When we released Source Han Sans in 2014, the news made a huge impact among the millions of people who rely on Pan-CJK typefaces for their day-to-day work. Today we’re delighted to announce the release of its serif counterpart, Source Han Serif.
Both of these typefaces support Chinese Traditional, Chinese Standard, Japanese, and Korean languages, and also provide Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic character support. In short, these are among the most extensive typefaces we offer at Adobe, with tens of thousands of glyphs, and an effort like this would not have been realized without the support we got from our partners: Google, Iwata, Sandoll Communications, and Changzhou Sinotype.
You’ll find the Source Han Serif fonts on Typekit for web and sync use, and the open-source font files are also available on GitHub.
See our Source Han Serif landing page for full details about the typeface and to learn more about the collaboration behind it. More language options below!
It’s a known fact that Apple’s two-third of the business comes out of outside United States regions and no company would undermine the value of the business which it is getting from international markets. Keeping that in mind and addressing this aspect even further, Apple has made some latest advancements in the Internationalization support of its mobile operating system iOS 9.
Here are the top 7 features which made the cut to the latest iteration of the mobile operating system iOS9:
Support for RTL – Right to Left Languages
One of the most notable feature of iOS 9 in regard to internationalization was the addition of support for right to left (RTL) languages like Arabic & Hebrew. Using the UIKit framework provided by Apple in its Xcode IDE, you can mirror your icons, text, animations in a jiffy. Furthermore, all those native interactions related to Apple’s OS would also get mirrored like while operating your iPhones & iPads you will swipe the screen from right to left to unlock your screen, swiping of home screens from right to left, navigate back in safari from the right and forward from the left et al.
Apple has gauged the growing demand for its mobile & tablet devices in India and therefore, it extended its keyboard support for some more Indian languages like Punjabi, Gujarati and Telugu. Evidently, the intent here is to capitalize the Indian growing smartphone market by offering some user-friendly features.
Now, Autocorrect in ‘QuickType Keyboard’ (For Japanese and Chinese users)
Apple has made the life easy of all those folks whose native language is Japanese and Chinese by offering them AutoCorrect feature in the QuickType keyboard. They can now simply select the text using the multi-touch feature of the new redesigned keyboard and then can apply the Auto correct feature to straight things up.
This feature will ease up the task of the users who find it challenging to type commonly used sentences a number of times using iPhone keyboard.
Transliteration for Hindi Keyboard
And that’s not all, Apple has also given a treat to its Indian customers by adding transliteration support for Hindi keyboard in which all those users who was not comfortable enough to type in Hindi directly, can now type in English characters and the powerful transliteration system will offer you suggestions by converting them to Hindi. For more detailed information about the last two features, have a sneak peek at the ‘Quick Type’ section at http://www.apple.com/in/ios/whats-new/.
More Keyboards (for French, German, Spanish etc.)
Apart from the Indian languages, the tech giant has also added new keyboards for some other regions like French (Belgium), German (Austria) and Spanish (Mexico).
Switch between number systems for cosmopolitan Dubai
Another important update to users living in UAE is giving them the freedom to switch between number systems. They can choose which number system (Arabic, Hindi) they want to use – so you can use your device in the way that feels most natural to you.
Predictive Input for Fr, De and some more languages
One more addition to the plate is the addition of predictive input for French (Belgium), German (Austria), Korean, Russian, Spanish (Mexico), and Turkish.
