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Open Language Tools

Philosophy | Releases | Report a bug | How you can help | License | FAQ | Documentation

The Open Language Tools are a set of translation tools that aim to make the task of translating software and documentation a lot easier. Initially, they comprise of a full-featured XLIFF Translation Editor and a set of XLIFF file-filters for a number of documentation and software file formats.

Our intended audience is tools developers and translators of software and documentation - both professional translators and those just doing it for kicks !

The current list of supported file formats is :

Documentation file types

  • HTML
  • Docbook SGML
  • JSP
  • XML (generic - needs a configuration file for each XML type)
  • : sxw, sxc, sxi
  • Open Document Format : odt, ods, odp, odg
  • Plain text

Software file types

  • PO (gettext)
  • Msg/tmsg (catgets)
  • Java .properties
  • Java ResourceBundle
  • Mozilla .DTD resource files

Here are screenshots of the XLIFF Translation Editor (click for a larger image) and the XLIFF Filters GUI :

A screenshot of the XLIFF Translation Editor A screenshot of the XLIFF Filters GUI

Some more information on translation tools in general, and these tools in particular, can be seen over on Tim's Web Log - check out the XLIFF Editor demo !


We believe that computers are tools that can help people - in our case, we want computers to help translators. Anything that can be done to help translators improve the quality of their work, or reduce the amount of time it takes to do translation is definitely within the scope of this project. We strongly believe in the value of shared open standards - everything we do should be based on open standards, and should interoperate via those standards.

Lastly writing translation tools is a noble cause : we believe that we should be doing all we can to break down the Digital divide, and language is one aspect of that. If you can't use a computer because it's not translated to your native language, then we want to provide tools to fix that problem.


We have the following components available :

Stable releases:
Component UNIX version win32 version
Open Language Tools XLIFF Translation Editor offline offline
Open Language Tools XLIFF Filters offline offline
Latest XLIFF Editor User's Guide as PDF

If your platform isn't listed, download the UNIX version

You should at least read the QuickStart Guides for the Editor and Filters before starting to use the tools. Nightly builds of the latest development snapshot are available here : try these out if you're finding problems in the milestone releases : we may have already fixed your issue.

Report a bug

If you encounter any problems related to the functionality of the filters or the the editor, please let us know on our alias. alias If it is possible please provide us with the following information:
  • Version and type of Operating System and locale (for example: Windows XP, Windows 2000, Solaris Nevada etc.)
  • Version of JDK you're using
  • MiniTM file (if it's possible). Where is the MiniTM ?
  • The .xlz file causing problems.
  • The list of most recent actions, like: opened file, edited segment 26, saved ... etc

MiniTM location

The mini TM file is located in your user home in directory .xliffeditor and mini-tm. The file name format is following:

  • PROJECT  is the name of the project
  • SRCLANG is the source language of the project
  • TGTLANF is the target language of the project
For user bob, project ABCD from en-US to fr-FR would be in the following directory on Windows:
C:\Documents and Settings\bob\.xliffeditor\mini-tm\ABCD_EN_FR.MTM
on Unix it would be in this directory:

Call for help !

We're interested in people working with us at all levels. There are mailing lists set up for developers and users, and we have an issue-tracking system that is waiting to be filled with bug reports.

Here's a few categories you as a member of the Open Language Tools project might fall into - these are all areas that we need help in, so we'd love to have you work in any (or all, if you're super talented!) of these categories :

  • Users - Do you use translation tools ? We'd love to hear your feedback

  • Testers - Our tools have bugs in them and you can help find them and gain the undying gratitude of users and developers alike ! Let us know if you can help (and file an issue at the same time !) (I'm still working on configuring the issue tracker)

  • GUI Developers - Are you proficient in Swing, if so the Translation Editor could use your help.

  • Filter Developers - Maybe you're a command-line junkie (like me) or you're an expert in file formats we don't yet cover, you might be interested in looking at the XLIFF Filters, please drop us a mail

  • i18n Developers - While everything we do in the Open Language Tools project is based around Unicode, we haven't yet written proper messaging-handling support into our code, so we're in the embarrassing situation of writing translation tools that can't actually be translated ! We need your help !

  • Technical writers - Think you can do a better job documenting our software ? (probably not too hard) Please, let us know - we don't have much documentation at the moment.

  • Translators - Apart from being the experts in translation tools, maybe you'd like to try translating our software or documentation into other languages ? You can start by reading the Localization Guide and contribute your l10n files, suggestions and comments by email.

  • Graphics designers - Our project lacks good icons and graphical elements, and our home page contains just text. Perhaps you'd like to help brighten things up ? Talk to us

I'm sure there's other areas we need help in - in fact, maybe we need help in determining where we need help :-)

We'd really appreciate your input : you're welcome and encouraged to join project Open Language Tools as an Observer - if you've got cool stuff to submit back to us, we can definitely chat about making you a Developer.

These tools are available under the terms of the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL).

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