Microsoft’s LocStudio

LocStudio is an internal Microsoft tool which is used to help "localize" (convert from English to some other language) a software product. Let me explain. If you create software and you want to market your product in another country (such as Japan, China, Germany, or even, heavens forbid, France), the simplest approach is to create base English builds (or "iterations" if you are using Agile software development terminology) and then create separate builds of the target language. This approach is simple and works reasonably well for relatively small software products with one target language but does not scale very well for very large software products — the localized build is typically slightly out of sync with the English build. Additionally, if you have many target languages, then creating separate build tress for each becomes very messy. Microsoft’s approach is to create software in such a way that it can easily be localized. For example, instead of hard-coding all strings such as "Enter Product ID" directly into the source code, all strings are parameterized, and they can then be supplied appropriate values in the target language. LocStudio is an internal tool that helps manage this process. I’d love to show you a screen shot of LocStudio, but because LocStudio is an internal tool I can’t do so. There are quite a few commercial software localization tool products that are similar to LocStudio. The image at the bottom of this blog entry shows one called Lingobit. Learning LocStudio is relatively easy so if you ever find yourself interviewing for a job at Microsoft and are asked if you know LocStudio, you can say, "No, but I now what LocStudio is and I’m confident I can learn it quickly."
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3 Responses to Microsoft’s LocStudio

  1. nathalie says:

    What\’s the problem with France?

  2. says:

    What Microsoft\’s LocStudio ver. do you use?
    Can you tell me ?

  3. Richard says:

    good stuff James, and thanks for the Lingobit img

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