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Classic ASP Basics For beginner programmers starting with "classic" ASP 3, pre-".NET." NOT for ASP.NET 1.0, 1.1, or 2.0
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 07:25 AM
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Default Multilanguage

Hi There,

Im creating an intranetapplication for a small museum, here in The Netherlands.

One of the criteria is that the system must be multilanguage. I would like to implement that, but i dont know how to do it.

I thought of some solutions, but each has negative points
1. Create an html-document for each page in a different language
2. Put all languages in one document and use visibility codes (case)(hmmmz sounds good ;))
3. Use a table in Access and put each language in a field
4. ehm.......

What should be a good way to do it.

Extra info. Im using asp, frontpage 2k3 and an Access-mdb, iis-server.



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Old March 22nd, 2005, 05:42 PM
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Are you talking a lot of static content? If a lot of static content, it may be good to store on the file server, and redirect (HTML pages). If not, more dynamic app, you could use a database to do this.

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Old March 23rd, 2005, 05:52 AM
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Hi Olaf,

At my current company they use mainly a mixture of 1 and 3. Whichever way you do it you need to be very organised otherwise it soon becomes a very big content management headache!

Some of the problems I have found:
1. if you keep everything in a database then it loses context so that can cause maintenance problems, for example if you are later asked to change the wording on a page it can be hard to track down all the db records that make up that page. Also its very difficult for translators to work with - they need to see all the text on a page in context in order to effectively translate it without losing the overall meaning.

2 Keeping everything in HTML is easier to work with, but then if the page structure changes, you have many copies to update - trying to keep them all in line is the biggest headache of doing things this way. I think it would be better to use XML/XSLT to generate the HTML - then for each page you could have 1 XSLT file with the structure of the page, plus many XML files containing the text in different languages, plus any other language dependant stuff (for example sometimes images contain text so you may need separate language versions of these...)

3. Do not forget other areas where text may be generated, for example validation warnings from javascript - you can handle this by having separate js files that only contain the text (defined as constants that can be used in a single functional javascript file), then just include the relevant js language file along with the js functions file.

4. also there are other more subtle problem you may find, for example some languages are just have a lot of long words in them (for example Finnish), so the translated version may not look nice in the original layout when things like column headings suddenly become twice as long...

It is definitely an area where the more time you can spend in advance thinking about ways to deal with these sorts of issues, the easier the whole thing will be for you.

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Old March 23rd, 2005, 06:13 AM
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The people (all are volunteers) in the museum haven't got too much knowledge of asp and stuff, so i have to keep it stupid and Simple KISS ;)

Anyways, yesterday i had a conversation with the webmaster/registrar of the museum about this. He would like to have a hybrid too.

We agreed to look at this system. The Static Pages should be plain html and put in a subdirectory (i.e. "en" or "nl".) The dynamic pages should be translated in the accessdatabase i use. With some nice forms, i think that even the anti-pc-guys there (yes they use even a typewriter there he he) could use it.

I love this museum :) Thanks for your feedback. I will take those with me :)

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