Internationalization of Cisco’s TelePresenceAbout Cisco TelePresenceCisco TelePresence, which debuted in 2006, is an advanced video conferencing system developedby Cisco Systems. Designed to link together conference rooms at any two points in the world,TelePresence provides a 1080p video feed along with spatial audio, creating a virtual conference room.Scope of WorkCisco initially hired Lingoport to audit TelePresence source code for internationalization (i18n) issues inorder to avoid potential costly issues before moving on to localization (L10n). Through a static analysis ofthe TelePresence code using Globalyzer—a client/server software internationalization system—Lingoportwas able to establish a clear picture of the internationalization issues and create a well-defined pathtoward internationalization. This avoided the uncertain trial and error outcome of relying on iterativetesting, script-based searching or human line-by-line review, which are slow, incomplete and error proneprocesses. With this understanding, Lingoport architects and Cisco engineering discussed bestalternatives for an internationalization architectural approach, and built plans that accommodated releasecycles for concurrent i18n and new feature development. Cisco then contracted with Lingoport toimplement internationalization development and testing services.ChallengesThough there had been initial efforts in some of the code to support internationalization, there was alarge effort needed. TelePresence included several distinct application components, including multipleprogramming languages as well as sophisticated hardware and build environments. Concurrent productdevelopment was extremely active. A nearly year-long project plan was developed to support the releaseof TelePresence into 28 languages, and a number of additional locales. This plan was implemented withina busy development, testing and release schedule that had already been set.
In order to maintain the original development scheduleand implement a robust internationalization plan, teamswere augmented and allowed to branch off and work ontheir piece of the code. Internationalization plan: Lingoport & CiscoThe Lingoport Solution Through the use of Lingoport’s Globalyzer i18n software, the teams were able to itemize and walk developers through code refactoring efforts. This facilitated tasks such as string externalization and changing methods/functions/classes and programming patterns that inhibited or prevented locale support requirements. Globalyzer also made the effort more scalable as developers had a clear path of action and utilities to speed up the process. Lingoport’s engineering team added internationalization support to the architecture and refactored code to support worldwide locale requirements. Additionally, when Cisco engineering added new code andfeatures to the build, it was checked using Globalyzer for new i18n issues. Internationalization criteriawere added to testing protocols and functionality was assured. Lingoport and Cisco also coordinated withlocalization efforts so that L10n testing could be integrated with i18n functional testing, without delay.In May of 2011 Richard Faubert, QA Manager at Cisco, joined Adam Asnes of Lingoport andGary Condon of Sajan to review and discuss some of the challenges faced in internationalizingand localizing TelePresence. Click here to view “Internationalizing and Localizing Cisco’sTelePresence – A Case Study.”ConclusionInternationalizing a large code base is an extensive effort, but it can be successfully executed even on anactively developing product. Using Globalyzer, developers can accurately gain valuable metrics for
planning, step through and fix issues during implementation and facilitate i18n verification and testing.Lingoport’s services expertise ensured successful delivery, on time, and on budget. Augmenting thedevelopment team with expert tools and help from Lingoport allowed Cisco to concentrate on newfeature development while the internationalization experts at Lingoport were able to refactor the existingcode base.When developing new software, internationalization can be an integral part of the process in order toavoid costly subsequent localization mistakes and a potential loss of revenues from new target markets.Internationalization issues, from basic to complex, are likely to develop with large development teamseven when internationalization is within the product development requirements. Thinking that it won’thappen is a bit like thinking developers won’t accidentally create bugs and inefficiencies incode. Internationalization tools that identify issues, help with remedies and monitor global readinessensure quality and on-time global releases. Using an adaptable i18n tool like Globalyzer allowed CiscoTelePresence to be successfully internationalized in a timely and predictable manner.Additional Internationalization and Localization ResourcesLearn more about internationalization and localization on WikipediaLearn more about Lingoport’s internationalization (i18n) servicesLearn more about Globalyzer, Lingoport’s i18n softwareTry Globalyzer for freeGlobalyzer Intro VideoWebinar RecordingIs it Internationalized? A New Way to Keep Score. Globalyzer i18n Scorecard: