The main focus for the upcoming 1.0.3 release is to improve and optimize the internationalization and localization of Thematic. The internationalization part refers to simply enable things to be translated, whereas the localization is the actual process of translating to different languages. Both of these things needs some attention.
There are many language files that come with Thematic but not many of them is up to date. With the 1.0 update, the pot file used for translations became out of sync and was regenerated for 1.0.2. This means that the language files need to be updated again, or some strings that have not been translated yet will show up in english on your site.
Regarding the strings, there are some issues regarding leading and trailing spaces in the translatable strings that needs to be looked over. Some needs to include punctuation so to better support rtl languages. This would mean that when we are finished, the pot file will need to be regenerated again and all languages will become out of sync. Again. Plus, since many strings will change in the backend, there is a high probability of untranslated content showing up on your site until the languages files become updated.
To speed up the process of localization and hopefully make it easier for everyone, we have decided to install Glotpress. This is the same tool that is used by WordPress itself for handling translations. You can read about the basics at their own Glotpress installation. Translation of strings will be done through the web, powered by the community. Say hello to translate.thematictheme.com!
In short, if you are a registered member of the forum, you are a contributor and can suggest translations for strings in any language. The current language files are loaded here. As you can see, not very many are up to date. You can log in with the same credentials as for the forum and start adding suggestions. A validator will then need to choose the correct translation if there are several suggestions and mark it as such. If you are a native speaker of a language and wish to become validator, talk to one of the admins. The same applies if you want to add a locale not yet in the list, tell us so we can add it.
When we are finished with the internationalization part, we will regenerate the pot file and give everyone a heads up so you can go to glotpress and start working on the localization part. Since we don’t speak all languages of the world, we are dependent on your contributions for this. Easiest way of contributing to Thematic!
So what happens when all is translated? Well in each language screen, there are export links at the bottom. You can at any given moment export your desired translation files. You will need to export twice, once for the .mo file and once for the .po file. Rename your files to locale.mo and locale.po (for example sv_SE.mo and sv_SE.po) and drop them in the library/languages folder of thematic.
This means that you are no longer tied to waiting for Thematic releases to get your translations. We will of course continue to include language files in the releases, but this will hopefully speed up the process and make it easier for everyone to keep translations up to date.