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Internationalizion and Localization of your web application with TMX

 A few years ago I wrote a white paper and then an article on internationalization of websites. At the time there was not much information available on this subject. Now today I find that the same situation exists. There are no real sources or community activity surrounding localization and internationalization or (i18n and il0n).

The previous weeks for me have been difficult as I tried to repair a clients website and implement a multi-language website in Drupal. My discovery was that  there  has been no increase in effort to make internationalization easy and flexible in content management systems. They all are the same and some worse at handling content, layout and navigation in more languages than english.

In my article I discuss the use of HTML files for translation and localization of content. I was unaware that there was in fact an effort to utilize XML as a medium for internationalization called TMX . Although it seems like the movement has died out the idea is still a good one and should not be ignored for lack of evangelistic efforts of web developers. You can still find good information on the standard and there are parsers for PHP and Java availble as open source.

So it's time to revisit the world of internationalization and write a new up-to-date article about i18n technology and best practices.

It also seems that there is no community for i18n or efforts being promote by other communities so I think I'll start one. After all the times I'm brought in to projects where there has been no research done before development of a multi-language website in Drupal I believe there is still a need educate and inform project managers  and solution architects. They need to add internationalization and localization to their specs and requirements. They need to give i18n and i10n top priority when making decisions on what software to use.

One of the hightlights of TMX is that it allows translations to be re-used in different software packages and applications. Imagine if you will that you have a translation written for a Wordpress blog and you would like to re-use it in Drupal. It as simple as creating a module using one of PHP's XML parsers and dropping the file in.

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