[OSGeo-Discuss] Localization issues

Jeroen Ticheler Jeroen.Ticheler at fao.org
Tue Jul 17 07:47:15 PDT 2007

Hi all,
In GeoNetwork opensource we deal with localization in a pretty  
trivial manner. We have XML documents that contain all strings we  
use. The element names in the string files are common across  
languages while the content in the elements are localized. For example:


	<addNewMetadata>Add new metadata</addNewMetadata>


	<about>عن البرنامج</about>
	<addNewMetadata>بيانات أساسية Metadata جديدة</ 


The content in the XML elements can also be HTML or contain  
attributes etc...
Depending on the language selected, a different language file is used.

The problem:
With the expanding number of languages it becomes more problematic to  
keep all language files synchronized. It also is not trivial what  
strings have become obsolete, causing people to translate text that  
actually is not used anymore.

The solution:
Well, this is where we can use some ideas :-)
- I've been looking at gettext format, noting that also Open Office  
uses that format with encoded XML content. A system like Launchpad's  
Translations ( https://translations.launchpad.net/ ) could than be  
used. We might need something to extract the strings from our XSLT  
and also to build the string files in XML format from the po files.
- A custom web based database application could be used (build!?  
something existing!?) to store an identifier and than all different  
translations for the default string. This could provide feedback on  
if a string is deprecated and what the status of a translation is. It  
would probably also need some export mechanism to generate the static  
language files.

There are probably other ways. i am curious to hear people's  
experiences and possible directions toward good solutions.

Looking forward to useful suggestions,

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