12 November 2007

Okapi tools for Mono !

The Okapi framework is a set of applications designed to ease the work of the translator:

"The Okapi Framework is a set of interface specifications, format definitions, components and applications that provides an environment to build interoperable tools for the different steps of the translation and localization process.

The goal of the Okapi Framework is to allow tools developers and localizers to build new localization processes or enhance existing ones to best meet their needs, while preserving a level of compatibility and interoperability. It also provides them with a way to share (and re-use) components across different solutions. The project uses and promotes open standards, where they exist. For the aspects where open standards are not defined yet, the framework offers its own. The ultimate goal is to adopt the industry standards when they are defined and useable.

In short, the Okapi Framework aims at being a crucible where we forge common components that can be used in any localization and translation application, providing faster development time and better interoperability, but still allowing for the diversity of solutions."

(quote from http://okapi.sourceforge.net/)

Problem is, Okapi is developed on the .NET platform, basically a Windows only platform.

A few years ago, people on the Linux side have decided that .NET was a valuable platform and decided to create an implementation of .NET for Linux, that could run .NET applications out of the box. Mono was born.

Mono was also made to run on OSX... The problem was that until recently Mono's support for .NET was not sufficient to run the Okapi tools and that the Okapi tools had not been written with the lowest common denominator in mind to run on Mono.

Yesterday, Yves Savourel, lead developer of the Okapi Framework Project, released a first Okapi for Mono package for testing on existing Mono environments (including OSX and Linux). The totality of the tools is not yet available but command line tools are said to work.

As far as OSX workflows are concerned, Okapi can produce XLIFF files (or OmegaT projects, or XLIFF files for OmegaT) from a number of localization/translation formats. It is now relatively trivial for OSX translators to deal with inDesign files, for example, as long as they are saved in the inDesign XML format (.inx). Okapi will convert the .inx files to XLIFF for translation in OmegaT and will convert the target files back to .inx for delivery....

Very good news for translators on OSX and warm thanks to the Okapi team !

ps: I'll post a detailed description of how to install Mono and Okapi on OSX in a few days for the readers who don't feel too adventurous. Meanwhile, here are the respective download pages: