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Internationalizing your plugin

From: WordPress: Creating Custom Widgets and Plugins with PHP

Video: Internationalizing your plugin

WordPress is used around the world by people who write blogs in Swedish and French and Farsi, and as such, we want to build plugins that are going to be easy to internationalize. Internationalization is sometimes called localization or translation, or referred to from the more technical term of i18n. But whatever we want to call it, WordPress has a system set up to deal with it. The Codex has some good pages that will explain more information, if you want to learn more about how to localize. The first one is Translating WordPress, and it gives sort of an overview of what localization is, what some of the technical terms are, but it's more high-level.

Internationalizing your plugin

WordPress is used around the world by people who write blogs in Swedish and French and Farsi, and as such, we want to build plugins that are going to be easy to internationalize. Internationalization is sometimes called localization or translation, or referred to from the more technical term of i18n. But whatever we want to call it, WordPress has a system set up to deal with it. The Codex has some good pages that will explain more information, if you want to learn more about how to localize. The first one is Translating WordPress, and it gives sort of an overview of what localization is, what some of the technical terms are, but it's more high-level.

Then there is an i18n for WordPress developers web site, and this tells more of a technical detailed way of how WordPress implementation specifically works with internationalization. It's all based on PHP's gettext. The main thing that we need to do as developers is essentially mark areas in the code where text is being output that might need to be internationalized. So anywhere you have text that's going to be used somewhere that someone else might want to put in the different language, you want to wrap it in a special function: underscore underscore.

So in this example, here is some static text that I am outputting. I want to go ahead and say underscore underscore and just wrap it. Now this doesn't look like much, and frankly, it doesn't really do anything unless you are implementing text domains and what are called Portable Object Translation, or POT files. Those will then store information about what needs to be replaced where, when different languages are hitting the web site.

The idea being that you can have the same version of a plugin running, and if someone comes from China they'll see a Chinese language site, and if someone comes from United States, they'll see an English language site. In addition to the underscore underscore function, there is also an underscore e function. In this case, I am just storing the variable local. If I am outputting anything to the browser using an echo statement of some kind, then I want to make sure to wrap it in an underscore e function.

So from a developer standpoint, these are the main things that we are going to be doing: just wrapping areas of static text that might need to be changed if someone from a different language is viewing it in either the underscore underscore function or the underscore e function. The next step will be eventually to generate a POT file, and this is the default POT file that comes with WordPress, and you can see there are a number of different strings that are stored inside of the WordPress environment. And it'll even tell you where they are.

Now these have all been wrapped in either the underscore underscore or underscore e functions. So someone else can come and create a new POT file and assign it to a different text domain, and it will then be able to translate. There are number of different softwares that work with that, and we are not going to get into that end of things. I just wanted to show you how to prepare things so that they can be internationalized, because it's considered a best practice in plugin development that you should be using the underscore e and the underscore underscore whenever you output some static text.

So overall, WordPress utilizes PHP's get text translation engine to handle sites using multiple languages. The first step in internationalization is to mark these different pieces with these special functions. Once you do that, translators will create POT files and assign text domains, and your site can be available in different languages.

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This video is part of

Image for WordPress: Creating Custom Widgets and Plugins with PHP
 
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  1. 1m 49s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Using the exercise files
      33s
  2. 23m 29s
    1. WordPress overview
      2m 32s
    2. Installing WPI for Windows
      3m 42s
    3. Installing MAMP for the Mac
      3m 25s
    4. Installing and configuring WordPress
      5m 51s
    5. Comparing WordPress 3.0 with previous versions
      2m 57s
    6. Setting up a PHP/WordPress development environment
      5m 2s
  3. 14m 47s
    1. Exploring WordPress plugins
      3m 42s
    2. Administering plugins from the WordPress admin
      5m 23s
    3. Exploring where plugins reside
      2m 51s
    4. Introduction to hooks
      2m 51s
  4. 39m 28s
    1. Creating the plugin PHP file(s)
      3m 12s
    2. More on hooks: Actions and filters
      3m 15s
    3. Installation and activation
      4m 6s
    4. Writing activation code
      3m 45s
    5. Writing an action
      5m 12s
    6. Writing a filter
      4m 15s
    7. About pluggable functions
      2m 1s
    8. Writing a pluggable function
      5m 30s
    9. Using template tags
      2m 46s
    10. Introducing shortcode
      5m 26s
  5. 26m 2s
    1. Widgets and the WordPress Widgets SubPanel
      2m 54s
    2. Comparing widgets and plugins
      1m 8s
    3. Using and customizing built-in widgets
      3m 18s
    4. Creating a new widget
      7m 21s
    5. Writing the constructor and registering widgets
      5m 20s
    6. Enabling configuration of widgets
      6m 1s
  6. 44m 59s
    1. Creating an admin interface
      5m 25s
    2. Saving data to the database
      5m 39s
    3. Securing form submission with nonces
      2m 25s
    4. Options editing post-WordPress 2.7
      4m 8s
    5. Integrating with the WordPress admin menus
      3m 34s
    6. WordPress admin dashboard API
      4m 5s
    7. Using existing options and option editing pages in WordPress
      5m 19s
    8. Using jQuery and AJAX for administration
      14m 24s
  7. 27m 13s
    1. Accessing the WordPress database
      5m 45s
    2. Using the built-in schema
      2m 21s
    3. Accessing data using $wpdb
      5m 15s
    4. Creating new tables
      7m 18s
    5. Inserting data
      6m 34s
  8. 26m 27s
    1. Introducing the Loop
      6m 22s
    2. Using WP_Query()
      3m 11s
    3. Custom filtering and sticky posts
      4m 58s
    4. Using jQuery and AJAX for posts and pages
      11m 56s
  9. 12m 9s
    1. Registering and promoting plugins
      2m 28s
    2. Creating an uninstall function
      5m 53s
    3. Backward compatibility issues
      3m 48s
  10. 15m 3s
    1. Understanding security issues
      11m 20s
    2. Internationalizing your plugin
      3m 43s
  11. 18s
    1. Goodbye
      18s

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