Six Steps to Successfully Manage Software Internationalization

Global opportunities are going to force you to evaluate how to adapt your code and ongoing development to support localization. Sometimes it starts with a potential new partnership, sale or strategic initiative. Yet it’s not clear what will be involved for development.  When you manage internationalization poorly you create unknown risks to your budget, timing, resources and strategic objectives.

You may know some of the basics or even been through a project like this once or a few times before, but it’s typically a messy, poorly enumerated, trial and error process. It’s distracting to other development objectives while containing unknown risks to your budget and timing.

Here’s a brief guide towards a successful implementation:

1)   Learn, Build and Support the Business Case – Internationalization (i18n) and ongoing localization (l10n) is going to have a significant cost and unless the business case is defined, the project is unlikely to get done. Even if it seems like that should be sales and marketing’s job, you’ll need to have some parameters as budget can cause some trade-offs.  Companies should not go into globalizing product development without clear commitment, as a bad final product may hurt sales goals more than it helps. A failed i18n initiative can be harmful to your own company objectives as well.

2)   Clarify Your Global Release Objectives and Concurrent Development  – i18n isn’t like planning a feature release. It’s likely not to fit neatly with whatever concurrent sprint your team is planning. It touches a good deal if not all of your application, rather than being like adding a feature or fixing a bug in a particular sprint and area of your code. You’ll need a branching, merging and testing strategy that covers the full i18n scope. Keep that in mind as you go through the next two steps.

3)   Assess and Document Requirements – Establish user requirements as they relate to target locales. i18n is almost never just a string externalization exercise you can pass to an intern. You’re going to need to put some thought into locale requirements, how data is going to flow through your application, changes to your database, methods/functions/classes that will have to be made locale-aware and of course the U/I and all it’s strings.  At a higher level, there are some products that need rethinking in terms of user workflow for different countries. Write those i18n requirements down in a document. That will help you organize for the next process.

4)   Build a Plan – Tasks, Time, Cost, People and Dependencies. This is an essential step and even if you’re the type that thinks project plans are meant to be broken, you need to do this and do it to a granular level. When we work on a project we typically build a plan that starts with about 200 tasks and goes upwards with size and complexity (consider this for multi-tiered applications). To do this, we analyze the code base with our software product, Globalyzer, which gives us detailed static analysis on internationalization issues that will need to be addressed. We combine that with architectural analysis from whiteboard discussions and requirements documentation. Building a plan will give you a realistic check on the business case as well. That feedback to business case can have an effect on activities like phasing various levels of functionality if that’s appropriate to your user requirements.

5)   Reduce Risks and Manage Trade-offs – Every development project has its risks. In the case of i18n, being late is very expensive. The risk can be a broken agreement, market launch and business plan. A three month delay may make an annual revenue goal unattainable. Due to a lack of understanding of requirements and scope, poor internationalization will result in a poor localization outcome. If after all that investment, the end product can’t be properly executed, then it’s self defeating. There’s also the risk that due to distractions and/or misdirection, you don’t get the work done and the project just dies or hangs in limbo. As for trade-offs, internationalizing a large application is generally resource intensive. It’s a solid assumption that development teams don’t have lots of people with nothing to do, so in cases where you have lots of legacy code, you may need an implementation partner in order to keep up with ongoing development objectives outside of internationalization.

6)   Long Term Support – Once you internationalize and localize, your ongoing development has a new set of requirements. You’ll want to measure internationalization just like any other coding quality and ideally not have to wait until testing to find out if i18n is broken. For your ongoing agile development, it’s good to automate managing changes to strings that may change somewhat with every release. This keeps you from having to do engineering bookkeeping to process the localization of those 26 or so new words that may need translation into your supported languages in the latest sprint.

Our Globalyzer software is a keystone to our services operations when clients hire us to provide internationalization consulting and implementation for them, but it’s also important for our clients in supporting development teams in their initial and ongoing efforts to create and maintain software for global customers, faster, better and with less headaches.

Learn more about managing internationalization:

Agile and Localization:
http://lingoport.com/whitepaper-path-agile-localization/

Internationalization Planning:
http://lingoport.com/internationalization-projects-not-simple/

Measuring Internationalization and Localization:
http://lingoport.com/measuring-internationalization-lingoport-dashboard/

Painless Internationalization (i18n) for every Sprint

Making i18n reporting and fixing easy and a natural part of development

One of the main barriers to improving i18n processes is the investment it can take in tools, systems, expertise and personnel. What if we could make it easy? No expertise needed to get started. No tools to learn – nothing to install. Lingoport’s experts set it up for you – quickly and affordably. Developers can stay on top of i18n simply and easily for every sprint. Localization teams know what’s coming and Management has clear metrics for globalization status. Sounds nice right? We’re calling it Globalyzer Express. Look below:

Screen Shot 2013-06-28 at 6.15.09 PM(click image to enlarge)

This is a top-level view of our i18n Dashboard. It’s being fed by Globalyzer command line, which is connecting to source control. All issues can be drilled down in code line detail like so:

Screen Shot 2013-06-28 at 6.21.52 PM (click image to enlarge)

Developers can concentrate on the area of code they are working on, and simply go through the issues detected and fix them. The dashboard tracks activities. You’re product is i18n ready, right in the current sprint. No buildup of i18n technical debt, and if you have i18n debt, your team can clearly work its way through it. You get real time i18n code metrics and review, rather than trying to catch up later with ad-hoc testing. This is taking the best practices of software development and bringing them to internationalization but we’ve made it easy.

