Linking translated versions of WH to application

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Linking translated versions of WH to application

Postby jbean on Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:41 am

My software developer isn't sure of the best practice to link to translated versions of the Web Help to our application.

Currently we only have an English version. I give him the entire output directory and he links to help.html.

We are working on a French version of the software/web help. The user will not get a separate build of the software, but the UI will call translated files based on the location of the computer.

How would this model work for Web Help ? Would I create a separate Web Help folder for each language, and then he needs to change the path to Web help based on the location ?

Or is there a better way.

Thanks
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Re: Linking translated versions of WH to application

Postby RamonS on Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:15 am

That is exactly the way it needs to be done and I can't really think of a better way. The generic help call routine would check which language is currently the preferred one and craft the base URL accordingly. It may be beneficial to do that once at the start and keep the base URL string global in memory (or in a session if that is a web application), which needs a bit more memory/storage, but should save on processing for repetitively rebuilding that URL string. Of course, if it is allowed to change UI language during use the values need to be updated accordingly.
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Re: Linking translated versions of WH to application

Postby forfear on Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:43 am

You could have folders like this

Help
- en-us
- fr
- vi-vn
- zh-chs

that's for english, french, vietnamese and chinese simplified.

Source: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms533052(VS.85).aspx
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Re: Linking translated versions of WH to application

Postby RamonS on Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:42 am

I agree, but you need to be aware that the language codes can be defined following three more or less compatible schemes. And there is a difference between e.g. en-US and en-UK. Also, that may come even more into play when you display numbers and dates. 4/7/2008 is for most the 4th of July in 2008, only some consider it to be 7th of April for some twisted reason that nobody knows. Same applies to languages, subtle variations can make a big difference.
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Re: Linking translated versions of WH to application

Postby LTinker68 on Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:48 pm

RamonS wrote:4/7/2008 is for most the 4th of July in 2008, only some consider it to be 7th of April for some twisted reason that nobody knows.

It's only you Europeans that say it wrong. We Americans are always right. :wink:

As for the reason we say it that way... "April 7th, 2008" is shorter than saying "4th of July in 2008". Those two little words you add in the middle can really slow a person down, you know. :P
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Re: Linking translated versions of WH to application

Postby KevinDAmery on Wed Apr 16, 2008 1:00 pm

LTinker68 wrote:
RamonS wrote:4/7/2008 is for most the 4th of July in 2008, only some consider it to be 7th of April for some twisted reason that nobody knows.

It's only you Europeans that say it wrong. We Americans are always right. :wink:

As for the reason we say it that way... "April 7th, 2008" is shorter than saying "4th of July in 2008". Those two little words you add in the middle can really slow a person down, you know. :P


If someone starts arguing about how many years into the new millenium we are (8 or 9) I'm going to have to come over and administer some lashes with a wet noodle.
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Re: Linking translated versions of WH to application

Postby Fedja on Thu Apr 17, 2008 6:22 am

It's my experience that having separate projects for languages works and then the WebHelp is pulled up by the software depending on the UI language selection. Keeping the languages in separate projects makes it easier for me to deal with the continuous documentation work.

Basically, I use a versioning system which locks down projects in backed up copies for released versions. I try to keep the "developing version" of help up to date with the development so that the time delay between the final code and final documentation in minimal. Once the documentation is done, I send it out for translation.

Now.. I could have it all in one project organized with folders, but once your languages inflate to 4+, it becomes a system strain to always work with the full project even though you're only pulling up the translated version for update once every few months. Also, project tracking, merging and delivery for different localization vendors is easier if you can handle projects independently.

To each his own of course, but I would advise you to think maybe 5 years ahead and where you expect the documentation to go, do you expect it to bloat much, and do you expect other languages added? If so, you should lay out a system that will be growth-friendly. Otherwise what may now be a simple project could grow into a behemoth that will be very hard to handle and organize.
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Re: Linking translated versions of WH to application

Postby forfear on Fri Apr 18, 2008 7:51 am

I've you're going to do translation for help systems, snippets, variables and all the associated media, i suggest giving Lingo a shot, since it simplifies and speeds up the process substantially. Especially if you're going to do more than 1 translation. Download the trial at least, and see how it works.
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