Scott Hanselman

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June 14, '04 Comments [6] Posted in ASP.NET | Ruby | Internationalization | XML | Tools
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I'm feeling very international this Monday, so here' s a collection of things for you to read.  It's a reminder <gasp> that there are a lot of people out there who don't speak English every day (or ever) and it's responsbility of the English-dominated Web to respect that.  Even if you don't even write code to be internationalized, you have a karmic obligation to be aware of these things.

And for folks in my world:

And in the vein of 'Whaaaaaa?' check out:

  • The Microsoft Application Translator: "This new solution, called Microsoft Application Translator (MAT) enables applications to offer on-the-fly localization with no code change and limited investment in localization." Here's their FAQ.

Update: Here's a crucial update. ;) Don't forget that Japanese Emoticons are different than English ones!

Japanese Smileys

American Smileys

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. I am a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Monday, June 14, 2004 5:50:20 PM UTC
For an easier way to internationalise web forms I have used Localizer from http://www.winformreports.co.uk/
Tuesday, June 15, 2004 12:44:43 AM UTC
Ya, I looked at that and decided against it, as I prefer all my strings in just a few Resource Files: Errors, Validation Messages, and Messages (most go in Messages). Why would you want EACH PAGE to have a ResX file? That seems very "Classic ASP."
Scott Hanselman
Tuesday, June 15, 2004 4:38:06 AM UTC
Why? Simple, it all compiles into language specific DLLs, just like WinForms does. Made a spelling mistake? Upload your French DLL again. Getting a translation house to do your translations (which is what I did)? Spend 2 hours teaching them how to edit XML, then let them get on with it.
Tuesday, June 15, 2004 6:04:56 AM UTC
Of course, but you misunderstand me. What I'm saying is that, you have MULTIPLE/MANY ResX files - one for EACH Web Page. If you include ONE ResX (or, do what I do, I use Three (see my above message)) then you can reuse messages, they are centralized, are you only give them one file.

Additionally, I noticed you said "teach them how to edit xml"...let me give you a tip!

If you use "resgen myfile.resx myfile.txt" it will make a TXT file with a NAME=VALUE format. Then just "resgen myfile.txt myfile.resx" and you'll never have to worry about your translators knowing XML.
Scott Hatnselman
Tuesday, June 15, 2004 6:28:00 AM UTC
The Globalization & Localization Best Practices for Windows 2000 Compliant Software link isn't right, maybe you can fix it, so I don't have to search the Microsoft site?! ;) (or ^_' )
Tuesday, June 15, 2004 5:19:19 PM UTC
Right to Left texts are very hard to support because you have to reverse the entire GUI or it would just look awkward.
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.