Agile and Internationalization

In discussing the Globalyzer Express concept with customers, it’s clear that there’s extra benefit to this solution if the team is using Agile or Agile-like development methods. There are several reasons for this:

  • There’s no time to go back and fix i18n issues later – the team has moved on
  • Each developer can quickly navigate to their part of the code reporting, and fix or mark their issues. I18n gets distributed where it’s least costly to fix.
  • Localization teams will know what changes are coming in advance (Globalyzer Express tracks changes to resource files), and be able to verify code readiness before localization starts on fast moving updates

How does it work?

We set it all up, configure and fine tune specifically for your software. Our team lives for i18n, so you leverage that quickly. It works for lots of programming languages and database scripts. There’s no learning curve or tools configuration and analysis burden for your team.

We host it all in a SaaS configuration when granted read access to your source repository, or Globalyzer Express can work behind your firewall by installing several of the Globalyzer Suite components. You’re productive right away. As for licensing fees, it’s all quite reasonable with quarterly payments within your budget. We think you’re going to like this. We’ll be providing more details shortly, but in the meantime, contact Lingoport to learn more and get a guided tour.

 

2013 Internationalization and Localization Conference Videos

All conference videos are available on Lingoport’s Vimeo page, here: http://vimeopro.com/lingoport/2013-internationalization-and-localization-conference

Also, see our conference photo album at Facebook.com/Lingoport

Presentation Slides

2013 Internationalization and Localization Conference

2013 Recorded sessions are available for viewing here.

Bridging the Gap Between Software Development and Localization March 13 and 14, 2013.

Save the dates!

Lingoport is pleased to announce the return of our i18n and L10n conference, which was a greater success than we ever anticipated in its first run. For the next conference, we’re going to focus on practices, processes and technology that helps development and localization become more in tune with requirements and successful practices of releasing software that works gracefully for users worldwide.

Agenda:

Conference presentations are posted (see agenda below). Presentations will be in line with the theme of the conference, Bridging the Gap between Software Development and Localization. See below for detailed descriptions of each session.

Conference schedule:

Day 1, March 13: Technical internationalization training (View Curriculum Below)
Day 1 evening, March 13: Open reception
Day 2, March 14: Conference sessions attendees may elect to attend the training, conference day, or both.

For more information, please email events(at)lingoport.com.

*Presentations will be recorded and made available to all conference attendees free of charge.

Slideshow from 2012 Conference

[slideshow_deploy id=’5324′]

Location:

Techmart Meeting Center
5201 Great America Parkway
Santa Clara, California 95054-1122 United States

Registration & Pricing:

  • Internationalization Training, March 13: $750 US
  • Conference Day, March 14: $199
  • Both: $800 (Register for Training and select “I’ll also attend the main conference”)

2013 Conference Recordings Available Here

i18n Training Agenda

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

8:00–9:00 Registration and Breakfast
9:00-9:30 Session 1: Introduction
9:30-11:30 Session 2: Major Concept – exercises 1, 2. Locale, Bundles, Date/Time formats, Calendars, Message Formats, Time Zone, Currencies, Locale Strategies.
11:30-12:30 Session 3: Writing systems, Unicode – exercise 3. Writing systems, Encoding, Unicode, glyphs, String handling, Collation, BreakIterator, boundaries.
12:30–1:30 Lunch and Networking
1:30-2:30 Session 4 (continued): Writing systems, Unicode – exercise 4. Writing systems, Encoding, Unicode, glyphs, String handling, Collation, BreakIterator, boundaries.
2:30-3:30 Session 5: User Interface Issues – exercise 5. LtR, RtL, Mirroring, Text sizes, Pseudo-Localization
3:30-4:00 Session 6: Input methods – setup LtR, RtL, Mirroring, Text sizes, Pseudo-Localization
4:00-5:00 Session 7: i18n issue detection and resolution in code
5:30 We round out the day with networking, dinner, and drinks.

Sponsors

Platinum –

cloudwords-logo

Gold –

Moravia WorldwideSmartling-300x134

Bronze –

SimulTranslogo_acclaro

Media Sponsor –

MultiLingual Computing

Sparkle Sponsor –

Think Latin America

Opening Reception

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

5:30-8:30pm: Opening Reception: Drinks, Food and Networking

Conference Agenda: March 14, 2013

View our video library from the 2012 Conference.

