IDE Integration of L10n cloud apps
IDE integration can be a real life saver for a developer! It basically eliminates a burden of handling many individual files that need to be sent for translation using tools and services external to a development environment. Some of the most used IDE’s include Xcode, Eclipse and Visual Studio.
As we all know, localization well made is a continuous task, as the resource files must be kept up-to-date while the development is progressing. Consequently, it cannot be separated from the development process, but actually quite the opposite: it must be well structured and aligned with the software development.
An IDE plugin for developers can upload source strings files for translation with just one click. This little trick can make a huge difference when deploying a multilingual product. Distributed teams using a versioning system can rely on just one developer (yes! yes! yes!) to manage the whole localization process. A developer can simply pull their commits to maintain consistency of all languages. You have to admit, it seems quite handy!
What is an IDE integrated with l10n app good for?
An IDE integration is basically an extension of a l10n system which allows developers to work efficiently without the need to log on to an external system.
With an IDE integration, as a programmer you don’t have to:
1. select individual files from the project tree
2. send them for translation
3. put back into the project keeping a proper naming convention.
It is a fully automated process. In other words – a more automatized and simplified process of professional human translation for developers, available at just one click!
Microsoft has their own great IDE, the Multilingual App Toolkit (MAT) 4.0 which is a Visual Studio extension that allows developers to incorporate translation workflows into their development environment. MAT allows users to export XLIFF files – the standardized translation specific file format used by the language services market.
Microsoft Visual Studio is the main Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for Microsoft―all Microsoft software, websites, applications, and services are developed through it. However, it’s not exclusive to Microsoft Windows as Visual Studio also provides cutting-edge tools and technologies to create apps that take advantage of the latest platform capabilities, whether it is Windows, Android, iOS, or Linux.
MAT 4.0 Extraction
MAT 4.0 shows up under the Project menu of Visual Studio. Users select target languages, after which MAT 4.0 generates the XLIFF language resource files. This file can be then directly sent for translation. Once the work is done, the translated XLIFF files are imported back into Visual Studio and the translations are implemented during the next build of the software being developed.
Millions of developers are using Visual Studio every day. MAT, therefore, has great potential to generate significant additional demand for translation and localization services, as the process gets easier and the bar to localize is lowered.
This is a great addition to the Visual Studio IDE and a great example of an l10n IDE integration.
But the translation process can be made even simpler!
The MAT extension is a quite promising solution but still needs a human intervention. Someone needs to upload XLIFF files to an external translation system and then put it back into Visual Studio. By integrating of a third party l10n system (like Text United!) directly into an IDE, you make your life as a developer a whole lot easier- you are basically sending resource strings directly to your translation service without even leaving your IDE.
This can greatly increase workflow, skipping many other manual steps previously needed. The typical translation process for an application requires extracting the content from the code, classifying and sorting it. It usually looks like an endless maze of processes.
IDE integration allows for managing the translation from one place and keeps it all in-sync with the ongoing changes in the code. This, in turn, allows for planning releases of the app and keeps the process more predictable and straightforward, making your life as a developer much, much easier.
And honestly, who doesn’t like that? 🙂