19 March 2009

Translations @ Openbravo

Hi everyone!

Translating a piece of software is a key part of the process to make an application more friendly to non English speakers. The best software cannot reach all its potential audience if it is not translated to other languages than English. Localization is key to reach new users and markets in ERP, and in Openbravo we have always devoted lots of attention to it.

Today we are introducing a new tool for translators, http://translations.openbravo.com. It shows the translation statistics in real-time for the languages that are available for Openbravo ERP.

To build these translations, we download the translations files from the source code control system automatically and create these statistics. Everything is recalculated every 15 minutes. If you are translating Openbravo ERP, we encourage you to keep updating the Subversion repository so you will be able to keep track of your progress and see the amount of work that has to be done to reach the 100% mark.

Words and Strings

To get a better picture of what is missing, the statistics not only provide the strings that are left to translate, but also the words that those strings contain.

Usually translators prefer to count by words since it's a fine-grained quantity over strings. If there are only 3 strings, but each one has ~1000 words it's not the same work as 100 strings with only one or two words.

For this reason, each table line has a double progress bar and statistics, one for strings and another for words. This can be seen in the top-most field of the line.


Each language and version have their own detailed page showing the statistics per file (Italian from trunk for example). If there's a reference language (or more concrete a corresponding directory in the C directory structure in Subversion) it will update the language file if the translated file is older than the reference file.

With this all statistics are up to date and show the exact numbers of strings and words that are missing.


Maybe you have already noticed the and icons.

The first one means that the language has some files with the same icon, in which case means that the xml file has some errors. Most of them are related to errors occurring while parsing the xml file; just opening the file in a web browser usually says what the error is (for example the AD_ELEMENT_TRL_ro_RO.xml).

The second one means that the language or file has more than 80% of the user interface translated (such as the Bulgarian translation). This is a good indicator as to whether enough has been translated for use. With 80% of the user interface translated, it's most likely that you will find just a few strings not translated.

Missing and extra files

As time passes it's most likely that new files for translating appear and others are removed because they are no longer used. This is also reflected in the statistics.

If there's a file in the reference language, but not in the translated language, this file will be displayed in the files table with a white background (see Catalan for example).

The extra files (the ones that are in the directory structure but are not in the reference language) are grouped in a list at the bottom of the files table (see the Finnish for an example).

Next steps?

Every piece of software can be improved and we want to improve it to match our translator´s needs. Any suggestion, concern and comment is more than welcome at our Translations & Localizations forum at Sourceforge.

Any feature request or issue can be logged at our issue tracker in the Translations stats project.

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