IntelliCAD chooses appTranslator
I'm just back from the ITC World Meeting in beautiful Kelowna (BC, Canada).
IntelliCAD, an AutoCAD alternative
The ITC is a company founded by former Visio employees to develop IntelliCAD, an alternative to AutoCAD. From what I could see, it's a huge piece of work and the IntelliCAD developers are doing an amazing job. I was very impressed by the effectiveness of their development process: They have few developers but all of them seem excellent, which is much rarer than one could think. These guys are spread all around the planet (yes, the company doesn't have offices!). Their development roadmap is very accurate with part of the team working on the next (not so) minor release and another part working on the next major release. And their QA dpmt... Wow! It's not just testers, it's professional QA. When was last time you saw professional QA in a small company! I'm not just speaking of testers playing with the product. Or developers executing predefined test cases and filling checkboxes on a result sheet. Boy, even customers can submit automated test scripts as part of their bug reports. As Development Director Dave Lorenzo says: It's the best way to get us fix bugs since we'll face them at least 5 times a day in result sheets!
ITC chooses appTranslator
I was invited to this World Meeting by MicroSurvey's CEO Darcy Detlor. Darcy happens to be the secretary & treasurer of the ITC. His company uses appTranslator to localize some of their products.
I presented appTranslator to the consortium members (they are basically the IntelliCAD distributors). These guys need to translate IntelliCAD (and their own add-ons and customizations of the product) to their own language in order to sell it on their domestic markets. The presentation was a big success. Both members and IntelliCAD developers were very impressed and showed great interest into the product.
The IntelliCAD lead developers told me they want to list appTranslator in their Recommended Tools and Procedures list. And it's not just a matter of demo: IntelliCAD member and appTranslator user Cedric Desbordes showed them their product in French and praised the ease of use (Showing someone their program in a language they don't understand is always the best way to impress people ;-).
This means that not only the members of the ITC will receive a pointer as to where to start translating IntelliCAD intheir own language, but also a community of users is created, thereby accelerating the appTranslator adoption momentum.
This is of course all good news for both IntelliCAD and appTranslator.
Globalization vs Localization
The ITC is the perfect type of organization to setup an i18n/l10n process:
- The IntelliCAD developers do the globalization job, in order to make sure their product can be easily localized.
- The members/distributors do the localization job, each in their own language.
In order to improve ITC's globalization effort, I'll add pseudo-localization capabilities to appTranslator. This will help them make pre-localization test and possibly solve problems before their distributors hit them. More about that soon.
I confess I somewhat hesitated when Darcy invited me: It's a 16-hours/8000 km trip to Kelowna, just to visit a few tenths of people. When the money comes out of your own pocket, you think twice about it. But there's no doubt the net result will be very positive. It was all worth the trouble of flying through the worst-airport-ever ;-)