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A question for the community (on localisation)

, posted: 14-May-2006 09:43

OK folks,
I have a software design question for you (don't worry it's not technical).

Like the full .NET Framework, the .NET Compact Framework provides good support for globalisation: not that it moves your job offshore (that's what VSTS is for. Sorry, just joking), but it enables the use of localised resources and so on. The end result being that if you provide the support for the languages in question, your device will display the correctly localised UI when run on a device that is configured accordingly.
Inevitably this means that the application ends up being in real terms a bit bulkier than it might otherwise have been....so what I'm interested in hearing is whether people who've been down this route have found the additional bulk (which obviously will vary depending on how many cultures are supported) to be an issue.

To put it another way, if we want to provide localised versions of an application, should we:

 a) Do the right thing and live with the bulk (and how much does that end up being, anyway?...)?
 - or -
 b) Create actual separate versions of the application for each target culture

I have no opinion on this at the moment, which is why I'm interested in what other people think and what their experience has been.

PS. Note that this can be a requirement even when only producing English language versions of software: in case nobody has noticed, spelling, idioms and even grammar differ between various versions of English (the spelling differences being primarily between US English and The Rest Of Us). Unlike A Certain Local Merchant with their Mother's Day advertising, I think it's important to get that sort of thing right if possible.

Other related posts:
Another Geekzone Test
Diarist test for Geekzone
Diarist for WP7 hits the Marketplace

Comment by tonyhughes, on 14-May-2006 11:47

I would much rather see a good application of the use of extra storage, processing power and bandwidth, like this, than some other bloat we see. To have one system that allows multiple languages, and to be bigger, is, in my opinion, better than the alternative, which is to create some confusion, or worse, lack of regionalisation capability for some users, if they cant get access to the their language...

Comment by juha, on 14-May-2006 13:08

Is it not possible to create a default language app, with a localisation component as a separate download for those who need it?

Author's note by KevDaly, on 17-May-2006 13:01

(Sorry I was late in approving the comments, I just checked today)

KevDaly's profile

Kevin Daly
New Zealand