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<title>BabelKit Requirements and FAQ</title>
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  Copyright (C) 2003 John Gorman <hide@address.com>

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<a href="http://www.webbysoft.com/babelkit">BabelKit</a>
Requirements and FAQ</h2></center>

<h4>Q.  What are the requirements to run BabelKit?</h4>

BabelKit should run anywhere that PHP or Perl run,
on Unix, Linux or Windows.

BabelKit will run on any database management system
with an SQL interface.  A sample MySQL schema is provided.
If you use BabelKit with another database send me
your schema and I will add it to the next release.

The Perl version needs the DBI.pm package.  You can
use any CGI library such as CGI.pm.

The PHP version will work out of the box using the
PEAR, ADODB or phplib database libraries.  Porting
to a new database library is trivial.  Let me know
if you need another one.

CodeKit is licensed as free software under the LGPL
which means that you can use it for any project.
If you do, send me a note saying how it went!

<h4>Q.  We are developing a multilanguage portal at the moment.
How could I take advantage of this utility?</h4>

BabelKit was originally developed for a multilanguage portal.
They do user surveys in multiple languages and keep registered
user demographics.  The answers to those questions are kept
in database tables as coded fields.  "1" means "Programmer",
"2" means "Web Designer", etc.

The multiple choice questions are displayed to the users
in their browser display language as HTML web page select
elements.  The resulting data is also presented in any
language using BabelKit method calls to look up the
appropriate description translation.

BabelKit is made for any database application which
keeps coded values in database fields and needs to
be able to display the descriptions of those codes
in multiple languages.  It takes all the programming
work away from that part of the project :-)

<h4>Will BabelKit work with a templating system?</h4>

The BabelKit.php class file will generate very nice user
language sensitive HTML select elements.  You should be
able to call $babelkit->select(...) from within the
templating system.  It returns the select element as
a string which you can print or insert into the page:

$str = $babelkit->select('offered_courses', $user_lang);

print $str;

Even if you do not use BabelKit to generate HTML, it
is still useful as the interface to enter, translate
and maintain all of your database the codes and their
multilanguage descriptions.

<h4>When is English a good choice for the 'native' language?</h4>

There are two primary issues to consider:

1.  You only want to translate code descriptions once
from a single source language rather than provide translations
of translations which may become less accurate.  So if possible
choose a source language which will ease the translation process.
You many find it easier to find English to Chinese
translators for example than Finnish to Chinese translators.

2.  When a translation set is incomplete the missing
language descriptions will be filled in with the
'native' language.  English may be a good choice for
the 'native' backup display language because many people
can understand it.

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