In a previous post we introduced the new spreadsheet that is becoming part of our standard new release information. Starting with the 9.9 release, we're attaching a spreadsheet that lists all new and revised terminology to the release notes blog article.
This article will attempt to fill in some of the "now what?" blanks. First, who should read this article. The answer is pretty much everyone. If you have custom text, you'll want to know how to make new terminology match your existing terms. Ditto for communities that have versions for multiple languages. And even if neither applies to you, you might just be interested in how all this word magic happens. All will be revealed!
Next, a bit about the spreadsheet. The first thing you'll notice when you pop it open, is that it's, um, shall we say not the prettiest thing you've ever seen. It's generated automatically by tools that have no aesthetic sensibilities. It's just tab after tab of text strings (those are the words and phrases that appear on community pages). For each language, you'll see the name of the new or revised text keys (the key name is how the program knows what key to display) and the old and new values for the key. The key value is the part that you see in the community. In languages other than English, you'll also see the English value for the key for reference purposes.
What to do
If you've done any customization or language updates in the past, you're probably familiar with the idea of sending us a spreadsheet with your change requests. For the next few months (until we can offer you a more direct way to make changes yourself), the process remains the same. Only the spreadsheet is different.
Here's what you do:
Review the new and revised text for the languages you're interested in.
If you want to use alternate text, add a column all the way over on the right and enter the new text on the appropriate line.
Contact your CSM or open a case and send us the spreadsheet.
We'll review your changes and get back to you with any questions and to coordinate implementation.
That's all there is to it.
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As many of you know, we provide language support for communities all around the world. In all, we provide translated strings in 17 languages in addition to English.
For the uninitiated, strings are what we call the bits of text -- words, phrases, buttons, commands, menus, and help text, for example -- that appear on community pages. With a few exceptions (and their numbers are shrinking) every word you see on a page lives in a string in one of our string files. Those of you who have changed the terminology in your communities, either in English or other languages, have your own custom string files as well.
You might be interested to know that we have somewhere in the neighborhood of 19,000 strings divided across close to a dozen files. Things like that happen when you have a product with as many features and as much history as ours. Part of my job here at Lithium is to ride herd on the English strings and make them as meaningful and useful as I can. All of the other languages are the province of our globalization manager, ElsebethF.
The reason for this post is provide information about the new policies and commitments we're putting into place for Elsebeth's 17 languages. Some of them will delight you (we hope).
First, the question we're asked most often: When will the translated version be available? The answer is 1 week after the GA date of the English release. This means that depending on our upgrade schedule, you will see translations available within days of being upgraded to a new release.
Notice we said GA. That's important. We don't translate strings for features that are still in the Beta program; we only start translating strings for features once they are formally released.
Something else we plan to do this week is make a complete list of all new and revised strings available for your review as part of the release notes for each release, starting with 9.9. It will be in the form of a spreadsheet attached to the release notes blog post. But wait, you say, the 9.9 release notes have already been published. And you're right. We're working the kinks out of producing the list right now and expect to have it posted on the 9.9 release notes within a day or two. Check back in a couple of days.
Update: The list of changes in the 9.9 release are posted here! The zip file attached to that post contains a spreadsheet that lists every single change in every language we support. Enjoy! For future releases, expect to see a similar spreadsheet attached to the blog articles that announces new features for the release.
So you have the list. What's next? For the moment, we'd like you to review it and use the Customer Portal (or your normal process) for making change requests. Soon, you'll be able to take care of these changes yourself. Which brings me to the other thing that's truly exciting (at least I think so): the tool we're developing that will allow you to edit your strings yourself. We gave a glimpse of our inline text editing feature, PACE, at the user conference, and are planning to make it available in the next 3 months. At that time, you will be able to edit strings not only in English, but also in any other language used in your community. Stay tuned!
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Here you go: REST API docs. At the moment, I was only able to upload the PDF guide that gives you an introduction to the REST API. As soon as Paul changes an Admin setting to allow zip uploads I'll post the uber-geeky REST API JavaDocs.
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Laughing. Given that I've spent the last 5 months working on and with the Tribal Knowledge Base, you *know* I've been thinking about how to use it here on the Lithosphere!
And like every other community that implements a TKB, we have a great of thinking and planning to do before the first pixel hits the screen. I have literally hundreds of pages of documentation that could be repurposed into a TKB -- the guide just for TKBs runs almost 60 pages and it's chock full of great big illustrations that present some interesting challenges as they morph in to an online format.
That said, a TKB on Lithium products is definitely in the works. My initial thought is to keep the TKB articles on the shorter side and provide links to the full PDFs for folks who want to drill down a bit further.
What do you guys think?
And thanks for the kind words about the Twitter and TKB demos -- I'll pass them along to the very talented author/producer.
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We're in the process of planning a restructuring for our blogs to be unveiled in January. You can find full details here.
If you've been following Coming Attractions, you know that there hasn't been much to follow recently. Rather than blogging, I've been up to my elbows in a succession of new features: Tribal Knowledge Base, Studio, and Twitter integration. My job entails not only documentation, but also working with the developers to name things.
BTW, when you start using Tribal Knowledge Base (we call it TKB) or Twitter you'll notice new FAQs in the Help page as well as Admin FAQs that help those of you responsible for managing a community configure the new features.
So although Coming Attractions has come to the end of it's run, I'll be back in the new year, writing for the Lithium Platform blog. See you then!
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