After all these updates to the keyboard, dictation and predictive typing system of the iOS, the current support provided by Apple for the world of languages in its mobile devices is demonstrated in the below snippets:
English (Australia, Canada, UK, U.S.), Chinese (Simplified, Traditional, Traditional Hong Kong), French (Canada, France), German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish (Mexico, Spain), Arabic, Catalan, Croatian, Cz_ech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil, Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese
Quick Type keyboard support:
English (Australia, Canada, India, Singapore, UK, U.S.), Chinese -Simplified (Handwriting, Pinyin, Stroke), Chinese – Traditional (Cangjie, Handwriting, Pinyin, Stroke, Sucheng, Zhuyin), French (Belgium, Canada, France, Switzerland), German (Austria, Germany, Switzerland), Italian, Japanese (Kana, Romaji), Korean, Spanish (Mexico, Spain), Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Catalan, Cherokee, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Emoji, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, Flemish, Greek, Gujarati, Hawaiian, Hebrew, Hindi (Devanagari, Transliteration), Hinglish, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malay, Marathi, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil, Portugal), Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Serbian (Cyrillic, Latin), Slovak, Slovenian, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese
English (Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, UK, U.S.), Spanish (Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Spain, U.S.), French (Belgium, Canada, France, Switzerland), German (Austria, Germany, Switzerland), Italian (Italy, Switzerland), Japanese, Korean, Mandarin (Mainland China, Taiwan), Cantonese (Hong Kong), Arabic, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch (Belgium, Netherlands), Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Malaysian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil, Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Slovakian, Swedish, Turkish, Thai, Ukrainian, Vietnamese
English (Australia, Canada, Denmark, India, New Zealand, Singapore, UK, U.S.), Spanish (Mexico, Spain, U.S.), French (Belgium, Canada, France, Switzerland), German (Austria, Germany, Switzerland), Italian (Italy, Switzerland), Japanese, Korean, Mandarin (Mainland China, Taiwan), Cantonese (Hong Kong), Swedish (Sweden), Dutch (Belgium, Netherlands), Norwegian (Norway), Russian (Russia), Turkish (Turkey), Thai (Thailand), Portuguese (Brazil)
Now with the news coming in that Siri would be localized into many more languages and would operate without an Internet connection when iPad Air 3 comes to the market, it certainly acknowledges the fact that Apple has a vision for its virtual assistant to break down all the language barriers. Hoping that Siri would be available in Hindi too, it would be a remarkable experience to hear some Santa Banta jokes from the smart voice-powered Apple’s assistant.
To conclude I would say, Apple has gone to the right way to push out features which may not be so relevant to announce during the unveiling of the OS at WWDC but are undoubtedly needed to support the international markets.
If you made this far, thanks for reading. Please let us know your feedback, comments about this article and if you know something which I have missed here, kindly drop in your comments and I will try my best to respond and take this conversation forward.
If you want me to write on a particular topic then do let me know.
Any kind of digital creative content – whether it is a simple newspaper advert, or a large hoarding, or laying out a complicated magazine or a newspaper – comprises of handling text. Creating such a content for regional audience with software not supporting Indian scripts is like driving a left-hand-drive car in India – not comfortable at all.
How does a customer-oriented company like Adobe approach these users in the Indian subcontinent? Internal research shows that users in India are comfortable using English interface for software – what’s really needed is the ability to compose and handle text in Indic scripts, more so in text publication workflows.
While the publishing workflow is largely based on Adobe InDesign and we started supporting 10 of the most popular languages in Adobe InDesign CS6, there was a need to bridge the gap with other publication workflows utilizing Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. Adobe did so with the latest release of Creative Cloud products by introducing Indic script support in Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC. Users can now compose their text in 10 regional languages, generate world class print output, and still be within their beloved Adobe environment.
The Creative Workflow
Common workflows in creation of digital content involve extensive flow of content cross InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator. Photographs are clicked with the digital cameras and are beautified in Photoshop. These are brought into Illustrator and converted to vector images and are further used as a part of an art work. Small sections of these images (even raster forms) could as well be converted to form a brush stroke in Illustrator CC. A complex artwork including raster images and vector art is finally rendered to print through an InDesign document, which blends this graphic with text stories to give a phenomenal impact to readers.
Such meshed workflows often use text at various places, and the users ought to be able to work with that text whenever needed in the workflow. They don’t want to wait until the artwork is placed into InDesign for them to be able to insert text in regional languages.
Covering the entire flow
As a creative professional, one always wonders if they could do some raster handling in Illustrator, or some type handling in Photoshop, or some vector handling in InDesign. All of these are possible with Adobe software today, and that makes using these three in our publication workflows so very seamless. Not only that, we also want to create that beautiful type effect in Illustrator using Indic characters in our regional language. We want to give titles to our Photoshop banners in our own language. And much more…
With the latest CC release, joining the excitement of the amazing features, Photoshop and Illustrator also provide support for Indic scripts as in InDesign.
