Thursday, October 30, 2008

Multilingual Capabilities in Gallery Server Pro

A great deal of work has gone into making Gallery Server Pro capable of displaying text in multiple languages, and I thought I would give an overview and finish up with a call for volunteers to assist with translating into other languages.

When a user navigates to a web site, most web browsers automatically send the user's preferred language to the web server with the request. Gallery Server Pro uses this setting to automatically return a web page to the user in that language. If no translation has been provided for that language, the default resource - English - is used.

For example, an English user might see a gallery like this:


Another user in the Netherlands, whose browser is set to the Dutch language, can view the same gallery and see the resources in Dutch:


A single installation of Gallery Server Pro automatically provides the correct language, without any intervention by the user. You do not need to choose one language for everyone, nor do your users need to click a special link to read the version in their language. How cool is that!

Be aware that some text in your gallery cannot be automatically served in different languages. This includes any text that is directly editable by an administrator, such as album titles and summaries, and media object titles. It is expected that you edit them directly in your preferred language.

Gallery Server Pro ships with English resources by default. Support for additional languages is provided in language packs which can be downloaded in the Language Translation forum. Deploying a language pack is as simple as copying a few files into the web application. And you can deploy as many packs as you like.

At the moment there is only a Dutch translation and a partially complete Spanish translation, and they are for an older version of Gallery Server Pro. But that is about to change, as I have just finished putting together a process that makes it very easy for volunteers to translate text into their language. I am providing a utility called the Zeta Resource Editor that lets you open two resource files side by side. To create a new translation, make a copy of the English resource file and name it according to your language. For example, the Dutch version of GalleryServerPro.resx is Then you open both files in the Zeta editor:


The two files are merged into a single grid where you can easily compare the two languages. Edit the column to contain the translation for the text in the column to its left (GalleryServerPro.resx). That's it. No messing around with the underlying XML or that primitive resource editor in Visual Studio.

After an initial translation is complete, it must be updated when new versions of Gallery Server Pro are released. Each resource has a date stamp for when it was last updated. The Zeta editor automatically looks for this date stamp and highlights the resources where they differ. For example, here is a screen shot of the 2.0 version of the Dutch resource when compared to the 2.1 version of the English resource:


The yellow, green, and salmon colored cells indicate a resource that must be updated. As you update each one, the background turns white. You know you are done when all the rows are white! (FYI, the first column is always light blue.)

Translators Needed!

Gallery Server Pro is open source and supported entirely by volunteers and donations. If you are able to contribute by providing a translation in your language, we would love your help! As a thank you, I will send everyone who submits a complete translation a copy of the Dilbert book Casual Day Has Gone Too Far.

To get started with a translation, check out the Getting Started thread in the Language Translation forum.

No comments: