Rails I18n

I was just wondering about locales and .yml files. Is it better to
store the multilanguage strings in .yml files than in databases? And
if yes, why?

I was also wondering how rails are loading this files (for example, I
have 4 languages in my web app, each has her own .yml file, will my
rails app loads all the files in ram and then it will call each
variable inside my web app? Or something else?)

Thank you :slight_smile:

Yes it is better to store the multilanguage strings in the .yml files.

Why you ask, well are you going to have all your record entries repeat one for each language you intent to support ?? Do you think that would be a good idea ??

The database should have single values which the .yml files will translate into different languages depending on the locale settings. I am not very sure regarding the loading of the different .yml files, that is something even I would like to know, but from my experience / knowledge I don’t think that is the case since locale change requires me to restart the app.

Thanks & Regards,
Dhruva Sagar.

Dhruva Sagar wrote:

Yes it is better to store the multilanguage strings in the .yml files.
Why you ask, well are you going to have all your record entries repeat
one
for each language you intent to support ?? Do you think that would be a
good
idea ??

Do you think this is a bad idea?

The database should have single values which the .yml files will
translate
into different languages depending on the locale settings.

Not necessarily. It would be quite feasible to use the DB.

I am not very
sure regarding the loading of the different .yml files, that is
something
even I would like to know,

Then don't make statements like this till you *are* sure!

but from my experience / knowledge I don't
think
that is the case since locale change requires me to restart the app.

Wrong again. The whole point of i18n is to present your app
multilingually without restarting.

Now, it seems to me that an advantage of text files over a DB is that
you can hand them straight to a skilled translator...

But anyway, Rails i18n pretty much sucks out of the box. Use
fast_gettext.

Thanks & Regards,
Dhruva Sagar.

Best,

Thanks & Regards,
Dhruva Sagar.

Dhruva Sagar wrote:

Yes it is better to store the multilanguage strings in the .yml files.

Why you ask, well are you going to have all your record entries repeat

one

for each language you intent to support ?? Do you think that would be a

good

idea ??

Do you think this is a bad idea?

Yes I think it is a bad idea.

First it is a bad database design which will lead to unnecessary complications while searching for data, also for indexing.

If I have to support somewhere around 5-10 different languages, I really think having a 5-10 .yml files for translations will be a lot more performant compared to a 5-10 times larger database.

The database should have single values which the .yml files will

translate

into different languages depending on the locale settings.

Not necessarily. It would be quite feasible to use the DB.

I agree, but as I was saying I don’t consider it to be a good idea. However I do agree it could be in some specific scenarios, but in general for a web application I do not think it is.

I am not very

sure regarding the loading of the different .yml files, that is

something

even I would like to know,

Then don’t make statements like this till you are sure!
I will keep that in mind.

but from my experience / knowledge I don’t

think

that is the case since locale change requires me to restart the app.

Wrong again. The whole point of i18n is to present your app

multilingually without restarting.

Now, it seems to me that an advantage of text files over a DB is that

you can hand them straight to a skilled translator…

But anyway, Rails i18n pretty much sucks out of the box. Use

fast_gettext.
Thanks for this information.

Dhruva Sagar wrote:

Thanks & Regards,
Dhruva Sagar.

Dhruva Sagar wrote:
> Yes it is better to store the multilanguage strings in the .yml files.
> Why you ask, well are you going to have all your record entries repeat
> one
> for each language you intent to support ?? Do you think that would be a
> good
> idea ??

Do you think this is a bad idea?

Yes I think it is a bad idea.
First it is a bad database design which will lead to unnecessary
complications while searching for data, also for indexing.

Wrong. Internationalized strings have nothing to do with searching for
data.

If I have to support somewhere around 5-10 different languages, I really
think having a 5-10 .yml files for translations will be a lot more
performant compared to a 5-10 times larger database.

Wrong again. It may well be faster to use the DB.

>

> The database should have single values which the .yml files will
> translate
> into different languages depending on the locale settings.

Not necessarily. It would be quite feasible to use the DB.

I agree, but as I was saying I don't consider it to be a good idea. However

I do agree it could be in some specific scenarios, but in general for a
web
application I do not think it is.

But you are probably wrong. If you have a logical reason to think this,
I'd like to hear it.

However, the fact that you were wrong about restarting the app to switch
locales makes me think you're not really qualified to have an opinion
here.

[...]

Now, it seems to me that an advantage of text files over a DB is that
you can hand them straight to a skilled translator...

But anyway, Rails i18n pretty much sucks out of the box. Use
fast_gettext.

Thanks for this information.

You're welcome!

Best,

Dhruva Sagar wrote:

Thanks & Regards,

Dhruva Sagar.

Dhruva Sagar wrote:

Yes it is better to store the multilanguage strings in the .yml files.

Why you ask, well are you going to have all your record entries repeat

one

for each language you intent to support ?? Do you think that would be a

good

idea ??