What’s more? The overall experience with Indic scripts has been made far richer with a number of bug fixes.
In addition to extending Indic script support to Photoshop and Illustrator, we appreciate the need for Adobe fonts in languages other than Hindi. Well-designed Unicode fonts that support Indian scripts can enhance productivity and cross-compatibility of content created by creative users, including the content creators, the designers, and the editors. We thus took this initiative of providing this beautiful set of fonts, starting with Adobe Devanagri.
Adobe Devanagri was introduced in CS6 timeframe, and has now been extended to include the Marathi script as well.
A completely new font, Adobe Gurmukhi has also been introduced. This will come pre-installed for users to start creating content in Punjabi. Also, fonts for more Indian languages are on their way!
To read about the Indic support in InDesign CS6, please read this article.
This article was originally written in English. Text in other languages is provided via machine translation.
A single gateway into Adobe’s Community Translation “universe”
November 2012 marks the month when Adobe’s Globalization group is launching the “Adobe Translation Center” (ATC) at translate.adobe.com. For Adobe’s customers and fans, ATC will be the single access point to provide feedback and improvement ideas for existing translations in “Adobe languages”, the shipping languages of an Adobe product. At the same time, the center will also be the place where our vibrant and growing translator community explores – in a collaborative fashion – opportunities for “community languages”: Languages that are in high demand by their speakers, but not delivered as part of our product offerings.
So far, our community translation “universe” consists of two planets, reflecting its current two main focus areas:
Adobe Translation Center itself is now offering functionality allowing fans to collaborate on user interface (UI) translation (formerly this has been available through Adobe Translator). The activity around UI translation has been growing quickly, supported and used by several hundred contributors.
The Adobe TV Community Translationproject is ATC’s very successful bigger twin: More than 2,500 translators have already translated subtitles for more than 14,000 minutes of video to make educational, entertaining, and helpful content available in a growing number of languages.
Not too long ago …
In November 2011, this blog presented the success case of how fans and users enabled Adobe Business Catalyst (BC) to ship with an additional language UI in Dutch, entirely translated by the BC partner community. The motivation driving this effort was the interest to better serve the partners’ customers in that language (BC with Dutch UI).
Since then, the ATC product team has been busy at work and put a significant effort into improving the Translation Center’s “look & feel” and its functionality. Entering feedback and translation suggestions is now possible intuitively and in a visually pleasing interface that follows the overall Adobe.com experience. As with all Adobe products, agile development methodologies are allowing the team to react to user feedback: Even though ATC is now launched, we still consider it to be “work in progress” (as opposed to “set in stone”) and are eager to hear what the community desires in order to be more productive or to have a more delightful collaborative translation experience.
“Community Translation” at Adobe
At Adobe, community translation refers to the process of enabling our users to translate content in a collaborative environment, assisted by professional translators or moderators. Types of content available for community translation today are videos (through Adobe TV) and software user interface (through the functionality within Adobe Translation Center). In the future, we expect community translation to expand into areas like documentation or user forums.
Ideally, collaboration and interaction between contributors should make community translation a rewarding and fun experience. We are confident that our tools will contribute to such an experience, so that lively and passionate communities will be developing and thriving around them.
Why does Adobe promote community translation?
Adobe has a long history related to localization and globalization. Our products are reaching people all over the world and allow them to express their creativity, regardless of their native language or the locations where they live and work. No matter what language we are using, when speaking to our users, we are always deeply impressed, how important our products are for them and with how much passion they speak of them.
At its core, Adobe is a company as international as our users. We have offices around the world, and in all our teams worldwide one finds colleagues from all over of the globe: The desire to serve all our international customers with excellence, is deeply engrained in ourselves and is reflected in our daily work.
Adobe’s community translation program is one means to get another step closer to the goal of shipping “world-ready” or “truly global” Adobe products, based on demand expressed and input provided by our customers and user communities around the world.
Why is Adobe building the Adobe Translation Center?
In the past, Adobe pioneered a few community translation programs, resulting in great responses from our users. After a series of pilots, we are now beginning to unify all of Adobe’s community translation efforts in a single place: Adobe Translation Center (ATC).
