Update on XLIFF 1.2 Tool for Oracle APEX

It’s been a long while since i blogged about a Tool i started to write which would replace the original APEX XLIFF Export and produce XLIFF 1.2 compliant Files instead.

The Benefit is breathtaking, suddenly your Translators are able to know what they are translating – that means where the text they are working on is used. e.g. on the Action-Button in Region XY on Page 234.

This can help your Translators delivering better and more meaningful Translations.

While i wrote on the Tool – which was supposed to be released as free and open-source ApexLib Tool – a customer approached me and wanted a full fledged Translation Suite with many more features than just the XLIFF 1.2 export, but also Online Translations with immediate effect and translating in DEV, TEST and Production (and synching the changes back, of course). Also they wanted to edit the texts of their base language, the one used in the main Application.

So I wrote it.

It runs for quite some time now and works like a charm. But that is not the topic of this post.

During writing this Translation Suite I moved the development of the XLIFF-Tool from ApexLib to the new Suite and worked long hours on it to deliver not only what APEX already does, but even a little more and add all that extra Information into the XLIFF-File.

Here are some things i learned during that development:

  • APEX already provides a huge amount of functionality and i can only thank all those developers for doing such a great job. Making their product better is a lot of work on my side.
  • XLIFF 1.2 provides much more information (“context”) for each element and that bloats the resulting File to a factor of 5-10
  • I do like giving stuff away for free, but there is a limit. In that case it’s amount of uncountable hours I put into XLIFF 1.2 Export and thus can’t give it away for free as ApexLib Tool
  • There is also a Limit to which APEX can be improved and extended without having to directly change (update) Flow-Tables. For the full Translation Suite i crossed that border for a certain feature with the effect of beeing in an unsupported state there.
  • The potential market for a commercial XLIFF 1.2 APEX Export Tool is too small.

All that – and beeing involved in many other Projects – lead me to the decision that there won’t be a XLIFF 1.2 Export Tool. Neither for free, nor commercial.

At least for now.

If you are interested in either the XLIFF-Tool or the full Translation Suite and willing to pay your share, then please drop me an email.
Ultimately this may change my mind and I continue working on these things.

2 thoughts on “Update on XLIFF 1.2 Tool for Oracle APEX

  1. I was happy reading this post, but I was a bit upset at the end. For sure, it is up to you and you can decide on what is more appropriate for you, but I have one advice.

    If you have spent all this time on such an awesome tool to the extent that it is working fine like charm. I think giving up now is pointless and it does not help. As you said, the commercial potential is a bit limited, but again the tool is ready and available. You can make it open source and release it under MIT or any other open source licence. You can keep it secret and wait until someone else does the job and take the credit. Again, it is up to you, but if I were you, I would just release it. Hiding it in my shelves won’t make any good and it won’t generate revenue either.

    By the way, do you have a live demo version? If not, how people would know about your tool?

    Wish you all the best!

  2. Hi Mohamed,

    thanks for taking the time to read my post and giving me detailed feedback.

    Although i understand your argumentation and point of view i do think differently. As I tried to explain above i decided against releasing the Tool as Open Source.

    If people interested in this Tool contact me i’ll be happy to show them a private demo and discuss how we can come to a financial agreement.
    So i’m still up for selling, but for now it isn’t promoted and it also is not a ready box-product.

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