8:00-8:45
Registration and Breakfast
8:45-8:55
Opening Talk
9:00-9:45
A1: Squashing the Top-10 Most Common World-Readiness Bugs

Presenter:
Michael Kuperstein of Intel

Moderator:
Adam Asnes of Lingoport
B1: How Central Visibility of Translation Metrics and Process Changes an Organization

Presenter:
Michael Meinhardt of Cloudwords

Moderator:
Amanda Mork of Cloudwords
9:45-10:15
Break
10:15-11:00
A2: Case Studies: L10n at Marin Software & Adobe

Presenters:
Knut Grossman of Marin Software
Manish Kanwal of Adobe
Lily Wen of Adobe

Moderator:
Olivier Libouban of Lingoport
B2: Volunteer Localization at Wikimedia Foundation

Presenter:
Siebrand Mazeland of Wikimedia Foundation

Moderator:
Adam Blau of Lingoport
11:00-11:15
Break
11:15-12:15 A/B3: Demo Derby


Moderator:
Adam Asnes of Lingoport
12:15-1:45
Lunch Break – Lobby
1:45-2:30
A4: i18n Customer Case Study: An Adventure in Internationalization

Presenter:
Becca Gronau of Elsevier
Moderator:
Adam Blau of Lingoport
B4: Sprinting to the Finish: 7 Tips for Successful Localization with Agile Development

Presenter:
Emma Young of Acclaro
Lydia Clarke of Acclaro
2:30-3:00
Break
3:00-3:45
A5: How to Drive Efficient Customized Localization with Agility and Intelligence

Presenter:
Michael McKenna of Zynga

Moderator:
Tex Texin
B5: Going Global in the Age of Agile Technology: Smartling Accelerates HotelTonight Expansion

 

Presenters:
Andrey Akselrod of Smartling
Russ Taga of HotelTonight
3:45-4:00
Break
4:00-4:45
A6: i18n QA Expert Panel

Presenters:
Tex Texin
Kent Grave
Paul-Henri Arnaud

Moderator:
Adam Asnes of Lingoport
B6: Seven Tips to Maximize the Value of your Translation Memory Assets through a Transition

Presenter:
Adam Jones of SimulTrans
4:45-5:00
Break
5:00-5:45
A/B7: Bridging the Gap Between Software Development & Localization Panel

Presenters:
Michael Kuperstein of Intel, Michael McKenna of Zynga, Nelson Ng of Paypal and Becca Gronau of Elsevier

Moderator:
Renato Beninato of Moravia
5:45-5:55
2012 Internationalization and Localization Conference Closing
5:55-7:00
Food, Drinks, and Networking
7:00-8:00
Monthly IMUG Meeting: Technology for Bridging Development and Localization
Learn more at http://events.imug.org/events/95268882
8:00-9:00
More Networking and Open Bar

Session Descriptions

A1: Squashing the Top-10 Most Common World-Readiness Bugs

What’s the quickest way to squash bugs? Definitely not a flyswatter, right? Using manual testing to create a world-ready product would be like using a flyswatter. To battle the bugs, let’s bring on the bug zappers and whole-house bug bombs! Relying on manual testing alone is far too uneconomical and risky for modern product development. Several modern methods have been developed for efficient software internationalization. This presentation will explore how and why internationalization methods can be used to squash the top-10 most common world-readiness failures so that publishing your software to the world can be an exciting, satisfying, and profitable experience.

B1: How Central Visibility of Translation Metrics and Process Changes an Organization

Cloudwords CEO, Michael Meinhardt will introduce the latest in multilingual content technology and Ei-Mang Wu, Sr. Global Product Manager at Marketo, will discuss how cloud technology is changing the way Marketo works across translation, marketing and product teams. Marketo trusts Cloudwords to optimize their global translation process, so Marketo can focus on building the world’s leading marketing software.  Leading companies fundamentally understand that they need to reach new global revenue opportunities quickly, and the only way to scale their process is to use innovative technology.

A2: Case Studies: L10n/i18n at Marin Software & Adobe

Marin: Business software, especially in the constantly changing environment of online marketing, requires a tighter than ever collaboration between L10n and i18n, between project management and engineering. This session will discuss how Marin follows the principle of “any user must be able to login and work in any country from any platform in any language and process data created in any locale setting”.

Adobe: Product Development Teams are increasingly becoming sensitive to the needs of internationalizing the products upfront. However legacy products who are years old, find it difficult to make code changes at a later stage. This presentation takes an example of some the market leading products that Adobe offers, explains the problems and how they are tackled.

B2: Volunteer Localization at Wikimedia Foundation

Today,  there are Wikipedias in 280 languages, and Wikimedia Incubator contains projects in over 100 more languages. Internationalization was always largely supported by volunteer developers, simply because the Wikimedia Foundation had always had a very small budget, and there were always higher priorities to deal with. In August 2011 the Wikimedia Foundation created the Language Engineering team, hired out of the volunteer community. This presentation will go in depth on how Wikimedia Foundation crowd sources as much as possible in the i18n and L10n areas, while keeping a relatively small team of people in house that ensures that the frameworks to allow distribution are created and maintained.

A/B3: Demo Derby

Fast and furious, demo derby participants will be limited to 10 minutes to demonstrate their technologies. We’ve chosen several software applications that provide productivity to bridging the gap between software development and localization. Expect quick action and not much PowerPoint. Q&A time is allotted for each presenter.

