file managers and similar apps with readable language files. You could collate them into one spreadsheet and find terms that match those required for XYplorer. You don't have to understand the languages as the function name is usually in English and you can check accuracy by cross references multiple sources. I think that the use of the same phrase or term by multiple sources removes any problem with copyright or attribution. I also think that translations for the bulk of the menu and much of the configuration dialog could be generated this way in a day or two.

The two examples I gave were from Cubic Explorer's language files. Microsoft's language packs were not readable and can only be downloaded without installing for the obscure languages. I also went over to the dark side and installed a copy of TC to look at their main language files, that only come with the install (others are a separate download).

For the remaining phrases and for new features, bi-lingual volunteers would be needed. Or volunteers willing to post questions on the right forums. For particularly tricky or technical translations, I recommend http://forum.wordreference.com/ . It's give and take: there are many non-native speakers wanting help with English i.e. find a speaker of language X asking a very technical (ideally computer related) question about English; answer his question; then ask "By the way, how do you say Y in language X?"

Maintaining a spreadsheet of all translations makes it easier to spot dodgy examples when they're juxtaposed with translations in related languages.

I thought this approach might appeal to a comparative linguist. :wink: For me it's just a hobby.

calude
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Re: Multilingual Support

Post by calude » 08 Feb 2012 16:35

just thinking out loud

why not create a scripted translation on demand thru all the free online translation that exist (google translation)
example with a spanish
the spanish user doesnt understant a word or sentence in the menu or help
he selects the menu or the phrase in the help with a special key and xy gets the translation from the web in any language and opens a small pop up with the translation.
this way xy keeps english as native language but offers a very easy and stream lined way to get translation in any language from the beginning

Calude

Twisten
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Re: Multilingual Support

Post by Twisten » 08 Feb 2012 16:38

That would require being online, also it will result in a literal translation where context is extremely important.

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