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We’re very excited to have a new team member for Ibis Reader. Ned Batchelder will be working with us in the weeks ahead to update and improve Ibis, and to add some features that have been requested by current and prospective software licensees.

First up is internationalization. One of the key advantages of an HTML5 webapp versus a native app is that they can be installed in any country on a supported device, even in countries that don’t yet have an Apple App Store. But first the application needs to be localized for the regional language.

Ibis uses the Django application framework and Django comes with native internationalization support. We also used this when internationalizing Bookworm with the help of some great volunteers.

Before translators can get to work, the application needs to be readied: each bit of text in the site needs to be marked for translation. This step can be time-consuming and difficult to test.

Automating translation testing

Ned has posted some code on his own blog that he used to help validate the internationalization process. Some good comments point to more advanced tools that take a similar approach. Recommended reading for anyone doing internationalization work.

The tool fakes a translation by randomly capitalizing all of the letters in the site text. If done properly, you should get a result like this:

Ibis with a fake translation

The book title Middlemarch and the chapter name look normal; those should not be translated. The remaining words are directions to the user and will need to be in a regional language. If any of the site text, like “Next” or “Previous”, showed up with normal capitalization, we would know that we missed a step.

We won’t be rolling out translated versions to in the near future, but we will be posting some performance enhancements and feature updates very soon.


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