A4: i18n Case Study: An Adventure in Internationalization

One team’s experience internationalizing an industry leading, high volume, web application with a decade’s worth of code enhancements.  Explore start to finish what steps were taken and lessons learned.  Come hear from a developer’s perspective what it really took to internationalize an app.  It’s not as scary as you may think.

B4: Sprinting to the Finish: 7 Tips for Successful Localization with Agile Development

In agile development, everyone works together in a very fluid way, sprinting to the finish by tackling continual releases and every-changing assignments. But what happens when your software or web app needs to move into new language markets? How do you successfully integrate localization into an already fast-moving process? We’ll review 7 practical tips to help you fold in localization into an Agile development environment, ensuring that your new language markets don’t get lost in the race to the finish line.

A5: How to Drive Efficient Customized Localization with Agility and Intelligence

Ford recently introduced the concept of a Flexible Assembly System to allow efficient production of customized hybrid vehicles with a combination of body styles on one assembly line.  In the same way, localization of software can be run efficiently by utilizing common platforms, common processes, flexible technology, and finely tuned resource management.  This session will look deeper into each of these aspects and shed light on how Zynga is able to support a constant flow of new global games while supporting a strong mix of multilingual production games with daily releases of thousands of words.

B5: Going Global in the Age of Agile Translation: Smartling Accelerates HotelTonight

Smartling has built an agile translation management platform that guides customers through these steps to accelerate their global expansion efforts. Hear firsthand from HotelTonight a marketplace for last-minute hotel rooms, how they rolled localized versions of their app in French, German and Spanish – and how their engineering is integrating translation into their development process.

A6: i18n QA Expert Panel

Tex Texin, Kent Grave and Paul-Henri Arnaud will offer state of the art tips and lead an interactive discussion on best practices for internationalization QA. They will offer key insights into pseudo-translation, English as just another language, and testing of time zones. Join us and challenge the panel and colleagues with the your most difficult and intriguing problems. Learn how these experts and others in the industry are tackling the same issues you face.

B6: Seven Tips to Maximize the Value of your Translation Memory Assets through a Transition

Many companies lose significant savings in translation memory leveraging after making a change in development environment, release strategy, or authoring tools.  As companies move to Agile development, XML-based documentation, and globalization management systems, they often neglect the impact on the usefulness of their legacy translation memories.

During this session, we will give seven tips to maximize the value of your translation memory assets through a transition.  By employing these suggestions as your organization evolves, you will benefit from increased memory leveraging, leading to cost savings, faster localization time, and greater consistency. We will provide examples using a variety of translation memory tools, none sold, endorsed, or manufactured by SimulTrans.

A/B7: Bridging the Gap Between Software Development & Localization Panel

We wrap up the day with an expert panel to share their recommendation for how change, better support, or create your global development structure to achieve global readiness. The panel will discuss how to get started, how to improve, how to measure, what results will be expected, and what changes are necessary in an organization.


Presenters

Paul-Henri Arnaud
Globalization Process Analyst at Autodesk
Paul-Henri ArnaudPaul-Henri Arnaud (Autodesk, Inc.) is a senior process analyst on the localization services engineering team at Autodesk Development Sàrl in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. With over ten years’ experience at Autodesk and 17 years in the industry, he is a specialist in aiding development teams design, implement and test globalized applications that are used by millions of design professionals worldwide. Previously, at ViewStar Corporation, he was a key contributor to the creation and enabling of the first German, French and Japanese versions of business process and document management software. Paul-Henri holds a B.Sc. in electrical engineering and computer science from U-C Berkeley.
Andrey Akselrod
CTO, Smartling, Inc.
Andrey AkselrodAndrey comes to Smartling from his role as VP, Technology at SpaFinder, where he developed and maintained the site and eCommerce platform in 6 languages. Previously, he held executive positions at RunTime Technologies and consulted for JP Morgan Chase, where he was responsible for eCommerce, digital asset management, data warehousing and other large-scale projects. He’s a native Russian speaker. He holds a BS in Computer Science from Brooklyn College and lives in New Jersey with his wife and children. He’s passionate about all things technology, and a good cup of coffee.
Adam Asnes
President & CEO at Lingoport
Adam AsnesAdam Asnes founded Lingoport in 2001 after seeing firsthand that the niche for software globalization engineering products and services was underserved in the localization industry. Lingoport helps globally focused technology companies adapt their software for worldwide markets with expert internationalization and localization consulting and Globalyzer software. Globalyzer, a market leading software internationalization tool, helps entire enterprises and development teams to effectively internationalize existing and newly developed source code and to prepare their applications for localization.

Renato Beninato

Chief Marketing Officer at Moravia
Renato BeninatoRenato is an international business analyst and strategist. He has served on the executive teams for some of the industry’s most prominent companies, and co-founded the first market research company focusing on the language services space (Common Sense Advisory). He was the President and is currently an Advisor to ELIA (European Language Industry Association) and also a Board Member of Translators without Borders, a non-profit organization that provides translations for NGOs.