With engineers, user experience designers, and product managers, ATC has a dedicated product team whose goal it is to provide the best experience for translators from different communities. Building and maintaining such a platform represents a sizable investment for Adobe. However, we believe that the long term gain resulting from a better understanding of our international users, will be worth the effort, time, and investment.
Benefits of community translation
The cooperation between Adobe and its trusted professional translators has been working very well for many years now. This joint effort will continue to be a cornerstone of Adobe’s international success. However, there are some aspects of product translation where the involvement of the user community might have advantages over traditional workflows or may lead to something new altogether.
Feedback and translations through people using our products every day
It is impossible for professional translators to be experts for all products or areas they are translating for. While the professionals’ work for sure will always be correct, the everyday product user might – from time to time – have an edge to provide up-to-date translations.
In the past, we have experienced that a few translations in our products do not reflect the prevailing use of terms by our customers. In this area, we want to use the opportunity to make our translations match our users’ needs and expectations. With similar intent, we are leveraging mechanisms like community voting or commenting, so that translations match the expectations of the community at large and we are not representing isolated feedback.
It is important to note that there will be no “automatic way” for a community translation to enter the final product with review: In order to maintain the quality our products are known for, there will always be trusted moderators and reviewers close to the community who make the decision which string is ready for inclusion in the final product. By the way, only with the help of our partners on the professional translation side, will we be able to achieve scalability and support for the numerous community languages.
Evaluation of more Adobe product languages
Historically, Adobe has shipped in languages that have been representing our core markets: North America, Europe, Japan, Asia. That is a good number of languages already. With now the entire planet as the potential market-place for our products, however, we are constantly facing the question which languages to ship our products in. Currently, it is not possible to translate into all languages of the world due to logistics, cost, and incomplete information about addressable market size.
It is exactly the question which language to take on next, where community translation will help finding an answer by reversing a common mechanism: Instead of having to make assumptions about market sizes and demand for translated products before we ship them, ATC is empowering our users to indicate which languages are important to them and, hence, to us: Community membership size and translation speed for a product language, will be crucial indicators.
Shipping product languages vs. candidates for new languages
There are two different groups of languages which we are making available for community translation:
“Adobe languages” are all languages that are current shipping within a product. For “Adobe languages”, users can provide alternative translations if they discover typographic errors, if a string is too long or clipped, or simply, if they would prefer a different translation over the one that is currently appearing in the product. In our tools, shipping languages will usually appear as 100% translated and reviewed in our tools. Nevertheless, Adobe is looking forward to the community providing us feedback for those languages.
“Community languages” are not shipping with a particular product and we we make them available for community translation. For those languages, there can be different reasons why we are adding them to ATC: A passionate user community that we are aware of in a particular country, or repeated user requests to have a product available in their language, or business reasons on the Adobe side.
Full disclosure: To be perfectly clear, a “community language” which is 100 percent translated by a passionate community will not automatically be shipping with a future version of the product. The business decision which languages to ship, will remain the sole responsibility of the products’ stakeholders. Both the community and Adobe Translation Center team will always have to defer the final decision to the product team.
Why would users engage in community translation?
Users who participate in Adobe’s community translation program have a chance to get involved in the development of their favorite tools. They can directly affect the translation of a product through submitting suggestions.
And even if the translation into a specific language has already been completed, users will continue to have a channel to express their opinion (about translation quality). Or they can help us improving the product through reporting localization bugs in a convenient interface, without the need to go through complex bug reporting systems.
By joining the Adobe community translation program, users will strengthen their local community’s role and impact. In return, they will receive more attention. and, moreover, they have a good chance of influencing the future of an Adobe product, maybe even beyond localization support.
Community translation is already a common way for many companies (Adobe’s peers in the software industry among them) to explore new ways to interact and engage with fans, users, and customers. For Adobe, that type of interaction is one way to better hear the voice of our customers.
We strongly believe that our products will continue to improve because we intend to listen to that voice …
This article was originally written in English. Text in other languages is provided via machine translation.
I am pleased to announce that Acrobat XI shipped earlier this month. The Acrobat development team worked hard to provide an improved level of support added for Middle East languages. Below are details of the additional ME support provided in this release and how you can test drive and use it. We welcome your input, please post any feedback in the comments.
