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Box Open-Sources Continuous Localization Platform Mojito

| by David Iffland Follow 4 Followers on Sep 07, 2016. Estimated reading time: 2 minutes |

The enterprise collaboration platform, Box, has open sourced a tool that tackles the challenge of internationalization by integrating language translation into the continuous integration process.

Dubbed Mojito, the tool consists of a CLI and a web interface. The CLI is responsible for pulling strings out of the source code and generating localized resource files based on the current state of the Mojito repository. The web interface uses that repository to provide an easy way for translators to keep up with the demands of the software.

The product supports xliff files as well as Android, iOS, Java, and Windows resource files. It's built upon a MySQL database, with a Java back-end and a JavaScript front-end.

In an interview with InfoQ, Box Associate Product Manager for Localization Hanna Kanabiajeuskaja and Senior Software Engineer Jee Yi said that they built Mojito with an eye towards the community:

Many companies are asking the same question we were asking ourselves: how do you localize continuously without compromising the integrity of your apps or breaking your development process? The solution to the problem is a continuous localization platform. At Box, we have a globalization team that is very active in the localization community. We learn a lot from others, and we want to contribute as much as we can. Since we began designing Mojito, we knew it could benefit a large number of companies so right from the outset, we started building it with open source in mind. As we thought about open source, instead of solving for the particular use case we had at the time, we looked at continuous localization problems in a holistic way. This helped us build a clean, light-weight and scalable product.

The challenge of localization is common, shared by all companies whose software spans the globe. Keeping track of it all is a complicated task.

It's not clear how committed Box is to Mojito, however. Kanabiajeuskaja and Yi think Mojito could benefit from enhancements such as translation history and revision control. Right now, however, they are relying on the community to build out the product: "We are not planning to start building these features in the near future. However, we encourage the open source community to contribute these and other features."

Box is not the only game in town. Last year, Evernote open-sourced Serge, their continuous localization system; there are also paid services available such as CrowdIn and Transifex.

Box will show off more of Mojito at BoxDev on September 8th and at other events in the upcoming months.

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