Announcement: mp language support

Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 15:34:17 -0400
Subject: mp-users: language support


Recent changes to mp, cns, Tkme, xtme, etc. include some features
that are experimental.  If you are interested in these capabilities,
I encourage you to let me know of your experiences using them.

A number of small bugs have been fixed recently, especially in the
ability of mp to import XML.  Recall that the Lineage sections
of mp.met and xtme.met describe all changes made to the code.

The most recent experimental feature is the ability of all of these
tools to process metadata elements in languages other than English.
Currently two other languages are supported, Spanish and Indonesian.
The Spanish element names are mostly taken from the good work of
the National Geospatial Data Clearinghouse of Uruguay.  With some
review inside USGS, I have modified a few of the element names, but
most are as translated by our friends in Uruguay.  The Indonesian
element names were provide by a group of scientists from the thematic
database division of the Natural Resources Survey Center of Bakosurtanal
when they visited USGS a few years ago.

For mp, cns, xtme, and tkme, a new command-line option is used to
indicate the language:

C:> tkme -l es

The command-line flag -l is followed by the 2-letter abbreviation
for the language.  Currently this is one of
  en  English
  es  Spanish
  id  Indonesian
I hope to be able to support French and German as well, but would
need appropriate translations of the element names.

The support for these languages is currently limited to the element
names themselves.  I plan to provide appropriate translations for
the menu items, tip text, and error messages as well, but these will
take additional time.

I have taken the liberty to include an extension in the software,
specifically Metadata_Language to appear within the
Metadata_Reference_Information.  Its value should be a 2-letter code
indicating the language in which the metadata values are provided.

The XML tags will not change with language.  Consequently it is
possible to convert an indented text metadata record from English
to Spanish by first converting it to XML, then reading the XML and
rewriting the metadata as text but with Spanish element names:

C:> mp myfile.met -x myfile.xml
C:> mp -l es myfile.xml -t myfile_es.met

The first step above converts the .met file into XML.  The second
step converts the XML file back to indented text, but with Spanish
element names.

If you are interested in this problem I encourage you to try out
the current version (mp 2.6, tkme 2.5).  As always, please let me
know if I can provide additional information or assistance.