Rob Jaworski, International Program Manager, Acrobat
There are four main areas of improvement to Acrobat’s support provided to Acrobat XI: 1) minor editing, 2) Web Capture, 3) improved search functionality, and 4) Hindi/Farsi digits in Annotations.
In order to use these improvements, make sure Arabic and Hebrew language support has been installed. On Windows 7 and Mac OS 10.x, all language support has been installed by default. You can simply install Arabic and Hebrew keyboard and set the OS format and regional setting as desire. On Windows XP, if not using the localized Arabic and Hebrew OS version, you may need to install the right-to-left language support from the regional setting control panel in order to have Arabic and Hebrew font and keyboard available.
If you purchase and install the MENA version of Acrobat XI (I.e. English with Arabic support, English with Hebrew support or North African French) on the system, then Acrobat should launch with all the necessary MENA support options already enabled. However, if you purchase Acrobat XI in other application UI languages, the ME support can also be seen or tested by having the necessary options turned on manually.
Here are more details about the improved support for ME languages.
Minor Editing– Middle East support has been added to the minor editing feature in Acrobat XI, formerly called the TouchUp Tool. You can newly add or make simple edits to Hebrew and Arabic text on a PDF. The feature is designed to handle digits, ligature and right-to-left text direction.
Before you start adding new ME text or editing existing ME text, make sure the ME support options are enabled. Go to Edit menu (on Windows) or Acrobat menu (on Mac), select Preferences. Click ‘Language’ category and verify the section “Editing Text in Middle Eastern Languages” as follows:
Main paragraph direction should be Right To Left
Ligatures is checked, if needed
Hindi Digits is checked, if needed
Enable Writing Direction Switching is checked
Open a PDF document and open the Tools pane. Select ‘Add Text’ under Content Editing. Switch keyboard to Arabic or Hebrew, mouse click on a PDF and start typing text.
Open a simple Hebrew or Arabic PDF document. Open Tools pane. Select ‘Edit Text & Images’. Bounding boxes will be on drawn on the editable text. Switch keyboard to Arabic or Hebrew, mouse click at the text to perform a minor edit.
Web Capture– Users can use Acrobat XI to convert web pages, HTML files, or plain text files with either Hebrew or Arabic content into PDF documents. The conversion can be performed via the plug-in buttons available within the supported browsers, i.e. Internet Explorer (Windows Only), Firefox (Windows/Mac) and Chrome (Windows Only). The text will appear in the correct script and layout, and the output PDF can then be shared for review with other users using the existing Collaboration features.
Open an Arabic or Hebrew web page in a supported web browser. If the Adobe PDF plugin is installed properly, the ‘Convert’ button on the menu bar should be available. Click Convert to create a PDF from the web page.
Alternatively, within Acrobat, select File > Create > PDF from Web Page. On the Create PDF from Web Page dialog, enter the URL and customize the settings via ‘Settings…’ button. Specify the file type, language encoding, font setting and page layout. Click OK to dismiss the setting dialog and click ‘Create’ to convert the web page to PDF documents.
Improvement in Search– In the ME version of Acrobat X, the “Ignore Page structure” option under Search preference has to be checked in order to search for ME text on a tagged PDF. When the option is selected, it not only takes effect to bi-directional scripts but it could produce the irregular drawing for other scripts and could also produce inconsistent search index files, which results in various compatibility problems. In Acrobat XI, the issue has been addressed by having the necessary implementation that is limited to ME scripts only and having search for ME on a tagged PDF enabled all the time without having to enable any option.
Open an ME tagged PDF. Perform search for ME text using the regular search options available.
Hindi/Farsi digits in Annotations– In earlier releases of Acrobat, users are not able to enter Hindi or Farsi digits inside a pop-up note annotation before. In Acrobat XI, the issue has been addressed to allow an Arabic user to determine the digits used in a pop-up note by using both OS format and current keyboard setting.
The digits used in a popup note are determined by both OS format setting and current keyboard.
