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We’ve started working on supporting the new CMS features in WordPress 3 and would love to get some early feedback from you guys.

Menu system

One of the best things about WordPress 3, came from WooThemes. It’s the new menu builder system.

Instead of getting menus auto-generated according to page IDs you can now control exactly what appears in your site’s menu. This includes mixing pages and categories, dragging things to their places and controlling their order. It’s cool.

A multilingual site will surely need a multilingual menu and there are two approaches to it:

  • Separate menu per language
  • Translation for menu items

While each of these alternatives has its advantage, we’re leaning towards a single menu with translated items. We still have to check and make sure that WordPress has all the hooks in place to allow WPML to translate menu items, but if that’s the case, it would probably be easier for folks to use.

What will happen is that you manage the menu for the default language and WPML will allow translating the different menu items. If an item is for a page, the menu item will just include the title of the page’s translation. If you’re entering titles manually, you’ll use WPML’s string translation to translate these titles.

What would you like to see? If you’ve already built sites with the Woo menu generator do you have ideas about translating them?

Custom post types

Many (including ourselves) consider this to be the most important feature in WordPress 3.

If you’re using WordPress for a blog, you’re not going to notice this feature at all. However, anyone building complex sites with WordPress will appreciate this features right away.

For example, building our showcase would have gone much simpler if we could define custom showcase pages. It would eliminate the need to use a special template and enter details in custom fields.

WPML should support custom post types just like the current WordPress posts and pages. You’ll have the language box there and can determine the language and translations.

However, some issues are still open.

Posts and pages have a fixed structure and we could hook to their pages and add WPML’s magic. We’ll have to be a bit more flexible when dealing with custom types.

Have you tried custom post types on WordPress 3 Alpha? Any ideas about language support for it?

Custom taxonomies

WordPress already has custom taxonomies today, but very few folks use them. WP3 promises to make custom taxonomies easier to use. Along with custom post types, I think we’re going to see a huge rise in the popularity of both.

Right now, WPML doesn’t translate custom taxonomies at all and we’re going to work on that for WordPress 3.

Ideas anyone?

We’ve just started to scratch the surface with WordPress 3. If you’ve already studied it better, let us know.

11 Responses to “News Stuff for WPML on WordPress 3.0”

  1. i think about the menu part that it is better to use many menus:1 for each language
    because that way you can arrange better, add or remove items etc, just like its used in drupal or make both ways possible

    • You might be right. I’m just trying to avoid the situation where Drupal menus are in now.

      Drupal offers too many ways to maintain translations, making it very difficult for even advanced programmers to understand how it works.

  2. Hi Amir,

    I’m trying to install WPML on WordPress 3.0, but it gets stuck at “3. Add a language switcher”. It doesn’t display the list of switchers and the rest of the page is just blank below the progress bar.

    I plan to use WPML with buddypress on a mixed English / German multi-blog website, and would be happy to give you some feedback if I can get past the install issue…

    Thanks & Regards

    CPJ

    • WPML 1.7.3 is not ready yet for WP 3. There are several show-stoppers that we’re working on now.

      In about 2 weeks, we’ll have a new version of WPML which runs on WP3. It will only include fixes for existing functionality for WP3, but still no support for the new WP3 stuff.

      Then, we’ll start adding those.

  3. Trying WPML 1.7.6 with 3.0 Beta and the initial installation was reasonable. The UI approach of WPML to menus is noticeably different than the standard of WordPress (ex: many apply buttons per page rather than one at bottom) but not unmanageable.

    Re: Menus: Since one would already have made the page (or category or post) association b/t languages, I would think the single menu / multiple languages to be the better approach. Each menu element has Navigation Label and Title Attribute plus an “Original [content type]: [LINK]” at the bottom when you are looking at the exploded view of a menu item. Extending this menu item to have a set of Nav label and title attribute per language of translation available would be a reasonable presentation approach.

    Re: Custom Post Types: Given that posts, pages, attachments, etc are just core versions of register_post_type, the ability to pick-up post types defined by theme / plugin should not be THAT much harder (conceptually atleast) assuming the hooks/filters are there to work with. Most of the heavy lifting that makes the custom post types so powerful will be the meta_boxes and taxonomies that are associated to them, and that functionality has been in WP since 2.8+.

    Could you describe (at a high-level) how you have handled the translation for those?

    I’m happy to help beta test 3.0 related stuffs. I put the same offer to qTranslate (current plugin for translation with 2.9-based sites) and will go with whichever reaches stable status first. So much of site code is changing with 2.9 -> 3.0 that switching translation plugins is much of an order of magnitude bigger.

    • We’re releasing a new version of WPML (1.7.7) which supports custom taxonomies. Also it sounds like a small step, this was probably the longest leap we’ve done in a while.

      Next will come custom post types. As you’ve noticed, this would be simpler than taxonomies, but still a lot of work.

      We will leave menus for last. This is still being changed in WordPress, so we prefer to touch this only when it reaches its final form. We plan to include both options for menu translation (menu per language and one menu with translated items). There are good applications for both.

  4. I’m using WPML to multilingual my blog, and I think for a simple blog, diffrent menues for each language is the simplest, atleast considdering that a menu can contain both pages and categories now, and I have diffrent categories for english and norwegian(my primary language).

  5. I think – as per your original post that the simplest implementation would be to translate each created menu. This is the behaviour I would expect to happen automatically.

    Whilst I understand there are merits to creating a menu per language – I could forsee this becoming very convoluted and difficult to simply hand over to a client who may only be managing the site in one language.

    • The next major leap for WPML is adding a proper translation workflow.

      Part of this would include synchronizing menus in different languages. So, your client would arrange menu items in one language and the other languages would follow automatically.