Adam Blau

VP of Sales at Lingoport
adam-blauAdam Blau is an experienced globalization executive and overseer of Lingoport’s growing account base and global outreach strategy. Adam, having lived in Germany for over nine years, is a fluent German speaker with a knack for travel. Previously, Adam worked at Milengo, where he oversaw their worldwide sales team residing in North and South America as well as Europe. Adam received his degree in economics and German from Bates College in Maine and holds a Strategic Sales Management certificate from the University of Chicago. A connoisseur of culture, Adam loves to travel (logging over 100,000 miles in 2011) and cook.
Lydia Clarke
Program Manager, Acclaro
Lydia ClarkeAs a Program Manager in Acclaro’s San Francisco office, Lydia helps clients develop and execute successful globalization strategies. Lydia has held project management, technical lead, and senior engineering positions with Acclaro and other localization firms. With ten years of experience in the industry, Lydia has successfully localized a wide variety of software, web, multimedia, documentation, and search projects. Lydia holds a BA from Cornell University with additional concentrations in Latin American studies and international relations.
Kent Grave
Program Specialist i18n and L10n
Kent GraveKent Grave is an internationalization and localization management consultant and has worked with global software for over 20 years managing large-scale projects in Europe, Asia and the United States for IBM, Siebel Systems, Microsoft and Cisco. Kent has been involved in all aspects of providing global software over the years and areas of primary interest are efficient and consistent internationalization strategy and best practices as the backbone of timely and high-quality localization. Kent grew up in Denmark and moved to California in 1990. He has an MBA in international technology management and a master’s in marketing to complement a bachelor’s degree in computer science.
Becca Gronau
Application Architect, Elsevier
Becca GronauBecca Gronau is an application architect working for Elsevier, Inc. with 15 years development experience.  A graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, Becca started her career with Electronic Data Systems (since acquired by Hewlett Packard) as a software engineer.  While at EDS, Becca worked with various technologies from mainframe, to desktop, to web applications.  After transitioning to Elsevier in 2003, Becca honed a specialty in a multi-tier web development.  Becca has recent experience as the lead architect responsible for internationalizing a large, industry leading, web application.
Knut Grossman
Localization & Globalization Expert at Marin Software
Knut GrossmanFor the last 22 years, Knut Grossmann was involved in practically every aspect of localization: audio, video, documentation, animation, art, web content, and software. He started off as a freelance translator, continued to work as a project manager, and then as localization manager for companies like Consilium, NeXT Computer, and Maxis. When Maxis was bought by Electronic Arts, he continued as the Localization Director, working on such world renowned titles like Sim City and The Sims. Recently, he worked at Sony Online Entertainment as Executive Director of the International Group, and later as the principal consultant of his own firm, Games Without Borders. He now manages all localization and internationalization efforts for Marin Software, a company that provides software solutions worldwide for marketers and agencies in the online advertising business.
Adam Jones
Chief Operating Officer at SimulTrans
Adam JonesAdam oversees SimulTrans’ worldwide operations, including project management, translation, engineering, testing, multilingual publishing, account management, and marketing.  Adam has spent over 19 years directing the company’s customer outreach efforts, internal production groups, and other operations.  Relevant to this topic, Adam’s first role at SimulTrans involved analyzing projects and optimizing translation memory leveraging; he led the company’s implementation of various translation tools, including WorldServer.  Adam regularly gives training presentations at conferences of the Society for Technical Communications, the American Translators Association, the Software & Information Industry Association, and other groups.  Adam previously worked in Strategic Accounts at Oracle Corporation and as a high school English teacher.  He holds BA and MA degrees from Stanford University, in Public Policy and Education.
Michael Kuperstein
Localization Engineer, Global Language Solutions, Intel Corporation
Michael Kuperstein of IntelMichael Kuperstein has been working deep in the trenches of many localization projects, produced in partnership between Intel’s in-house localization group and Intel business units. Michael was hired by Intel in 1996 as a software engineer, later transferring to Intel’s localization team in 2001 as the dotcom bubble burst. He wears many hats as a localization engineer, software architect, application developer, tool wrangler, speaker, group historian, and all around go-to / fix-it guy for software internationalization. Armed with a vast array of creative concepts, software tools, internal social networking sites, defect reports and screenshots, financial data, and presentations, Michael is on a mission to evangelize proper internationalization and localization at Intel.
Olivier Libouban
Globalization Lead at Lingoport
Olivier LiboubanOlivier Libouban has worked in the software industry for nearly three decades as a software engineer and project manager for start-ups as well as large corporations. A native of France, Olivier has wide ranging experience in the United States, France, Switzerland and Norway with work in research and development departments as well as client projects of all sizes and complexity. Olivier has a Diplôme d’Ingénieur from the National Institute of Applied Sciences in France and a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Olivier is a sought after internationalization presenter and teacher… and also has a great sense of humor!
Mike McKenna
Senior International Engineering Manager at Zynga
Mike McKenna of ZyngaMichael is a specialist in globalization of applications and distributed systems with over two decades of internationalization experience. He is a licensed professional engineer with extensive experience consulting or leading globalization projects for a number Fortune 500 companies and has a background in global e-commerce, application design, database internals, distributed bibliographic systems, test engineering, global product management, and ethnographic research. He is currently in an engineering leadership position with the International Production team at Zynga Inc.
Michael Meinhardt
President & CEO, Cloudwords
Michael MeinhardtWith more than twelve years experience in the translation and localization industry, Michael Meinhardt, CEO and Co-founder of Cloudwords, helps companies go global by streamlining their translation strategy. Prior to Cloudwords, Meinhardt worked with organizations across various industries to localize their product, marketing, and training materials for the first time. He has also advised enterprise customers regarding their global translation strategy, including Cisco Systems, Hitachi Data Systems, Apple and Symantec.
Nelson NG
Director of Globalization Technology at PayPal
With 29 years of experience in developing globalized systems, including building the first internationalized versions of Solaris & Hotmail and migrating eBay Marketplace to UTF-8 Nelson Ng has
helped a number of companies define and execute strategies for global expansion.
Russ Taga
VP of Engineering at HotelTonight
Russ TagaRussell Taga is VP Engineering at HotelTonight, a travel start-up up with a mobile-only focus that helps people to find last minute hotel rooms they’ll love at a great price. Russ has worked for a mix of start-ups and big companies over the past 14 years including Spartan Software, Howcast Media, Adobe, Cisco, Idiom, and Accenture.

