I received a call from a client last week informing me of their plans to upgrade their software to a new development environment that is internet enabled. Their concern was to eliminate quality issues that they faced during the last international release. They wanted to learn about the best practices of internationalization (i18n) to make future localization efforts go as smooth as possible. I thought it was wise of them to inquire on what they need to do before localization takes place.
It is not often that software publishers have the chance to redesign their software from the ground-up with a new development environment. I was therefore pleased to learn of their initiative and of their proactive efforts toward proper globalization.
Proper Internationalization (I18N)
Most successful software publishers generate over half of their revenues overseas. Furthermore, marketing and sales executives have become very aware of the importance of global markets. But less often we see engineering taking a proactive role in making sure that they meet all internationalization requirements at the architectural, design and implementation stages. Typically, i18n is just an afterthought to the development process. With the advent of the latest development environments, enabling globalization into your software is not a major undertaking. But you are still better off attending to it at the front!
Before Localization Read This
For those who are in the same place, GlobalVision offers many excellent and free write-ups to help you start and stay on the right track. They are:
- Do’s & don’ts in software development
- Pseudo-translate before you translate
- Localization QA
- The ideal localization kit
For avid readers, there is also an eBook starting under $10 on www.EnablingGlobalization.com.
The eBook and the write-ups have saved companies endless hours of testing, debugging and rebuilding applications. This is in addition to endless unnecessary localization QA hours, particularly when you translate and localize into multiple languages.
Since software applications have infiltrated many devices including medical, scientific, industrial, consumer, and even corporate websites, virtually every company doing business internationally can benefit from their content! Read them early and heed their advice while developing your next application.