Ben Langhinrichs

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Genii Weblog

Samples by language in addition to samples by function?

Tue 14 Dec 2004, 09:35 AM



by Ben Langhinrichs
I have been doing some thinking about internationalization, especially as I see more hits on our sites from countries such as China, Unites Arab Emirates, Jordan and Thailand.  We have always had a wide customer base, and our products support international character sets and such fairly well (I would not say very well, because every time I think so, I find an exception and have to fix it).

I want to be sure that visitors are comfortable with the support for their languages and character sets, but I am not quite sure whether to include more diverse examples in the existing sample databases, or to create special databases that are not by function, but instead by language.  If a developer from China were to wonder about our support for Chinese (simplified or traditional), would he or she be more reassured if the Send It! sample had a Chinese example template, the Review It! had a Chinese example document, etc. etc., or if there were a separate Chinese database with a range of functions.

Would a developer in the Middle East like a sample database which showed search and replace with Arabic examples, exporting to Outlook Express (.eml) format with Arabic examples, and even dynamic tables with Arabic content?  Might that be more reassuring than scattered examples in the existing sample databases?  And what about Danish and French and Brazilian customers?  Would each want to see a separate database?

And what about those only looking for English support?  Would it be harder to wade through a whole series of different language samples to find the ones with English?  Would they be happier with separate language samples?

I have not come to any conclusions, but there are a lot of questions.  Does anybody have any strong feelings on the matter?  Would separate language databases in addition to the current sample databases be a good idea or bad?

I do need to emphasize that the instructions, comments, and such would all be in English, even if I do create a Chinese or Turkish or Arabic or Israeli database.  While I might wish I spoke thirty or more languages, I am not close to it, and the vast majority of developers have requested that documentation would be better done right in English than done wrong in any other language.  Therefore, it is only the content of the documents which would be in the language specified.

Copyright © 2004 Genii Software Ltd.

What has been said:


257.1. Stephan H. Wissel
(14.12.2004 18:01)

Hi Ben,

use some magic! Why not create a little agent/servlet that uses DXL and assembles the requested database with the desired languages on the fly? Then track the usage and offer the more popular combinations as preassembled downloads. This way you could keep your samples internally by function and deliver by language. Some naming convention (like _en _cn) and some serious(?) XLST would be needed, but that seems feasible.

What do you think?

:-) stw