The idea

The idea for this module was born at a French DNN Usergroup meeting in Paris back in 2005 or before (I can’t remember exactly when, but it was in the early days of DNN). I was chatting with a number of people that were responsible for the French translation of DNN and they had some very valid grievances. They could not delegate translation properly among themselves as a team. In fact, if you wanted to translate, you need host access on the DNN installation, so they ended up having a DNN installation somewhere that they used. But they felt it was not optimal to work like this. Plus, some were doing just the core, while others were doing individual modules (did you know the amount of translations to be done for the forums module rivals that for the core as a whole?). It was clear that the core language editor was fine for occasional translation use, but not really designed for this type of application. Another grievance was that translators did not have access to prereleases of the platform. The latter is not addressed in this project, but in another project that I’m working on for DNN.

And things start getting more complex …

Later, DNN Corp took the decision to separate the core from the (core) modules. This has been a gradual but persistent process. So whereas before having a framework version X.Y.Z meant you were running Announcements A.B.C, that is now history. As a result the language packs for modules and the core have to be managed separately. This means a lot of management overhead for those doing translations. There is a related problem regarding the uploading of packs into your DNN installation, but that issue will be addressed somewhere else. This project is first and foremost targeted at the production side of language packs.

Generic languages

Another observation of mine at the time concerned generic languages and the lack of support for them in ASP.NET/DNN. I live in Switzerland which has four official languages. The biggest 3 are German, French and Italian. The locale that uses is a combination of language and country: xx-YY. So in our case de-CH, fr-CH, and it-CH. This is to distinguish them from the original cultures de-DE, fr-FR and it-IT. The underlying reason is that every culture has its specifics. There is quite a bit of difference between the French of France (fr-FR) and that of Québec (fr-CA). In practice, however, having a language pack of your own language, even though it’s produced somewhere else, is already a big help in the DNN world. This is because there are not that many translators. So there is no dedicated de-CH translation, for instance. The Swiss would just use a de-DE pack. In fact, the producer of the German packs, Sebastian Leupold, would tag his files appropriately so they’d be downloadable as de-CH and de-AT (Austria) as well. Ideally, a translation help would be able to do this tagging automatically.

Further reading

Overview of functionality
How to use the Localization Editor

Last edited Sep 13, 2009 at 3:08 PM by EPT, version 2


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