Adam Goucher   I18n And L10n
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Adam Goucher I18n And L10n

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Slides from my recent presentation on I18N and L10N at GLSEC 2007

Slides from my recent presentation on I18N and L10N at GLSEC 2007

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Adam Goucher   I18n And L10n Adam Goucher I18n And L10n Presentation Transcript

  • I18N & L10N a technical primer Adam Goucher Senior Quality Specialist, Jonah Group http://www.jonahgroup.com http://adam.goucher.ca
  • Definitions
    • Internationalization  I + 18 chars + N  I18N
      • Your application can accept, store, manipulate, retrieve and display text in the user’s native language
    • Localization  L + 10 chars + N  L10N
      • Your application looks as if it was designed for the locale it is being used in
  • The Problem
    • English is the native language of only ~ 30% of the Internet’s population.
    • To not alienate the other 70% of your potential customers, you need to worry about I18N and L10N.
  • Don’t worry
    • I18N and L10N are technical problems, not linguistic ones.
    • Programmers and testers know how to solve technical problems.
    • Translation is the linguistic problem.
    • Translators know how to solve linguistic problems.
  • Unicode
    • Unicode 1 provides a unique number:
      • for every character
      • no matter what the platform
      • no matter what the program
      • no matter what the language
    • There are a number of ways (called Encodings) to represent a Unicode code point (single character)
      • UTF-8 2 is an 8 bit, variable length encoding
      • UTF-8 is the de facto standard
    • 1 http://www.unicode.org
    • 2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UTF-8
  • Resource Bundles
    • One of the more difficult things to get right is all the string data embedded in your source code.
    • The easiest solution here is to use resource bundles (locale specific collections of string data)
  • String Rules
    • Like most tools, resource bundles can make your life difficult if not done correctly.
    • Do not build strings to display by concatenating strings. This increases translation difficulty by removing context
    • Include all punctuation in bundle content to avoid correct translation content, but incorrect punctuation
    • Include formatting in bundle content
  • Resource Bundle Tests
    • LOUD 3 to check for string rules
    • Resource key not in code
    • Resource key in code, but not bundle
    • Key present (or missing) from different locales
    • 3 http://adam.goucher.ca/?p=28
  • Other areas
    • I18N and L10N is a huge topic. Some of what has not been discussed:
    • Date / Time
    • Numbers
    • Currency
    • Username / Password conventions
    • Postal / Zip Codes
    • Paper size (when printing)
  • Testing Advice
    • Test your application’s I18N and L10N early to avoid having to re-test everything.
    • Include as many checks as possible during the build process
    • Beta test translations with friendly customers
  • Summary
    • This is a technical problem, not a linguistic one
    • Use UTF-8 everywhere you can
    • Use resource bundles instead of putting literal strings in the code
    • Learn about the nuances of your target locales
    • Test early