Tex Texin

Chief Globalization Architect
Tex TexinTex Texin has been providing globalization services including architecture, strategy, training, and implementation to the software industry for many years. Tex has created numerous global products, built internationalization development teams, designed best practices, and guided companies in taking business to new regional markets. Tex is also an advocate for internationalization standards in software and on the Web. He is a representative to the Unicode Consortium and on the steering committees for open source software. Tex is the owner/author of the popular www.i18nGuy.com.
Emma Young
U.S. West Coast Operations Director, Acclaro
Emma Young Acclaro As the U.S. West Coast Operations Director for international localization agency Acclaro Inc., Emma Young manages client relationships, localization endeavors and sales. She has 15 years of localization experience, with expertise in testing and QA, account management and operations. Learn how Acclaro helps the world’s leading brands succeed across cultures at www.acclaro.com

Lingoport Resource Manager Released

Connecting Development and Localization, New Technology Automates Translated File Management

Today, Lingoport announced that it has released Lingoport Resource Manager (LRM) to support development projects in their localization efforts. By optimizing the manual and often error-prone process of resource file management, LRM effectively bridges the gap between development and localization, ridding the two areas of unnecessary testing iterations and file confusion.

In a press release sent out today, Lingoport President noted:

 “During our product research for LRM, we saw great demand for an automated resource manager solution yet no commercial product was available. Localization and engineering teams talked about the difficulty in keeping up with changes and even delaying global release versions because of the management and integration overhead. Our solution allows localization managers and project engineers to automatically view changes right at the build/source management level, prepare those files for localization and then reintegrate them back into the product build when translated, along with quality and error checking in every step. LRM particularly helps agile teams with complex applications in keeping up with development changes and translation processes. It makes globalized products easier to keep up to date for every market.”

Lingoport Resource Manager represents the next step in answering how Agile and localization can co-exist. So often we have heard at trade shows and conferences that the two were not made for each other and many outdated localized versions of projects were released without proper translations implemented. This conundrum inspired months of research and development and we are happy to bring our solution to market.

Watch this introductory About Lingoport Resource Managervideo detailing the processes that LRM automates.

For more details on Lingoport Resource Manager or to request a demo, visit http://Lingoport.com/LRM or download the white paper detailing the business case for LRM.

2012 Internationalization and Localization Conference Videos

Presentation PDF’s

Session A1: Internationalization Customer Case Study

Session A/B2: Integrating Internationalization with Localization

Session A3: Internationalization Scorecard

Session B1: ROI: Right On In (to the C-Suite!)

Session B4: Dynamic Language Delivery for Adobe’s Mobile Applications

Session B5: Optimizing Content for Localization

Videos and Tutorials

Educational Internationalization (i18n) and Localization (L10n) Video Tutorials

The below videos will give you a quick introduction to software internationalization and localization issues, as presented informally by Lingoport’s founder and CEO, Adam Asnes. Additional educational i18n video’s can be found on Lingoport’s YouTube channel and on our Vimeo channel.

Software Internationalization and Localization Video Tutorials

  1. Globalyzer Tutorials
  2. Requirements and Business Case Planning for Software Globalization
  3. Internationalization (i18n) and Localization (L10n) Nightmares – Late Lousy and Over Budget
  4. Internationalization, Localization and Translation: What’s the difference?
  5. Return on Investment in Software Globalization
  6. Internationalization: Moving Beyond String Externalization
  7. Ongoing Internationalization Support with Globalyzer
  8. How to Approach a Large Internationalization Project
  9. Unicode and Character Encoding
  10. Keyboards & Internationalization


Globalyzer Tutorials

Lingoport’s Globalization Lead Oliver Libouban highlights the core functionality of Globalyzer Lingoport’s internationalization software.

