Though it may seem easy to localize website files downloaded through a browser, this approach often yields poor results for websites built with server-side scripts (ASP, JSP, PHP, ColdFusion, etc.). It is more effective to gather the server-side files in building a comprehensive localization kit, ensuring all source code and database text is included.
It is easy to assume that the files which appear in a website or browser-based software are sufficient for localization. Often people download files over the Internet or save software files from a browser to create
a localization kit of materials to be translated. Unfortunately, this approach often leaves out a good deal of content and results in files which are difficult to reintegrate into the final software or website.
Scripts for Active Server Pages (ASP) and Java Server Pages (JSP), as well as ColdFusion and PHP, use server-based software to create the pages that users see. The page a user sees through a browser is a dynamically-created document that often contains a mixture of a subset of text from the source file combined with content from a database.
To completely localize all the content necessary to use server-side scripts in target languages, it is necessary to start with the source files saved directly from the server directory tree, not when compiled for a specific browser session. The source files should include the script files (ASP, JSP, ColdFusion, PHP) as well as the content database (Oracle, SQL, Access, etc.) and any graphics requiring localization.
Files Required For Localization of Server-Side Script Applications
- Server side script files (ASP, JSP, CFM, PHP, etc.)
- Accompanying non-script browser files (HTML, XML)
- Cascading style sheet files (CSS)
- Back-end database content (Oracle, SQL, Access, etc.)
- Enterprise software scripts and templates (ecommerce software, Enterprise JavaBeans, currency conversion utilities, etc.)
- Graphics in layered, editable format (Photoshop, Fireworks, etc.)
In addition to the appropriate files, it is often helpful to include additional reference information in the localization kit:
- Glossaries of terms in source language
- Translated glossaries
- Product reference and overview information (though it may not be translated)
- Files of previously-translated versions and source files for the same previous versions
- Translation memory which can be leveraged for the project
- Style guide which addresses writing and design issues
- Information about target audience
- Desired project schedule and final delivery date
- Decision about approach for dealing with text expansion (often text is up to 30% longer when translated)
- Word counts for all components
- Engineering and publishing contacts
- Summary of engineering expectations, including build process
- Summary of testing expectations, detailing localization, internationalization, compatibility, and/or functionality testing requirements