[wp-hackers] opinions for a multi-language plugin for WordPress

Jeremy Clarke jer at simianuprising.com
Tue Feb 15 21:08:16 UTC 2011

On Mon, Feb 14, 2011 at 4:54 PM, Leo germani <leogermani at gmail.com> wrote:

> If you got all the way here, thanks very much for your attention, please
> share your insights

Widgets/sidebars is one of the failures of WPML, so having a good way of
fixing that is important. My thinking is that the easiest way would be to
duplicate all sidebars at the sidebar definition level, leaving the original
for the default language (often English), then within your plugin defining
clones of each  sidebar for the other relevant languages (i.e.
'call-to-action' and 'call-to-action-es')

IMHO that would be a lot simpler for both the code and the user to
understand than trying to have widget-by-widget translations. It wouldn't
require any custom UI to be built, you'd just have to call
register_sidebar() and figure out a way to filter the sidebar label when it
is called by dynamic_sidebar(). It's also very possible that one of the
sites doesn't want all the widgets from the other (e.g. there is an english
twitter promoted in a widget, but not spanish twitter so no need for that
widget in the ES version), so translating on a sidebar level gives finer
control over which widgets are present in which language.

Personally I think a lot of organizations would be better off with an MS
install that has the languages in different 'sites', with the plugin only
keeping track of the relationships between source posts on one site and
their translation on another. In that scenario disabling the plugin doesn't
lose any of the content, it remains available at the same URLs, only the
links between languages are lost until the plugin can be updated/replaced.

There is certainly room in WP for both types of plugins (multi-site and
single-site) but at the moment all the serious plugins use the single-site
approach, with the muiltisite approach only being used in closed systems
with custom plugins (Me and Frank for example). IMHO WP users are desperate
for a full-featured plugin like qTranslate or WPML but with the multi-site
approach. I use one on Global Voices but it is not at all the solution that
the general community needs (it doesn't use multisite, but instead links
together completely different installations) so I won't be writing this
fantasy plugin until I change a lot of other things about our setup first.

Good luck! Since WPML went commercial there is suddenly a great vacuum in WP
multilingualism that could be filled. Here's hoping the qTranslate guy also
does some good work in the near future and there is more competition than
ever :)

Jeremy Clarke • jeremyclarke.org
Code and Design • globalvoicesonline.org

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