Arabic Digits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Hindi Digits: ۹ ، ۸ ، ۷، ٦ ، ٥ ، ٤ ، ۳ ، ۲ ، ۱
Farsi Digits: ۹ ، ۸ ، ۷، ۶ ، ۵ ، ۴ ، ۳ ، ۲ ، ۱
1. Under Arabic format setting (e.g. Arabic (Egypt) or Arabic (Saudi Arabia)):
(On Windows 7, Control Panel > Region and Language > Format = Arabic (<region>), select Additional Settings… and choose a standard digits = either Arabic, Hindi or Farsi)
When using English keyboard, then apply Arabic digits (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) in a popup note
When using Arabic keyboard, then digits display in a popup note…
A – Follow Standard Digits settings (Arabic, Hindi, Farsi)
B – If Standard Digits NOT set to either Arabic/Hindi/Farsi, then Hindi digits apply
2. Under English format setting (e.g. English (United States)):Arabic digits (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) will always be used no matter what current keyboard or standard digits settings are. Under this environment, a user can have digits displayed in Hindi by, under Region and Language > Additional setting, select ing Standard digits = Hindi and Use native digits = National.
[tp no_translate=”y”]Creative Cloud[/tp] is a membership service which provides online services for file sharing, collaboration, and publishing, as well as access to every Adobe Creative Suite 6 application.
The [tp no_translate=”y”]Creative Cloud[/tp] website itself is available in 8 languages: Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, and Swedish.
The [tp no_translate=”y”]Creative Cloud[/tp] membership is available through the Adobe Store in: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, and the US.
[tp no_translate=”y”]Creative Cloud[/tp] members can download and install CS6 applications in any language in which the products are available. Unlike owning the traditional licensed version of a Creative Suite product, [tp no_translate=”y”]Creative Cloud[/tp] membership allows you to select from multiple languages. For a complete list of languages in which CS6 applications are available, go here.
To learn more about the [tp no_translate=”y”]Creative Cloud[/tp]
This article was originally written in English. Text in other languages is provided via machine translation.
Building on momentum from Lightroom 3, Lightroom 4 brings exciting new features for amateur an pro photographers at new lower price. The release includes 12 languages: English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, and Korean.
This article was originally written in English. Text in other languages is provided via machine translation.
Recently, at Adobe’s developer conference Adobe MAX 2011 in Los Angeles, representatives of Adobe Globalization group had the opportunity to present – for the first time publicly – how we are envisioning the deployment of localized resources (texts, user interface strings) to mobile applications in the field.
In their presentation “Dynamic Language Delivery for mobile applications” (here as an Adobe MAX video), Daniel Nay, engineering manager, and Dirk Meyer, product manager, demonstrated how language updates or entirely new languages, can be delivered to applications on mobile devices in a matter of seconds. (In the presentation video, you can find demo sequences at 7:00 and 35:50 on the timeline.)
Localization Of Mobile Applications
Like in all other areas of software creation, the development of mobile applications, too, is increasingly applying “agile development” principles: Short “sprints” are helping to implement specific features in a targeted fashion and to deliver them into the hands of users and customers faster, compared to desktop software products. At the same time, and as a consequence of the new development paradigm, the time between the frequent “pushes” of new product versions become shorter and is often measured only in weeks. As a consequence, an end-user is receiving updated product versions more frequently. Fortunately, their installation only takes a minute or less, and (most important for some!) they can be skipped, if they don’t seem attractive or if there is no time for the update.
Dynamic Language Delivery (DLD): Localization’s answer to agile development
In the world of short development cycles and frequent updates, the differences between versions of a mobile application often consist only of a single feature, or some fixes for software bugs. Accordingly, from a localization perspective, the delta between the localized strings from one version to the next, is often only a small one. There might even be cases, where it is merely a fix for a localized string that constitutes an update. In situations like that, it may look a bit out of proportion to initiate a complete localization cycle for such a small change. Because no matter whether changes are big or small, translators, build engineers and testers, all have to follow a complex workflow with many mutual dependencies before the product finally can reach the app(lication) “stores” or the “markets”. Starting such a powerful machinery, designed to flawlessly localize the most complex desktop applications, for only small changes, and doing so even more frequently than in the “non-agile” past? Again, a bit out of proportion, it seems …
Here now, DLD provides a new way to deploy language resources, like user interface strings or other texts used in an application. And it does so without hindering the fast and agile engineering workflows and without slowing down the subsequent application delivery. Instead, DLD workflows are designed to match agile development cycles, including rapid and frequent deliveries to end-users. DLD enables the testing of improvements and modifications instantly, and allows for approved deliveries to be performed in real-time, be it in staging or production environments.