Do you think this is a bad idea?

Yes I think it is a bad idea.

First it is a bad database design which will lead to unnecessary

complications while searching for data, also for indexing.

Wrong. Internationalized strings have nothing to do with searching for

data.
eg.) Lets say I have a User model and each user has a ‘role’ as a column. So if I want to internationalize the value of the ‘Role’, you propose that it should be done using the database ?

I imagine so then for internationalizing to 5 different languages, I would then have to create 5 records for this very user with different ‘Role’ values for each language.

That is first of all not normalized data.

Second of all it makes your basic search / find queries to be lesser performant (compared to if you weren’t doing this) since you will always have to ensure that you get the record with the specific language you are currently displaying, meaning you will have a perpetual where clause.

If your solution is to have the value of ‘Role’ as a set of localized values delimited by some special character, then that is even worse. If I wanted to get users by ‘Role’ I would then have to use a LIKE query instead of a ‘=’, which is obviously not as performant again.

I simply choose to have a simple set of values of Roles, say ‘Admin’, ‘User’, etc which I can easily capture and use i18n to get the appropriate transated text loaded from the appropriate .yml file

If I have to support somewhere around 5-10 different languages, I really

think having a 5-10 .yml files for translations will be a lot more

performant compared to a 5-10 times larger database.

Wrong again. It may well be faster to use the DB.
You are wrong here, the files will be loaded in memory once, I can’t imagine any database query performing better than querying a file that is already in memory.

The database should have single values which the .yml files will

translate

into different languages depending on the locale settings.

Not necessarily. It would be quite feasible to use the DB.

I agree, but as I was saying I don’t consider it to be a good idea. However

I do agree it could be in some specific scenarios, but in general for a

web

application I do not think it is.

But you are probably wrong. If you have a logical reason to think this,

I’d like to hear it.

However, the fact that you were wrong about restarting the app to switch

locales makes me think you’re not really qualified to have an opinion

here.
I have just tried the exact scenario using mongrel. I had to restart the app once I changed the locale. So my assumption was based on that.

Maybe there are other better ways of doing the same without restarting my app, or maybe fusion or other servers support the same, but as I said ‘in my experience…’

I don’t claim to be any expert, I have little experience in rails, I was expressing what I had experienced.

TSagar I am not sure I quite understand your example, it will
translate the string "Role" in each language and there are many
approaches to do a multilingual database design. I would make a
database multilanguage design by setting each language in separate
table, this approach will be normalized.

Also I am wondering how good it is to load all the locales yml file
into the ram... it's ok for speed, but it will use many ram and maybe
this is a bit scary... I'll check the fast_gettext, thank you :slight_smile:

I suggest that the role as a string 'Administrator' or whatever should
not be a column in the users table. The roles should be in a separate
table, with user belongs_to role. I think this will make your life
much easier.

Colin

Colin Law wrote:

...

eg.) Lets say I have a User model and each user has a 'role' as a column. So
if I want to internationalize the value of the 'Role', you propose that it
should be done using the database ?
I imagine so then for internationalizing to 5 different languages, I would
then have to create 5 records for this very user with different 'Role'
values for each language.

I suggest that the role as a string 'Administrator' or whatever should
not be a column in the users table. The roles should be in a separate
table, with user belongs_to role. I think this will make your life
much easier.

I agree 100%.

Colin

Best,

@Colin Ahh yes of course, well my example was just to demonstrate the usage of i18n.

Roles should of course me a separate table, but then again, the separate table will have a role column right :).

@Yiannis Using multiple tables for the purpose of internationalization to me seems like such an overkill, how do you map a single model to different table based on the locale ?

There isn't really one answer to where to store different language
values for a string. It depends on the case. There are two main
ones.

For static strings (text in templates, error messages), using
locales/*.yml makes sense as they are easy to edit and use. They are
called frequently and rarely change and thus loading them into memory
once makes sense rather than pulling them from the database (though
you could compromise and use cache per locale to offset this). See the
translate plugin (http://github.com/newsdesk/translate) to add an
administrator interface for them. For Rails there is also a number of
standard strings already translated that you can simply grab from
http://github.com/svenfuchs/rails-i18n/tree/master/rails/locale/.

For dynamic strings that are from content pulled from the database
anyway, most plugins and gems (globalize2, etc.) store the
translations in the database. I'm actually working on a new gem that
stores the translations in MongoDB that is paired with a standard
RDBMS backed ActiveRecord (http://github.com/kete/mongo_translatable -
not yet alpha) and there are many other plugins and gems that also
work with translating dynamic content.

You would probably get better answers asking this on the l18n specific
http://groups.google.com/group/rails-i18n?pli=1. You should also
check out http://rails-i18n.org/wiki and
http://guides.rubyonrails.org/i18n.html, too.

Cheers,
Walter

Thanks a lot for that, that’s a good reply :slight_smile: