Blog Archive

Blog posts for February 2009

Internationalizing XWiki Enterprise

I've been spending the last couple weeks completing the internationalization XWiki Enterprise, our flagship product. This is an oft-requested feature from our customers and users and I took the opportunity to work on it in order to have it ready for our upcoming XWiki Enterprise 1.8 release.

Getting internationalization right is important because it allows your users to experience the software in their native language. It's easier for them to interact with the features when they are described in the language they're used to, meaning that overall you've made people happier than before.

XWiki Enterprise has long offered an interface available in more than 10 different languages. However, a number of interface items had remained hardcoded and hard to translate up to today. I've tackled the admittedly boring task of updating the source code of every page, replacing hardcoded messages with internationalization keys. I'm approximately 80% done as of right now and taking the opportunity to blog about it to freshen my thoughts prior to the final run.

What does it mean in practice? Internationalization is about replacing hardcoded text messages with specific keys. The keys are then listed in a specific file (one per language) and their translation is printed in front of them. Here's an example:

1) Original wiki page

1.1 Nice day

I am having such a nice day, this country trip is gonna be great!

2a) Internationalized wiki page

1.1 $msg.get("nice.day")

$msg.get("nice.day.description")

2b) English language resource file

nice.day=Nice day
nice.day.description=I am having such a nice day, this country trip is gonna be great!

2c) French language resource file

nice.day=Petit patapon
nice.day.description=Le petit patapon est un fripon

Fluent french speakers will have noticed the discrepancy between both language resource files. That's one of the potential issues associated with internationalization. However the benefits of having a fully translated app usually outweight the issues associated with keeping all languages files synchronized.

What's more, Ludovic, our founder, coded an online application that lets users contribute missing translations in the language of their choice. The application can be accessed here. Come and contribute to making XWiki the most internationalized wiki!

A new website for XWiki

If you did not see it yet, go and watch it! It is worth the visit. All XWiki team made a great job during these last weeks to make this new website pleasant to visit and consult but especially to give you a site bringing answers to all your questions concerning XWiki and its offers.

The result is here!

The strengths of the new website!

A new design

This this what you see first. More professional and enriched by our return of experience on your needs. Our Design team, carried out by Laurent Lunati, completed an exceptional work: associations of colors, illustrations, page layout, navigation... We let to you appreciate this exercise of style. ;-)

A richer content

The previous website gave access to exhaustive contents. The new site gives access to relevant contents with respect to your needs. Our objective: to facilitate your research and give you a maximum of critical information in a minimum amount of time. This is why we have:

  • Developed headings like the section "About". By consulting it, you will know the history, the values and the XWiki's ecosystem.
  • We added new sections like that on the "Solutions" page. Our expertise in the collaboration world, makes it possible to propose to you intelligent offers tailored for the needs of companies vis-a-vis their current economic conditions.

A clearer organization

It appeared important to us to better distinguish our solutions from our services and products. Until now, visitors had little information concerning the uses of a wiki. We identified the main needs our customers were faced with. Among them, you can find solutions like Knowledge Base, Collaborative Wacth, Intranet and Collabrative.

A more flexible navigation

Three different menus allow you to navigate easily in XWiki.com:

  • A main menu which gives access to the main sections of the site;
  • A secondary menu which lists their sub-sections;
  • An "informational" menu that allows you to consult the most interesting links related to the page you are visiting.

Coming soon

XWiki.com wants to be a website related to our current world and activities. Thus, it will change regularly both at the level of the contents (you will find very soon businesses cases in the section "Clients" ) and at the level of the offered functionalities.

A refined offer and accessible to the greatest number of people

We have also:

  • Augmented and refined our offers: for instance, the "Consulting" offer has been optimized. Now It takes into account all the stages relating from the conception to the implementation of a collaborative project. 
  • Revised our pricings completely. We wished to make them available to the greatest number of people. For example, some of our trainings passed from 1500 € to 270 € per person, mutualized hosting passed from 1000 € to 600 € or the solution XWiki Enterprise passed from 6K& euro; to 3,5 K& euro; with Silver support included. 

Why Working In The Open?

On February 19th, we celebrated Jérôme's second year at XWiki. After starting as XWiki Workspaces lead developer, Jérôme is now the head of XWiki's Romania office. Along the way, Jérôme also became a committer on the XWiki Open-Source project. In a recent post on his blog, Jérôme talks about the reasons that made him choose to work on an open project for an open company. Check out his article on Veloce Mente !