Principles Of DLD
DLD technology effectively decouples the delivery of the the mobile core application (plus one or more core languages) from the deployment of subsequent language deliveries (like UI string fixes or new languages). It does so by using two completely independent avenues to get those resources to a customer. Here is how …
DLD enablement & deployment
First of all, a DLD-enabled core application takes the usual route and reaches the customer as a fully tested and functional product through being downloaded from a website, “store”, or “market”. DLD-enabled means that an application should integrate a DLD library to perform DLD-related tasks (this integration is very lean and can often be achieved with a single line of code). The other requirement for an application to be prepared for DLD is that it should be architected in a “world-ready” fashion: Strings should be replaceable, variable interface string lengths should be possible through dynamic UI layout capabilities, and more. The good news here: It is already an accepted best practice to write any software – no matter whether it supports DLD or not – in a “world-ready” way so that it supports internationalization features and easy localizability.
If, at a later point in time, new or updated text strings or a new language altogether need to be delivered, a second deployment path through the “localization cloud” will be used, completely independent from the application deployment avenue. The localization deliveries will be held available on servers, queried by the application from time to time for language updates. The frequency of these queries can be set with the help of preferences in the application and, of course, a user should always be able to opt-out of this functionality completely.
Customizing multilingual applications in user-friendly ways
In addition to non-intrusive, instant language updates and the option to add new languages when an application is already in the hands of users, there are more ways how we can see DLD supporting new features of multilingual mobile software.
For example, if an application does not come in the language preferred by the user, DLD functionality can be used to check whether this language might be available from the “localization cloud”. More intelligent applications might actually notice that among its current languages there is none matching the (user-preferred) system language … and trigger an alert to download a “language pack” in the system language, if it is available. Thus, DLD can be used to improve a multilingual user experience, where languages and language updates are available at any time: For those, the need to locate, download or install a complete application bundle does not exist anymore.
Finally, it is important to note (the presentation video shows this), that the language updates are available in the running application right away, without having to restart or perform another type of user action: new resources are loaded in the background and appear seamlessly, once they have been downloaded and integrated.
In summary, DLD comes with a number of benefits for consumers of mobile applications:
“Instant, real-time” delivery and integration of localization updates and fixes for mobile applications in the field.
Language updates can be configured per user preferences, ranging from completely “transparent” to “fully informed”.
Additional languages desired by a user after an application install, can be added on demand, without having to download and install another complete application package.
Missing languages complementing a local device environment, for example, after switching the system language, can be discovered and installed if the user so desires.
Moreover, software development teams are also among those that save time and effort through DLD technology:
DLD library integration is “minimally invasive” (often, only a single line of code is required).
Leveraging the localization cloud, “world-ready” applications will be able to receive language updates whenever they become available during the development process.
DLD separates application development from localization workflows. By doing so, it removes many process and scheduling dependencies between the two.
Development work can continue until late in the cycle and for as long as the application maintains a state ready to receive strings of multiple languages with different properties.
Development work can continue until overarching milestones are requiring it to get ready for the push live. A user interface does not have to be “frozen” with the arrival of localization resources.
Testing work becomes more efficient and will not be accompanied anymore by repetitive tasks of building and installing the application, before testing it for every language or localization fix. Instead, as long as language fixes are involved, they can be delivered to the application instantly and the testers can verify their integration into the application without delay.
In Short …
DLD is the first workflow allowing for immediate, dynamic, and on-demand localization of an application during post-development states. This is possible through making localized resources available as updates, without the need to re-deploy combined application-language packages as a whole.
Among the advantages of the DLD approach, an almost instant “time-to-market/user” and a much simplified development/localization interplay, are probably the two most valuable ones. From many angles and perspectives, DLD is a fast and resource-saving way to perform localization deployment for mobile applications running on a variety of devices.
Expect to see it in your favorite Adobe mobile application at some point in the (near?) future.