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.
It is not often that software publishers have the chance to redesign their software from the ground-up with a new development environment, so I was pleased to learn of their initiative and of their proactive efforts toward proper globalization.
Most successful software publishers generate over half of their revenues overseas, and 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 all internationalization requirements are met 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 it is much better considered and attended to at the front!
For those who are in the same place, GlobalVision offers many excellent and free write-ups to help you get started and stay on the right track. They are:
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, 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.