SFU Sprint Report #3: Multilingual Emails
Open Journal Systems (OJS 3) has been translated into 28 languages. Used by more than 90 countries around the world, it truly is an international system. Translation has – and continues to be – of utmost importance. Here we rely heavily on our community for support. At our SFU Sprint in May 2019, one team offered just that. Specifically, they looked at how to better serve journal editors working in multiple languages.
Writing emails in one’s preferred language can be challenging for OJS users. This isn’t a new issue though – in fact, we’ve seen it before on the PKP Community Forum. Here’s what our sprinters discovered:
When a user of a multi language journal wants to send an email to another user in a language other than their own, they must change the language of their interface in order to do so. For example, a French editor working in a French interface wants to invite a reviewer who speaks English to do a review. When they click on add reviewer, the email is presented in French and there is no way to change this without exiting the window, changing the language of the interface and then restarting the process.
One of the benefits of our sprints is the ability for our users to get together and problem solve known issues. As a result of our sprint team’s investigations, they learned that the problem described above is due to the fact that OJS is always using the current user’s language. They proposed a hotfix that would allow users to manually select a language when an email template is loaded and a long term solution that would introduce the concept of a correspondence language for users.
Time did not permit further coding of this issue, but their documentation is a valuable contribution. The importance of conversations such as these is twofold. First, with so many competing priorities (and so little developer time), sprint conversations keep us informed, engaged, and can lead to new insights. This issue has since been flagged for our user interface/user experience team for further analysis.
Many thanks to our bilingual sprint team, Pierre Lasou (Université Laval), Jeanette Hatherill, (University of Ottawa), Davin Baragiotta (Érudit), and Jessica Clark (Coalition Publi.ca), for their investigations.
Want to help make these and other development priorities a reality? PKP is always on the lookout for development partners and sustainers who can support the future of OJS. To contribute, please contact us.