NetBeans team activities and processes related to i18n readiness

Contact kfrank@netbeans.org for more information or with comments or questions about these pages

What is i18n readiness ?

 The processes, activities and deliverables that enable and facilitate the translation of NetBeans to happen and which result in a build/installer of NetBeans that has the translated files/jars as part of it -- are called i18n readiness activities. These activities are done by and provided by such netbeans teams as developers, writers, build engineering, qe, web team and others.

These processes or activities are not actual translations itself - that is done by translators.

This document provides a listing and explanation of these i18n readiness activities done by various netbeans base teams like developers, build engineering, writers, quality engineering, web team, etc. First, some general comments:

  • * i18n readiness is not the same as i18n itself ( ie i18n implementation in the code) although we assume that the completion of i18n itself is a required i18n readiness activity.
  • * i18n itself is the coding and implementation in the actual product code and product files and product itself, that enables the following to happen:
  • when the product is translated later by translation team, that the translated messages and documents will be shown in the language of the user of the localized product when that user runs
the localized product under their own locale -- its the i18n infrastructure and and coding and layout that enables this to happen

  • when any user of the product, even if it is not translated for any language, runs in another locale and uses characters of the language of that locale as part of using the product, such as in creating applications or files --
     that the product handles this properly -- that is, that the characters show correctly and are processed, read and written correctly --- this is another aspect of i18n

  • Another example is that the features or functionality of the product that might show time, date and number and currency separators or signs, need to show them as per the locale the user is in when they run the product in a given locale.

I18N Readiness ActivitiesDeliverables/Processes provided by NetBeans base teams


i18n implementation in product code and documents and installers - done by developers and writers who do the other implementation, design and coding - this is just part of any other work they do on the product.

         o i18n is not  translation work (localization).
         o i18n work implements the NetBeans policy about how translated files are to be named and where they live in localized jars and where those jars and other localized files live in an installed product, so that when someone is running a translted version of NetBeans in a locale for which it has been translated, the user will see the translated messages and documentation.


i18n testing - done by NetBeans quality team; this team is part of the regular NetBeans quality organization.

   *  Since i18n is just another part of the product itself and its implementation is done by the same developers who implement the other parts of the product, the testing also is done by those in the same QE organization that does testing on all other parts of the product.
   *  this testing also includes what we call i18n readiness verification, which includes verifying some of the activities  mentioned in this document, like how to localize info, l10n kits accuracy, localized builds setup, etc, besides all the other i18n testing.


Creating and building product l10n kits and ensuring they are accurate and complete

   * l10n kits are a zip file that contains all the files that should be translated for a given release.
   * l10n kits are built and placed at locations where they can be downloaded by translation teams.
   * l10n kits are generated from jar and other files in the built product.
   * l10n kits are generated by build engineering and verified as correct by developers.
   * this item is one of the i18n readiness schedule milestones and the goal is to have it all correct by the time l10n starts.
   * a benefit of having  l10n kits are having  a reproducible and automated process, provided at known locations.
   * this process helps to avoid long email threads about what files are to be or not to be translated, and avoids needing to deliver files by email and avoids any unclarity about locations where the files might be.
   * UI/Message freeze on the NetBeans product schedule for a given release is an important gating date for when these kits can start to become final and complete.


Providing builds of localized files (mutli-lingual or ml builds)

   * ml builds are setup and implemented by base team Build Engineering.
   * ml builds take the translated files that have been delivered back to the translated files area of the repository, and build them into the required localized jars.
   * this results in a one to one match of each english product  jar or other product file, with a corresponding localized jar or other localized file, per locale that is being translated for (except in cases where there is no translatable material in a given english product jar)
   * the resulting ml builds (translated jars or other files only)  are zip kind of files that are that are installed by the installer as part of installing the entire product.
   * a ml installer is really just the same english/base product, with these additional ml zip files in it; thus a ml release of the product is really the same english/base product with the additional translated files installed.
   * this activitiy is done by base team Build Engineering.


Provide translation team a repository to put back their translations to.

   * translators get the l10n kits, translates the files. and puts them back to a special repository location of the main product code repository.
   * this special repository location is used as a source for building the multi-lingual jars that will then be installed in the ml version of the product.
   * this activity is done by base team Build Engineering.


Setup, build and verify as correct the special l10n kits needed

   * Setup and build of these l10n kits is done by base team Build Engineering; verification is done by developers and writers as applicable.
   * There are special l10n kits for installer, update center modules that are to be translated and for the web documents that are to be translated.


How to localize/translate instructions provided to translation team

   * Basic instructions on how to handle certain kinds of translatable files are provided to translation team.  Since we have standardized these processes over time and they are the same from release to release,  now there are very few if any of these kind of instuctions needed to be provided. 
   * An example of these kind of instructions would be how to layout the directories for translated java help files or steps needed after translating bundle files.


Provide l10n kit and information about web site documents to be translated

   * translation team is provided a "web docs"  l10n kit and other information,  and uses this kit as a source to translate documents that will be shown on the netbeans.org web site.


Provide update center l10n kit, multilingual ipdate center module builds and posting of translated modules to update center

   *  Some update center modules are translated - for these, the translation team is provided an l10n kit.
   * Build engineering builds multilingual modules/nbms from these translated files and posts them on the update center, so that when someone is running NetBeans in a locale for which one of these modules has been translated, they will be shown the translated one. (translated one is really the basic english one plus translated files)


Product document completion dates are provided to translation team

   *  These are dates when NetBeans document team states that the online help documents are a certain % complete - this date is provided to help with planning by translation team.
   * The online help docs themselves, however, are part of the product l10n kits.

I18N readiness activities and product schedule

* The activities discussed in this document are reflected in the release schedule for NetBeans.

All of these activities are done by the netbeans teams and are for the customers of these activities or processes, which is the translation team.

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