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Getting global with 13 languages

Rational Team Concert is a significant event! Besides some functional enhancements, defect fixes, and the inclusion of the Client for Microsoft Visual Studio IDE, RTC is now globalized in 13 languages. This is a major accomplishment, involving a lot of hard work from all component teams. You all deserve a pat on the back! Thank you!

Globalizing a major software release with a lot of innovative technologies like RTC for the first time is a huge challenge. Globalization is more than just translation. We started out with Globalization Verification Test (GVT) to ensure that RTC will satisfy the given requirements for language support, cultural support, and multilingual support and that the product’s user interface and messages are translatable. During GVT, we tested RTC in different supported operating systems locales to ensure that it could accept characters in different languages as file names and data with the date and time and other culture information displaying correctly, and that data saved in different languages could be retrieved and displayed properly back onto the screen. As a part of GVT, we also performed a pseudo-translation test to identify unexternalized strings and layout problems with simulated translations.

Here is an example of Rational Team Concert with pseudo-translations:

(Click for full size) Pseudo translation of Rational Team Concert

The next step was to send the Program Integrated Information (PII) for translation. Besides the traditional Java Resource Bundle (PROPERTIES) files, RTC contains many additional translatable files for which we have never had the experience of translating and building language packs. Just to name a few, we translated some new Windows command table configuration (CTC) files, Windows resource (RESX) files, and Comma Separated Value (CSV) files for the Client for Visual Studio and some JavaScript (JS) files for the Web UI.

Once we received the translations of the PII files back from the 13 translation centers, the Release Engineering team was very busy trying to figure out how to provision the language packs for the Web UI into the RTC Server. In addition, the team had to build the translated process templates in a special way because of the encoding requirement for the process templates. At the same time, the Client for Visual Studio team was also working very hard on figuring out how to build the language packs for Visual Studio for the first time.

Translation Verification Test (TVT) of RTC was another challenge. We brought 13 testers from around the world to our lab to run through 733 testcases in a short period of time. The quick interaction between the development teams and the testers was a key factor for the successful TVT. We were able to diagnose, discuss, and resolve the problems reported by the testers and make our committed dates.

While we were in full force with TVT, the Information Development team was busy authoring the documentation of some of the new Client for Visual Studio functions and building the language packs for the translated documentation for both the Client for Eclipse and the Client for Visual Studio. Another 13 testers started the Documentation Verification Test (DVT) about 2 weeks after we started TVT, running in parallel with TVT. The ID team resolved many documentation build and broken link issues during DVT.

With blocking issues resolved one after another, we were able to receive sign-offs from all 13 TVT testers and 13 DVT testers. We can proudly announce simultaneous availability of RTC and its documentation in English and 13 languages. This is a major accomplishment! Thanks to all the component teams’ hard work! We couldn’t have done this without all your support!

Here is an example of our accomplishment – the Web UI of Rational Team Concert in Japanese:

(Click for full size) Rational Team Concert Web UI in Japanese