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Problems with multiple language support

I am running CityDesk Beta 3 on Win 98 SE.

I decided I would try CityDesk's multiple language support cause I have been toying with the idea of running my site in both English and French. Not sure if I was doing things wrong but here are the problems/issues I had so far.

1) The index page for my second language does not contain any links to the articles I have translated!! Just the dates of the article show up! The articles are actually there on the site but index doesn't show them.

2) The translated flag is not always persistent. ie if I translate an article to a second language and then I close the article and re-open it, sometimes it comes back as already translated and sometimes it doesn't. I have 2 articles that are translated and it seems to be doing the same thing for both and I don't even make changes to them.

3) I was going to translate the "Getting started" page to French and just go lazy and wanted to link the English one. The link dialog would bring the list of articles available but I am assuming that was only for the language selected. Can you link to an article in another language?

4) I was expecting the main index.html to be in the primary language and seing a "French" link at the bottom. Instead it just gave me some basic page with "CityDesk published the following variations of this site in subdirectories:" Also I think every article should have a "French" link at the bottom. OK I guess that could be set by me.

5) I think it would be useful to be able to skip pages that were not translated during the ftp process or maybe select pages that won't get a translation. Sometimes you just can't translate an article.

Sylvain Marcotte
Monday, November 12, 2001

Another problem.
I noticed while publishing to my ftp site is that images that are included on my pages are downloaded for as many languages as I have. That can be a problem with web space becoming a premium these days.

Sylvain Marcotte
Monday, November 12, 2001


Thanks for trying the multi-language feature; we really worked hard on it and it's nice that someone is trying it out.

(1) this sounds like you may not have translated the headline. If the headline for the second language was blank this would have happened.

(2) we designed it so that the "translate" flag automatically turns off when you change text in the original language. It's a little bit strange but it's designed for teams where a different person translates than the original writer; this way the translator can find out if the original article has changed since they translated it (in which case, presumably, the translated article must also be revised)

(3) You can only link to an article in another language if you know the URL where it's going to show up:

(4) If you publish multiple languages with one "publish location", you just get the ugly default page with links to the two sites. For what you want to accomplish, here's what you should do:

* First create two home pages, index.html (in english) and index-french.html
* Now create two publish locations -- one for english which publishes ONLY ENGLISH to the top-level folder, and another for french which publishes ONLY FRENCH to a subdirectory named FRENCH
* In index.html, add an external link to FRENCH/index-french.html so that people can switch to the french version
* To publish, choose File>>Publish and select BOTH publish locations to be published.
* When you want to link from an article in english to the equivalent in French, make a link to "FRENCH/{$.link$}"

(5) When you can't translate an article, you will get a warning in the publish status but the rest of the site will still be published. To eliminate this warning check the "translated" box for the article anyway, and provide a blank translation (or just copy the english). If you expect that a major part of your site will only be in one language you may just want to use two CityDesk sites, one which is monolingual and the other is bilingual. (Our imaginary user for multilingual sites is, say, the Government of Canada, which is why we are so rigorous about making sure EVERYTHING is translated and why we assume all languages will have all articles! Unfortunately in reality many translations of real-world web sites are very impoverished compared to the original.)

(6) You're right, we always copy two copies of all the pictures. We'll try to find a way to optimize that in the future.

Thanks again!

Joel Spolsky
Tuesday, November 13, 2001

When I said you could "make a link to FRENCH/{$.link$}", I was wrong... that doesn't work. The only way to link from one article to its equivalent in another language is to manually figure out the URL and link to that. There's no automatic way to do this.

Joel Spolsky
Tuesday, November 13, 2001

hmmm kind of hard to figure out the actual URL of the file from CityDesk to be able to create a link. You have to either publish or preview to figure out the fog0000xxx.html file.

Also regarding the translated bit, once I became aware of the way CityDesk handles it, then it seemed ok.
I think this bit should only be unset once you start modifying the article though. Similar to how file editors will only enable the Save and Undo button once you have actually made changes to a file. So when you open an article, the bit is set (or actually whatever it was last) and then as soon as you type in some new stuff, it is set to unset.

Finally, it might be useful to have a "last modification time stamp" to help figure out if an article was translated or not. hmm the more I think about it, it should probably show up in the main window in some sort of table format:
Article Name                Written on    By        Translated
MaryHadALittleLamp    01/11/12      Mary    01/11/12
FollowedHerToSchool  01/11/13      Lamb

Sylvain Marcotte
Wednesday, November 14, 2001

ok the table didn't come out the way I wanted. Just imagine a table with fields similar to the details view of Windows Filemanager

Sylvain Marcotte
Wednesday, November 14, 2001

OK I did what you said in (4) above and was able to publish in both languages. Thanks.

Sylvain Marcotte
Thursday, November 15, 2001

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