Thursday, February 11, 2010

Internationalisation is an architecture

The #wave internationalisation and localisation is said to be planned for the future. I believe that this will be true for the core product. However, this does not give me the confidence I need for the robots and gadgets that are build by all the people outside Google.

When you look at the Etherpad software, you will find that it has not been internationalised and consequently it is estimated to be some 3 to 6 weeks of work to introduce internationalisation to the code. I expect that a similar situation exists for the robots and gadgets but the problem is more complicated because of the many developers involved.

Internationalisation is an architecture and consequently it should be part of the design not only for the core code but also for everything else. A good example of how this should be done can be found at where software like MediaWiki and StatusNet are localised. Both these applications have extensions and for MediaWiki almost all extensions are localised as a matter of cause. The first extensions for StatusNet are appearing at and, it will prove a lot of work to get them internationalised and ready for localisation.

It would be great if a road plan for the total internationalisation for both Wave and its gadgets and robots would be published.. It may be even an idea to consider, it boasts a community that aims to support over 250 languages...

Why people do not get Wave ...

With the release of Google buzz, many publications write that people do not get Wave. They write that it is not widely adopted and consequently a "failure".

My answer to this is: "Wave is not ready yet!!". The idea of Wave is that it is a federated system defined by an open protocol, using open standards and published as open source.

Wave is alpha software, the protocol is not complete and the source is neither complete nor published. Wave is functional because it can be used. To some extend you can develop add-on functionality but realistically only for the published parts.

When Wave is functionally complete, when both the complete protocol and the source code are published it will be the time when developers and companies can start using Wave for real and make it their own.