In the previous tidbits we covered each language and translation capability one by one. The community translates the software interface on http://localize.drupal.org/ which you can customize with Interface translation. You can translate your local configuration and content with the Configuration translation and Content translation modules respectively. However, actual real life use cases are never clear cut like that. Content shows up with some shipped interface elements, local configuration and content. Menus contain elements from code, content and configuration. It is good to know how these pieces relate so you can translate every piece and know the right place to do it.
Up to date as of January 4th, 2017.
Now that we covered how content translation workflow works in Drupal 8, its time to look a bit at the API side. In Drupal 7 this meant dealing with scary seemingly infinitely nested arrays with language codes, field names, deltas, etc. Drupal 8 makes this a whole lot simpler.
Up to date as of November 10th, 2015.
In the previous tidbit, we covered content translation basics. In short now you can configure translatability on any subtype of any entity type, so for example articles or specific taxonomy vocabularies may be configured to have all their entities support translation. Then each entity structure may be configured on the field and in some cases subfield level to support translation. The question is how does it all work then, what do we do to translate content?
I had the chance two weeks ago to talk about Drupal and Drupal 8 at the Free Software Foundation's conference in Budapest for a whole of 21 minutes. While there is this amazing 63 screen slideshow about all things new in Drupal 8 that I help keep up to date, having such short time really made me focus my message and think long and hard about how to summarize what Drupal 8 is really about for a wide range of people attending. Here is my take in written form.
Drupal has always been amazing as a structured content management tool. With content types and then entities and fields it allows us to really structure our content. Drupal 8 steps up this game several ways. First, it makes more things able to get structured. Whether it is a block or the categorization of content itself, it can be structured further with fields now. Drupal also has a history of using this structural system for flexible functionality. For example, ratings, workflows, user groups, selling content, etc. are all supported with fields (in contributed modules). In Drupal 8, comments are fields too (for example, you can take comments on user profiles) and there are more reusable field types like date, email, references, etc. built in. Best of all everything supports multiple languages and is translatable without further modules required. In short, Drupal 8 is improving on the system's key strength in all directions.
This is amazing for an enterprise because content needs to show up in a lot of places and a lot of ways these days. The more structured the content, the easier it is to pull out and display things for the environment needed. Drupal 8 makes this easy by building in entity view modes for display variants, Views for pulling data in whatever way from entities, and responsive output for flexible display on the web. Integration with third party systems and decoupled site implementations is enabled by web service support. Since Drupal knows so much more about your content structure internally as well, it can also intelligently cache (and invalidate the caches) when needed, and serve pages with much faster perceived performance (enabling the BigPipe contributed module). The markup generated is significantly better for accessibility too.
What about the small sites though? I think the changes are even more exciting there, because they lead to a lot more consistency on the site building front as well. You now use blocks to place everything on your pages (including branding, navigation and even the page title). You can use Views to customize even your administration experience and quick in-place editing and WYSIWYG integration for fields allows you to get further, faster. On top of that, rolling out changes is a whole lot easier with the built-in configuration deployment system.
Drupal 8 also grew the core community manyfold. While Drupal 7 had less than a thousand contributors, Drupal 8 has almost 3300. That is pretty remarkable, because it means the new version starts out with many more people already in the know.
All-in-all Drupal 8 really doubles down on our commitment to structured content and flexible functionality around it with a focus on making it easier to both enter and output that content however it fits, whoever the consumer is. It truly empowers you and me (as the tagline says) to build something amazing, for anyone.
If you are interested in to learn about, solve your problems with and/or contribute to multilingual Drupal, DrupalCon Barcelona is the place to be. Here is a quick summary of things happening so you don't miss what is going on.
- Extended sprints before and after DrupalCon (19-21 and 26-27 September) are happening, and the multilingual team is there.
- Lingotek is holding a free training on Monday 1-5pm to translate Drupal sites with all the benefits of the lingotek module and services. Also a BoF on the same topic on Thu 10:45 to 11:45am
- Intersted in localize.drupal.org and translating Drupal itself? Come to and discuss at Bring Drupal 8 to all in their native languages on Monday 11am to noon.
- If you'd rather see the real life experience of Acronis, there is also a BoF presentation at the same time (Monday 11am to noon) titled Drupal 7 - Internationalisation for custom enterprise environment
- Drupal 8 comes with a whole new set of multilingual features, which combined with other improvements is even more powerful. Drupal 8 multilingual site building hacks is the place to be to see that in action.
- Just want your problems solved and move on? The multilingual therapy BoF is on for that on Wednesday lunchtime. Bring your lunch and questions/problems.
- If you don't have time or the opportunity to come to the Drupal 8 site building session, get the executive summary at the Acquia booth at 3:15-3:45pm on Wednesday (in the break).
- Tired of all this multilingual stuff? Want to learn how we managed to be so active for four years on so you can get your movement going better too? Your place is at Open source project management in the Drupal community, lessons from the multilingual team Thursday 1pm to 2pm.
- Just want to get stuff done (fix UI text, solve bugs, figure out issues) in core so you don't need to solve them over and over for your customers? We are also at the sprints on Friday and the community is even offering plenty of mentoring if you are entirely new. No excuses to not contribute!
- While not primarily multilingual content, there is also multilingual coverage in Entity storage, the Drupal 8 way, in Our experience with building Drupal 8 Sites in Alpha and Beta, in Configuration management in Drupal 8, in Building sites in Drupal 7 with an eye on Drupal 8, as well as in Let's build it on Drupal 8 and some others I likely missed (sorry for that).
Hope to see you at some of these places!