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Spricht RapidWeaver Deutsch? Ou Parle Français?
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Spricht RapidWeaver Deutsch? Ou Parle Français?

Translation: Does RapidWeaver speak German? Or French?
Because the internet knows no international boundaries – with the exception of a few countries that impose restrictions – our websites attract visitors from all over the world. Sometimes a multilingual version of a website would make sense, but that would involve having different versions of a site online, making maintenance a nightmare. Or would it?

RWML (RapidWeaver Multi Language) was a solution developed by Joost Spijker of Tsooj Media to make multilingual websites both easier to maintain and user friendly. All language versions are contained within the same page, so that swapping projects to make alterations and maintaining subdomains is unnecceasary. It means that there is only one website/web page for all language versions.
Before he retired from the RW scene, Joost began developing RWML 2. This development has just been completed by Will Woodgate and housed within the S4S stables.

I just took a look at RWML 2 and it's a great improvement over the original version. First off, RWML now uses PHP to load the language versions. This means that there are no longer ugly flashes as the new language is loaded, there is a smooth transition. (Transition as change – not as in animation)

RWML is a suite of 9 stacks: Master; Menu; Meta; Redirect; Replace (New); Short Text; Sidebar; Switch and Wrapper.
In its simplest form, RWML requires two main stacks on each page: Master, and Wrapper – which is required for every element with a language version. The detailed instruction manual is fairly long, but the deployment of RWML is quite straightforward.

The Master stack contains the information of the different language versions contained within a page (up to ten languages if you know that many, I can only write in two), e.g. 'en', 'de', 'fr' etc. One Wrapper stack is required for each block of text content. The Wrapper supplies the language variations contained within it.
On at least one page, you will require Switcher which supplies the URL query for the language change. The query setting is maintained over page changes and saved as a cookie for your user's next visit.

Laying out a page in Stacks is very simple: Create a block of content with your primary language (we'll assume that your first language is English) and drop it into a Wrapper stack. Define the Wrapper as 'en', then duplicate the Wrapper, reset the language, e.g. 'de' and replace the text content with your German text.
Now, if you add a Switch stack to your page and preview the page, you will see the English version of your page. Click the Switch and you will see the German version – as simple as that:S4S RWML


Click image to View live Preview.

RWML is primarily intended for Stacks pages, but it may also be deployed with standard RapidWeaver pages. As the Master stack is required for all pages that use RWML, Pluskit will be required to import the stack into your standard RW page. You can then add HTML snippets to each text block to define the language.

CMS Anyone? RWML is also CMS compatible! I tested it with Sentry from seyDesign – perfect for simple pages. If you're not sure that you can use it with your CMS solution, download a demo copy of RWML and give it a test run.

Stack settings

RWML Master - Has the definitions for Language 1—10, Redirect Delay (ms), Cookie Settings, Menu Settings (Menu Control/Trigger Condition), CMS Support, Debug Information.
RWML Menu – RWML can add translations for the RW standard Menu. Add a child stack with an alternative language version for each page, using the same name as entered into the RW sidebar.
RWML Meta – Maintain SEO compatibility. Add translations for the Meta Tags.
RWML Redirect – Redirect links to alternative pages. E.G. Blog pages/Product pages in different languages.
RWML Replace – A new, very useful stack for quickly replacing words or sentences contained within a page. E.G. change the copyright text, or slogan by targeting their Container ID and adding translations for the ID's content.
RWML Short Text – Add a line of text to your page and include a translation directly within the stack.
RWML Sidebar – Oh, yes, now I remember – some themes have sidebars. RWML Sidebar will add it's content to your Sidebar, Freestyle Banner, Extra Content Container, or a Custom Element. You can change the sidebar header text using snippets.
RWML Switch – You can add either a menu (see the S4S demo page) or stack elements (see above) to switch between languages.
RWML Wrapper – This is the stack that contains each individual language block.

If you need to design pages with multiple languages, RWML is the ideal solution. It doesn't rely on third party solutions (with the exceptions of Pluskit, if you wish to work with standard RW pages), it is CMS compatible and it can change the navigation bar text to the chosen languages. Language change is slick and smooth – your visitors will love it!

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