English / Greek language site

Discussion in 'HTML' started by James Hutton, Jul 6, 2006.

  1. James Hutton

    James Hutton Guest

    I'm trying to write a small (approx 5 page site) for a charity that
    works with the Greek community in the UK. I envisaged that having two
    copies of the site, one English and one Greek with the user being
    directed from a multi-language index page. The charity's hosting package
    does not come with any form of database support, are there any other
    options not involving two identical, but different sites? ;-)

    James
     
    James Hutton, Jul 6, 2006
    #1
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  2. In article <e8jhbp$jcm$>,
    James Hutton <> wrote:

    > I'm trying to write a small (approx 5 page site) for a charity that
    > works with the Greek community in the UK. I envisaged that having two
    > copies of the site, one English and one Greek with the user being
    > directed from a multi-language index page. The charity's hosting package
    > does not come with any form of database support, are there any other
    > options not involving two identical, but different sites? ;-)


    James,
    First of all, I'd say that using a database for a five page site is
    overkill anyway. I'd find it easier to just code an English and Greek
    version of each page and be done with it. Sure, that solution doesn't
    scale up to 20, 50 or 100 pages very well, but it's quit and it gets the
    job done.

    Also, you don't need a database to store data, it just makes your life
    easier. You can write PHP that reads ordinary files from your server's
    hard drive and includes them in HTML templates.

    HTH

    --
    Philip
    http://NikitaTheSpider.com/
    Bulk HTML validation, link checking and more
     
    Nikita the Spider, Jul 7, 2006
    #2
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  3. James Hutton

    Andy Dingley Guest

    James Hutton wrote:
    > I envisaged that having two
    > copies of the site, one English and one Greek with the user being
    > directed from a multi-language index page.



    Database - overkill

    Apache mod_whatsitcalled will do this very easily for you, based on
    language settings in the browser. (Do your own searching, I'm not
    familiar with the thing). Needs a bit of learning and the right sort of
    hosting though.

    Simplest and most straightforward though (on a 5 page site) is probably
    to just have a directory structure like this and do it all "in
    longhand"

    \index.html
    |
    +- english_pages
    +- greek_pages
    +- shared_images_and_css


    Use either SSI or before-publication pre-processing to include standard
    boilerplate as needed. Although with good CSS design, your HTML should
    be so simple that there's just not much in there that needs to be
    boilerplated.
     
    Andy Dingley, Jul 7, 2006
    #3
  4. <> scripsit:

    > Apache mod_whatsitcalled will do this very easily for you, based on
    > language settings in the browser.


    It would, if browsers helped users to select language settings properly. At
    present and in the foreseeable future, language negotiation cannot be relied
    on.

    In a situation like this, the pages should first be written in one of the
    languages (the one the site creator knows better), then translated into the
    other, retaining most of the markup as such. Then link the different
    versions to each other, and you're almost done. Language negotiation might
    be set up as an extra comfort, but in practice, many people who know Greek
    better than English still use a browser that has language preferences set to
    to English - so they would get a suboptimal version. More info on language
    negotiation and why it so often fails:

    http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/multi/

    > Simplest and most straightforward though (on a 5 page site) is
    > probably to just have a directory structure like this and do it all
    > "in longhand"
    >
    > \index.html
    > |
    > +- english_pages
    > +- greek_pages
    > +- shared_images_and_css


    That's a good idea, partly because the English and Greek pages probably have
    different character encodings, and this is most conveniently implemented
    using per-directory settings in .htaccess files on Apache.

    It is particularly important to keep the markup clean and simple, delegating
    presentational issues to CSS. That way, it is easier to use mostly the same
    markup for both versions.

    --
    Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
    http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
     
    Jukka K. Korpela, Jul 8, 2006
    #4
  5. James Hutton

    Andy Dingley Guest

    On Sat, 8 Jul 2006 15:37:30 +0300, "Jukka K. Korpela"
    <> wrote:

    >That's a good idea, partly because the English and Greek pages probably have
    >different character encodings,


    I'd keep it to one character encoding throughout - editing is too error
    prone otherwise.
     
    Andy Dingley, Jul 8, 2006
    #5
  6. On Sat, 8 Jul 2006, Andy Dingley wrote:

    > On Sat, 8 Jul 2006 15:37:30 +0300, "Jukka K. Korpela"
    > <> wrote:
    >
    > >That's a good idea, partly because the English and Greek pages
    > >probably have different character encodings,


    There are *many* different ways to handle that: it would be difficult
    to offer advice - even for this relatively limited requirement - that
    would fit every situation.[1]

    > I'd keep it to one character encoding throughout - editing is too
    > error prone otherwise.


    It's by no means essential to author in the same encoding as the
    server will be serving out. As any long-standing Mac user would
    be able to confirm.

    Am I to assume you're hinting at using utf-8 throughout? If so, then
    that's problably quite reasonable nowadays - and has benefits in terms
    of any form submissions (using text/textarea) which might be involved.
    But I don't think it's the only feasible choice.

    Back when I produced [2]
    http://ppewww.ph.gla.ac.uk/~flavell/charset/quick.en , and Panos
    Stokas produced a translation
    http://ppewww.ph.gla.ac.uk/~flavell/charset/quick.el , we didn't
    really have that choice - there were still too many old browsers
    around for it to be helpful to serve-out utf-8 encoding.

    (Use the URL http://ppewww.ph.gla.ac.uk/~flavell/charset/quick to
    negotiate your preferred variant).

    By the way, if you *do* use utf-8 then the file sizes will be larger
    than if you used the language-appropriate 8bit coding such as
    iso-8859-7 for Greek. However, that's no big deal, and anyone who
    worried about file sizes to that extent could gzip the files (widely
    supported by browsers now), or use mod_gzip to accommodate also those
    few which didn't.

    cheers

    [1] At risk of blowing my own trumpet, I'd suggest picking one of
    the options set out in my
    http://ppewww.ph.gla.ac.uk/~flavell/charset/checklist ,
    having regard to any local constraints and issues in making that
    choice.

    [2] On reviewing these old pages, I see that I've omitted to take my
    own later advice, to provide explicit links between the different
    language variants. Nobody's perfect...
     
    Alan J. Flavell, Jul 8, 2006
    #6
  7. James Hutton

    Andy Dingley Guest

    On Sat, 8 Jul 2006 16:20:45 +0100, "Alan J. Flavell"
    <> wrote:

    >> I'd keep it to one character encoding throughout - editing is too
    >> error prone otherwise.

    >
    >It's by no means essential to author in the same encoding as the
    >server will be serving out. As any long-standing Mac user would
    >be able to confirm.


    I agree with that much - I'm thinking of the case where you need to use
    two different ISO-8859-* encodings to serve content. That's just a pain
    to manage, I'd rather go with UTF-8 throughout. It's not so bad for
    English, which has a restricted character set and works fine in almost
    any encoding, but I'm currently worrying about simultaneously managing
    both Czech and Arabic (and of course English) on a multi-developer
    project.

    >By the way, if you *do* use utf-8 then the file sizes will be larger
    >than if you used the language-appropriate 8bit coding such as
    >iso-8859-7 for Greek.


    File sizes for text are swamped by your first JPG
     
    Andy Dingley, Jul 8, 2006
    #7
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