|Case study written by||Quintagroup|
In the GeaBox case the work of our team was largely organized in two dimensions - creating Diazo theme, and dealing with multilingual content, namely - translations into as many as eleven languages on the whole, which is a rather challenging task.
GeaBox Project Outline
The major complexities concerning multilingual content comprise arranging it in the most convenient way possible and checking the correspondence of translations formatting with the original one.
GeaBox solutions are designed for a wide range of customers all over the world, which accounts for the multilingual content of the website. The project was therefore aimed at covering most widely spoken languages of the biggest European and Asian countries. Our major complexities appeared to be naturally with the so-called RTL-language (Right-to-Left) on the list of those we had to deal with - Arabic. The very peculiar reversed type of writing which is totally strange to Europeans was difficult to ‘decode’, but we managed to overcome this difficulty with the help of our rich experience in multilingual websites.
The major tool used by our team in this particular case was the Plone product LinguaPlone, designed specifically for dealing with a number of languages within a single project. It facilitates the workflow of a content manager, enables individual work with each of the languages by creating separate folders. This solution was implemeted by our team - we dealt with eleven languages by creating separate folders for each of the translations. The folders contain easily recognizable shortnames (en - English, it - Italian, es - Spanish, ru - Russian, etc.) that appear in the respective URL. This means that each of the top level folders corresponds to its own URL with the respective shortname of one separate language, which is good for search bots and facilitates caching. Moreover, this type of dealing with multilingual content is easier for both IT specialists and customers, the former being able to work with each folder on an individual basis and the latter checking the project workflow. However, it was necessary for us to account for such a peculiarity of LinguaPlone as the fact that all translations must be managed separately and that all the images, links, forms, etc. should be inserted separately as well.
It is also worth mentioning about some other details of our GeaBox case that might be less noticeable at a first glance. For a start, we set English as the primary language for our websites and for all translations (also defined as ‘canonical’) in order to make the process of fitting translations from a single source easier and more accessible. Secondly, each language is equipped with separate configurations for contact forms which enables separate access to editing and introducing changes. We also unified all the URLs that are the same for all languages with only the language code being different (e.g. www.geabox.com/en/solutions/solutions and www.geabox.com/es/solutions/solutions).
Another special feature designed by Quintagroup was influenced by the requirements of our client. Some of the pages contain the heading of the website’s sections without displaying the titles of documents themselves, so it was necessary to add the new feature to the editor that would prevent visibility of the document title.
Thus, Quintagroup team came up with the following Plone-based solutions to the GeaBox case:
- developing Diazo theme for the GeaBox project;
- adding new usable features to the process of dealing with multilingual content;
- using LinguaPlone product - creating separate folders for each of the eleven languages to make the process of managing translations easier and more accessible for the editors, as well as keep the workflow together with all translations in a convenient order. Moreover, having a distinct URL with the language code is much better for both our clients and then simple customers (e.g., www.geabox.com/es - the website will appear in Spanish). Sometimes our clients demand separate access to managing some of the translations, so it is much easier for us to provide access to separate folders with all the content in the required language;
- filling the website with multilingual content (eleven languages, among which - Arabic as RTL language), with images distinct to each of the site sections (i.e., individual work on each of the languages while managing portlets) which was a copious and very demanding work in terms of correctly written HTML code unified for all translations.
Plone 4.0 features contribute to the maximum performance of the GeaBox project. Special tribute should be paid to the Plone product, LinguaPlone, which boasts a diversity of possibilities to facilitate the work of inserting and managing multilingual content. With LinguaPlone you can choose your own way of managing multilingual content that would be most suitable for your particular case.