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Raise your hand if you like Googling for .mo files.

WPML is going to make .mo files a thing of the past. All translations will be saved in WPML’s String Translation memory. It will automatically download translations for your themes and plugins and will let you edit them (if they’re missing, or you want to change anything).

A global translations repository

When this new translation repository is ready, it will work like this:

  1. Enable a new plugin or theme.
  2. WPML will pop up and ask if you want to download its translations.
  3. The translations will appear in WPML’s string translation screen and applied to the site immediately.

See any .mo file here? There are none. It’s all saved in the database, bypassing that ancient procedure.

Since we’re talking about tiny pieces of text, they’re all going to be loaded in one swift database query, so there’s no speed penalty either.

Real time translation editing

When you use .mo files for translations, you need to get the .po file, translate, convert to .mo, save in the plugin folder and view.

With WPML’s String Translation mechanism, you enter the translation on the site, click on Save and you’re done. It displays immediately. If the plugin already has translations, they will be imported automatically. Then, you can continue editing them as much as you like.

Sharing your translations

When you create new translations, you can share them with the community. This will allow everyone to translate anything and make it available without any delay.

You’ll be able to upload your translations from WPML directly to the repository.

We’re going to maintain some order in this procedure. Before people can upload, they’ll have to create contributor accounts. These accounts will be free and we’ll use them to tag and track translations, so that only native speakers can contribute translations.

When will all this be ready?

The translations repository is the next thing on our roadmap. We should be able to get started in about 2 weeks and have a first working version in a month from now, sometime in December.

This month, we’re working on enabling multilingual support for WordPress applications, such as iPhone and BlackBerry. We’re also going to have the first theme multilingual packages for ThemeHybrid and Thematic. Then, we’re diving head first into the translation repository.

Got ideas for this? We’re just 2 weeks away from getting started so now is the time!