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Requirements and Business Case Planning for Software Globalization

Internationalization and localization expert Adam Asnes discusses the requirements and business case planning for Software Globalization in this video.

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Internationalization (i18n) and Localization (L10n) Nightmares – Late Lousy and Over Budget

Internationalization and localization expert Adam Asnes discusses the potential challenges that come with software internationalization and localization.

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Internationalization, Localization and Translation: What’s the difference?

Internationalization and localization expert Adam Asnes discusses the difference between internationalization, localization, and translation.

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Return on Investment in Software Globalization

Internationalization and localization expert Adam Asnes shares information about the return on investment in software globalization.

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Internationalization (i18n): Moving Beyond String Externalization

Internationalization and localization expert Adam Asnes discusses the challenges of string externalization and internationalization.

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Ongoing Internationalization Support with Globalyzer

Internationalization and localization expert Adam Asnes talks about ongoing internationalization support provided by Globalyzer, Lingoport’s I18n tool.

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How to Approach a Large Internationalization Project

Internationalization and localization expert Adam Asnes explains how to approach a large internationalization project.

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Unicode and Character Encoding

Internationalization and localization expert Adam Asnes discusses Unicode and character encoding best practices.

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Keyboards & Internationalization

Globalization lead at Lingoport, Olivier Libouban, explains how users can adapt their keyboard to various languages and offers insight into why companies need to consider how their end users input data. See Keyboards and Internationalization

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Quick Reference Guide to Character Encoding

In working with project and localization managers, localization sales people and those who are just new to the internationalization (i18n) process, I regularly encounter confusion regarding the technical terms that describe the encoding that will be needed to support particular sets of locales and their respective languages. This post is here to simplify things and make them digestible for a topic that’s important, if you want your software to support localization, but makes many people’s eyes glaze over. There’s tons more to read on each of these entries which are by no means complete, but I have found references like Wikipedia pages and the Unicode.org site to be overwhelming for people who don’t need or want to know the details. There are more encodings, but these are the primary ones:

ASCII Encoding: English alphabet and numbers are fine. Breaks if you add accented characters and additional characters. 128 characters supported in total. 7 bits per character. Don’t use it!

ISO Latin-1 Encoding (also referred to as ISO 8859-1): In addition to English alphabet and numbers (codes are the same), adds support for Western European Languages (i.e. French, Italian, German, Spanish). 8 bits per character (single byte).

Unicode Character Set: A super character set that includes digital support for all the world’s commercially used languages and more.  Unicode characters can be supported using the following encodings:

UTF-8: This is a common encoding for supporting Unicode characters. Uses a single byte (same codes as ASCII), adding additional bytes (up to 6) to encode additional characters..

UTF-16: This is another common encoding for supporting Unicode. Uses two bytes per character and can be combined with a second set of bytes for more complex characters.

UCS-2: The older version of UTF-16, and compatible with UTF-16 as well. Used on Microsoft’s SQL Server Database for supporting Unicode.

The difference between a character and its encoding is the character is the complete letter or symbol, for example the letter A or a Chinese ideograph. Think of the encoding as the configuration of zeros and ones (bits and bytes) that the computer/software uses to represent that character. You need more bytes to represent more complex characters. People often refer to languages such as Chinese or Japanese as double byte, because it takes at least two bytes to represent their characters. However, more than two bytes can be involved.

All this is important because it’s an area that can really foul up your localization efforts if you don’t get it right. Encoding issues can be quickly located in source code and database schema using Globalyzer’s static analysis.

I wrote a more detailed article about this a while back for MultiLingual Computing, and it’s available here.

A video also describing this (we shot it in one take and with no rehearsal) is available here:

Choosing the right encoding is based on market requirements first, but also relies on technical requirements that arise from your software architecture. Supporting Unicode is always desirable, but technical and business case constraints can affect your internationalization strategy.

ISO Latin-1 and Canada i18n

Targeting a first time internationalization effort for Canada is one of the more forgiving target locales from a technical risk perspective when working with code that is US English-centric. If there’s a missed string, chances are the user be able to work through it. Currency symbols are represented the same. Numerical units use the decimal point the same. Address formats are the same other than postal codes. However, this can also present a false sense of internationalization compliance. It has consistently been our experience that firms who thought they had internationalized their code for Canada and Canadian French, had much missing upon further examination.

