Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

Knowledge Base
Terry's Tips
Darren's Tips

Why can't we have multiple languages for pages?

Right now it is only possible to manage languages for CD articles. HTML pages can't be managed in different language. Why's that? Multi-language site needs every page to be presented in its own language.

Vagif Abilov
Saturday, November 17, 2001

Coming from a multi-lingual country (Switzerland) I can only agree with this. I would also like to stress the fact that VARIABLES need to be maintained multi-lingualy, and that there should be directives (conditional processing) in templates and HTML files that would allow text to be targeted for specific languages and/or audiences. Maintaining seperate files for is just not practical enough.

Donat Fritschy
Saturday, November 17, 2001

Agree. We are currently developing multi-language site (English+Norwegian, hopefully more languages to come). Our big problem is to be able to specify language-specific variables that will be automatically replaced with respective language version when publishing the site. Translating the whole article is just not good enough. I like the way CD works in general, but unfortunately its multi-language support is too limited.

Vagif Abilov
Saturday, November 17, 2001

It's good to hear from people who could actually use the multilingual version of CityDesk! We haven't had enough feedback on this yet (as you can tell).

The current incarnation of CityDesk is targetted at smaller, simpler sites like Joel on Software. That site only has a single .HTML page (index.html) and several hundred articles. The .html page is really just a template that provides a table of contents -- it hardly ever changes. And the templates hardly ever change, either. The bilingual strategy here would be:

* translate index.html -> index2.html once and forget about it
* provide a new template family for the second language, translate each template once, and forget about it
* let CityDesk manage the multilingual versions of each of the articles.

In principle once you have the site set up, the only thing you change regularly is the articles, and that's where CityDesk provides the best multilingual support.

As for variables -- we'll think about making them multilingual in the future -- but in the meantime could you use a naming convention like {$ .company-english $} and {$ .company-norwegian $} for your variables to keep them divided up?

Anyway, I have probably provided ample evidence that I don't understand all the needs of multilingual sites. Can you give me some examples of the specific things you need to accomplish (e.g. point me to some sites and how they use multiple languages) so I can make sure we figure out the right features to enable it.

Joel Spolsky
Saturday, November 17, 2001

Probably not quite what you need, but this site:

has a very good multilingual support.

(Blatant plug: I designed that site myself :P)

Leonardo Herrera
Monday, November 19, 2001

Unfortunately our site is still being developed, so I can't point you there. Here is in brief the problem we have. We have the set of tags (variables) that we want to set globally. Your suggestion to have a variable per language is a workaround, but ideally we'd like to have an indication of which variables have been created/updated. For example, we create a new variable for a new product: "KillerApp". If we have to create "KillerApp-English", "KillerApp-Norwegian", we won't see if some language is missing. Basically we need the same principle that you use for articles: good indication of what's left to translate.

Vagif Abilov
Tuesday, November 20, 2001

I would suggest that the variables also be translated. This would allow all languages to use the same templates.

Robert Roy
Wednesday, December 5, 2001

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home