Language support

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Language support

Post by thekabal » Wed Jun 18, 2014 05:45 UTC

We have decided that for the next release, and possibly some future releases, we will be changing our approach to languages.

Today, any time we find a line of hard coded text, we try to move it into the languages/{language}.ini.php file. Then, for each line (we find dozens or hundreds at a time), we visit, and use it to convert the line to Spanish, French, and German.

These translations take a substantial amount of time because a given line can have several placeholders like [sector], which has to be removed before translation, and then placed back in after translation. For each language.

I timed it out, and for every 20 lines with reasonable placeholders, it works out to about an HOUR of development time to get a usable translated string for the four languages.

Now, figure that we are discovering hundreds thousands of lines per release, and suddenly, we are talking about translations being a full time job for a volunteer team that isn't even fluent in the languages we are working with!

So instead, for the next release (and maybe a few after it), we are going to ship with English as the only language option. We will continue to built out support for languages & translations (and have some excellent ideas on how to improve things for translators), and improve the code to support all major languages throughout the game.

But we will not ship with Spanish, French or German. We look to the community to step forward and take ownership of translating the files. If there are folks interested in leading translations, please let us know. Our goal is to have a Release, and then after six weeks, if there is a language lead, they will release translated language "packs", mixed with our small fixes, and that sort of thing. This will enable us to focus directly on what we do best - programming - instead of trying to copy/paste/translate in a piecemeal process.

In the meantime, there are a number of amazing browser advancements in this direction. Firefox is working on creating a MT plugin that will bring it closer to what Googlel Chrome offers. Google Chrome has the best so far - a truly integrated translate "this page" button.

We will explore each, and try to make recommendations based on their compatibility with BNT (and usefulness).

The languages directory will no longer receive updates for files other than language/english.ini.php by us directly during launch planning.

I hope we don't upset too many folks, but we do not have the develpioer time to dedicate to making it work going fowards.

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