There are a few reasons for this:

  • It’s actually very hard to detect and then measure many internationalization issues. Because understanding of i18n is likely to be limited, there’s a disconnect in the feedback loop to developers when i18n is incomplete.
  • Many developers used on internationalization projects tend to be new to the process and are often not the people who wrote the code. Unless they have powerful tools and strong guidance for architectural changes and planning, they are not going to understand the i18n requirements and be able to fully recognize what changes will be needed – yet they will perceive tasks as completed.
  • Without clear diagnostic tools, it often takes companies at least three release cycles to deal with many stray internationalization issues. New issues tend to crop up with continued development activity. The worst is the first time through.
  • Typically there is an over reliance on creating pseudo-translations and working through a QA process to visually inspect strings. While this is a good process, it is limited by nature in its incompleteness and late and iterative cyclical inefficiencies.
  • I18n is initially understood as a string externalization exercise. While strings are a highly visible component, they are far from the whole story.
  • Locale handling and changes to the database schema represent larger changes that can effect an entire software system. However, they are often implemented the first time in a way that doesn’t account for what is learned later on for more complex internationalization efforts.
  • Programmatically, many things in code can look like strings when looking to find and externalize them. The heuristic logic of this process is difficult, so searching a code base for string externalization usually misses much.

While the above internationalization changes are easy to overlook for Canada, we’ve found that they make themselves more obvious when going to markets, like those in western European locales. They are exacerbated when going to Far Eastern locales, where support for Unicode will require another significant phase of i18n development. Supporting bi-directional languages adds further complication. All of these business developments are greatly supported by using Globalyzer along with additional Lingoport products such as Dashboard and Resource Manager.

Demonstrations of each solution can be requested by contacting Lingoport staff.

Static Analysis for Internationalization and Localization

The other half of localization: Internationalization

Internationalization is the other half of localization, and the two are like yin and yang, requiring different but intermingled tasks and knowledge. For internationalization I’m referring to developing software, sites and applications so that they are capable of dynamically supporting any language or locale preference needed for their marketing and use. That’s a bit of a difficult abstraction, and after all these years of me doing it, I’m pretty sure my mother still doesn’t really understand.

Think of it this way: software doesn’t just work in another language because you localize the U/I. If you want to globalize, you actually have to make source code so that it can support multiple languages without creating a new product. Software also doesn’t just display an interface. It deals with all kinds of data input, data manipulation, storage/retrieval, comparisons, calculations, reporting and more. To support all that, the fundamental logic and processing of how software presents information needs to be adapted so it’s pretty flexible on issues like language, sorting, date/time presentation, numerical formatting, parsing addresses, phone numbers and more. Generally, for software localization to work at all, internationalization needs to be in place, and becomes an ongoing requirement for all new product development activities once a company takes on localization.

Trouble is, internationalization can be very expensive in money and time if you haven’t built it into your product in the first place, or it can be hard to maintain as your team pushes for new product features. It’s difficult to quantify, test and verify internationalization issues and often there is only limited verification after localization is well under way. It’s no wonder global releases are often late, way over budget or worse, not really tested and just pushed out to market.

Tracking down and measuring internationalization issues

A challenge with internationalizing existing applications is tracking down and measuring internationalization issues when they are buried in hundreds of thousand to millions of lines of code. Most people take a testing route, but it is extremely difficult to test potential use cases and their conceivable permutations. Additionally, by nature testing happens at a more costly time in the development process. Engineers usually have moved on to new features or other development efforts and tracking down and fixing bugs slows down releases.

We use static analysis with our Globalyzer software to pinpoint internationalization issues right in the code either during the development process or at staged intervals like a nightly build. Another advantage is instead of cataloging a bug, you are creating lists of exact issues exactly where they are in the application. Think of this as a very strong to-do list, guiding the developer through internationalization. This is not to say that testing isn’t needed, but it should be a last verification step, and not necessarily an investigative and scoping tool as it has often been used for internationalization.

Static analysis

With medical products, using static analysis as a process is especially gaining acceptance. With a particular emphasis on quality control, and consequences for bugs, examining code at the source level for constructs, bugs and security is becoming a regular part of product verification. We know of one medical products client that started working with Globalyzer directly because of a dangerous issue regarding locale support that they missed in testing. It is very hard to recreate every possible user scenario for multiple locales, including misuse, so static analysis becomes a strong way to mitigate that risk.

Conclusion

Medical products offer a case where lives are potentially at stake, but given how global customers, revenues and organizations play such a strong role in so many companies, tools that quantify, monitor and help remedy internationalization issues efficiently should be important to every development team.

About the Author

Adam Asnes is President and CEO at Lingoport and enjoys investigating how globalization technology affects businesses expanding their worldwide reach. Adam is a sought after speaker at industry events and a columnist on globalization technology as it affects businesses expanding their worldwide reach. He often writes articles for localization, internationalization and globalization industry publications and enjoys cycling and Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.

About Lingoport

Lingoport helps globally focused technology companies accelerate and improve how software is built for world markets. Lingoport’s suite of products is the market leader for companies looking to remove surprises in coding software for the world by automatically checking, measuring and fixing source code for internationalization (i18n) defects. Combined with comprehensive outsourcing services, Lingoport offerings enable our clients to make world-ready software development a priority for their worldwide customers.

Contact Lingoport by phone at +1 303 444 8020, by email at info@lingoport.com, or find and follow Lingoport on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Lingoport, on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/company/lingoport, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Lingoport, and our i18n blog at http://i18nblog.com/.

This article was authored by Lingoport CEO Adam Asnes and originally published in Net-Translators’ June 2012 eNewsletter.