Watch Your Language

There is a great article in the notes.net today ezine about multi language applications within Lotus notes written by Dan O’Connor, a fellow Irish man now working for Lotus. The article describes how you can use the new Language Packs for ND6 to include multiple languages within the same NTF file, then depending on your regional settings you will either see one language or another.

This comes at the perfect time for me as I roll out a new DN6 infrastructure. We have some users in some offices that speak French, German, Spanish etc and their English is not the best. As an international company it was decided that the company language would be English and that all computer systems and software would be in English. With language packs I believe that I can offer my non-english speaking colleagues a better alternative that allows them to use their own language while allowing me to administrate the server without having to learn a new language.

Another globalization option that I am going to roll out is the alternative names capabilities of ND6. Alternative Names allow the users to look up names in the NAB in their native language. Another plus for my non-english friends. Now if only all admins were this nice and not like the BOFH.

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3 comments on “Watch Your Language
  1. Ben Dubuc says:

    Hi Dec.

    i have read that article, as I live in a bilingual (well, almost) country. I have to build applications that offer 2 languages.

    While reading this article, I notices that the language pack is in fact the templates supplied by Lotus in a specific language. Am I mistaken or this is correct?

    If this is correct, I fail to see how will this help me when developing custom applications from scratch…

    I’d be interested in hearing your comments over the development of you application. We might share some ideas as I have a new application coming (web) and I have a toally new approach for that application.

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  2. Declan Lynch says:

    Yes, the language packs are just the standard lotus supplied templates in different languages but the language pack installer merges the different languages into a single template. The when somebody with French in their region settings opens the database they see the french version and when somebody that has English as their regional setting they see the english version. A single NSF file contains the two languages.

    If you want to build your own multi language apps then you can use the Global Designer Workbench. Build the app in English, run the GDW over it and it produces a ‘tagged’ version and a list of all strings that can be translated. You then manually translate the strings and then it will create the template in a different language. The translated strings are not lost so you can use them again to create other translated databases. No need to translate ‘Save and File’ a hundred times.

    I’d really suggest looking into how it works. It’s really cool, saves a lot of time and it’s actually what Lotus themselves use in their globalisation center here in Ireland.

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  3. Ben Dubuc says:

    I used DGW before. I found that the old version was a bit easier to deal with because you were able to tag one element in particular if you wanted to. This was great when modifying an application. Now, with the new DGW, you have to retag the whole database. So we end up building the initial application with DGW and making modifications in the built databases, as it is less trouble.

    Is it the same on your side?

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