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Project: Simplified Chinese L10N for a Windows application (MFC)

Date: first semester 2004

Statistics: (around) 12500 strings, 40000 words, 32 resources DLLs

- Application Engineering that owns the product to localize (France)
- Subcontractor that drives the localization process (France)
- Translation team (China)

This application was already translated in previous versions, but the translation was done directly with sources (Microsoft Visual Studio), and the main drawback of this solution is that there is no possibility to track easily changes on the base version (for example when there is a patch or maintenance release), or to optimize the translation effort when changing version of the application. Thus the reuse effort was a strong requirement, and the need to use a localization tool was then huge.

Furthermore, the number of actors in the project implies to setup a lot of development environments (with potentiel third parties products and the problem of licensing...), and it is then hard to retrieve the modified sources to the source code repository of the owner of the application.

Finally, setting-up a dev environment can interfere with a test environment when specific runtime DLLs are installed by the dev and the runtime... And translators may not be aware of such technical problems, or just to use the Visual Studio !

The lingobit localizer helped a lot to simplify the different process:
- Localization project initialization (no more Visual Studio and dev environnement stuff to isolate the resource DLL, project sources remains confidential).
- Direct test by the L10N team with the "generate localized" feature
- No error by localizer team (no possibility to add or delete resource, source of crashes)
- A maintenance release with updated/new resources could be integrated very easily during the localization process
- Crashes due to a resource localization very easy to find: First find the DLL that causes the crash, and then delete resources in the project for the DLL by dichotomical order. The quick generation of localized files allows to test quickly. Impossible to do so fast with the original project!
- All of this is allowed by a single file project (the .loc file) that is transportable through directories or mail to test several versions of localization or bug tracking!
- All the translation effort is reusable!
- Very easy to store in source code management: only one file (.loc file). The original DLLs can be found in the product, the translated DLLs can be regenerated from the .loc file and the original DLLs...
- Very reactive support... THANKS!

- The initial ID of the resource in the resource file is lost. It may help to decide what is to translate, what is not, depending the name of the ID. With a little work on the first localization of the product, such strings can be isolated.
- The Lingobit Localizer versions used for this translation project (v1 and v2 at the end of the project) were a bit young, thus sometimes crashy or buggy. Thanks to the support, everything went finally OK!

Yannick Wattiau.