Version 2 (modified by davea, 11 years ago) (diff)


Web and GUI translations

BOINC has mechanisms for non-English translations of

  • Parts of this site (the Download and BOINC user survey pages, and related pages)
  • The BOINC Manager
  • Parts of the BOINC-supplied portion of project web sites
  • The project-specific parts of project web sites

Instructions for volunteer translators

Translations are done by volunteers. If you're interested in helping:

  • Email the translation manager. For BOINC this is translation at boinc period berkeley period edu. Use this address also for SETI@home translations. For other projects, contact the project.
  • Obtain (typically via CVS) the 'authoritative' translation file. Usually this is en.po (English).
  • Create a translation file for your language. You can do this using a text editor or a specialized tool such as poedit.
  • Send this to the translation manager, who will then install it on the project's web site. Check all relevant pages and fix as needed.
  • Subscribe to the boinc_loc at email list, which is for translation-related discussion and announcements.
  • Because web sites are dynamic, you will have to periodically update your translation. You can do this efficiently by looking at the CVS diffs of the authoritative translation file.

Translation files

Most translations are based on translation files. Translation files are in PO format, which is described here. These have names like 'da.po' (Danish) and 'en.po' (English). It's very simple. For example:

en.po (English)

msgstr "Current version"

msgstr "$PROJECT currently has the following applications. "
"When you participate in $PROJECT, work for one or more "
"of these applications will be assigned to your computer. "
"The current version of the application will be downloaded "
"to your computer. This happens automatically; you don't have to do anything. "

da.po (Danish)

msgstr "Nuværende version"

msgstr "$PROJECT har i øjeblikket følgende applikationer. "
"Når du deltager i $PROJECT vil arbejde fra en eller flere "
"af disse applikationer blive tildelt din computer. "
"Den nuværende version af applikationen vil blive downloadet "
"til din computer. Dette sker automatisk - du behøver ikke at gøre noget."

Each translation has a token CHARSET whose value should be the character set (e.g. iso-8859-1) used in the translation.

Here are links to the translation files for

Writing translatable web pages

Translatable web pages must be PHP, and must include


Literal text is replaced with tr(TOKEN), where TOKEN is a short string representing the text. For example,

page_head("Current version");

is replaced with


For BOINC projects, the directory html/languages/translations contains a number of 'translation files'. When a person accesses the page, the browser passes a list of languages. The BOINC PHP code finds the first of these languages for which a translation is available, or English if none. As the page is generated, each call to tr() replaces the token with the corresponding translated text.

In developing web pages, keep in mind that word order differs between languages, so you should avoid breaking a sentence up into multiple translation units. For example, use constructs like

msgstr "Already have an original 'Classic' account as of May 14, 2004? "
    "<br>We've transferred it, just %sactivate it%s. "
    "%sOtherwise %screate a new account%s."

with the corresponding PHP:

    "<a href=sah_email_form.php>", "</a>",
    "<p><img border=0 src=images/arrow_right.gif width=9 height=7>",
    "<a href=create_account_form.php>", "</a>"

Project-specific translations

The web site of a BOINC-based project involves both

  • BOINC pages, such as the forms for creating accounts. These are part of the BOINC source code distribution, and are updated periodically by BOINC.
  • Project-specific pages (and BOINC pages that are modified by the project).

To allow translations of both types of pages, a project can haves its own 'project-specific translation files'. These are stored in a directory html/user/project_specific_translations. Project-specific translation files override BOINC translation files.

BOINC Manager translations

Menu names and other text in the BOINC manager are stored in files in boinc/locale/client/.