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README.md

tap-i18n-db

Extends the tap:i18n package to allow the translation of collections.

Internationalization for Meteor Collections

tap-i18n-db is a Meteor package that extends tap-i18n to allow the translation of collections.

Watch a talk about tap:i18n-db.

Developed by MeteorSpark Professional Meteor Services
for TAPevents  Event Apps Hong Kong.

Key Features

Transparent Language-Aware Publications: You define publish/subscribe methods in the same way you are used to. The fields on the client will be automatically translated and will be updated reactively.

No Redundancy: Only the required translations for the current client's language are sent over the wire.

Easy to Secure & Deliver: All translations are stored within the original document in single a subdocument. This allows you to easily define access control and simplifies publications.

Simple Integration: It's easy to start translating existing collections; no data structure changes are required.

Intuitive API: tap-i18n-db's API is designed to be simple and as close as possible to Meteor's native methods, which developers are already familiar with.

Dialect Fallback: If a translation is missing, dialects will fallback to their base language (see tap-i18n's Languages Tags and Translations Prioritization).

Getting Started

Step 1: Install tap-i18n-db:

$ meteor add tap:i18n-db

Step 2: Initialize the collection you wish to translate with new TAPi18n.Collection

Inventors = new TAPi18n.Collection("inventors");

Step 3: Insert translated documents with insertTranslations

id = Inventors.insertTranslations({born: 1856, name: "Nikola Tesla"}, {
    zh: {
        name: "尼古拉·特斯拉"
    }
});

Any existing documents can be translated with updateTranslations

Inventors.updateTranslations(id, {
    ru: {
        name: "Ни́кола Те́сла"
    }
})

If you are updating from the client, you can use the translate method to translate a document to the session's current language. In the following example, we assume that TAPi18n.getLanguage() returns ru (Russian):

Inventors.translate(id, {name: 'Ни́кола Те́сла'});

This is equivalent to the above updateTranslations example.

Step 4: Publish and Subscribe the translated collections

if (Meteor.isServer) {
    TAPi18n.publish("inventors", function (born_after) {
        return Inventors.i18nFind({born: {$gt: born_after}});
    });
}

if (Meteor.isClient) {
    TAPi18n.subscribe("inventors", 1800);
}

Step 5: You can find and fetch documents on the client as normal

// client.js
Template.inventors.helpers({
    inventors: function() {
        return Inventors.find();
    }
})

Meteor.startup(function() {
    TAPi18n.setLanguage("ru");
});
<!-- client.html -->
<template name="inventors">
    {{#each inventors}}
        <div>{{name}} - {{born}}</div>
    {{/each}}
</template>

The above template will automatically render correct translations based on the client's selected language.

Step 6: If you already use tap-i18n to internationalize your UI, you are done!

Otherwise, add project-tap.i18n file to your project's root with the list of languages tags you want your project to support.

// project-root/project-tap.i18n
{
    "supported_languages": ["en", "fr", "ru", "pt-BR"]
}

For more details about project-tap.i18n please refer to tap-i18n's README.

Caveats

  • You must use i18nFind for publications. User regular find everywhere else.
  • TAPi18n.publish(null, ...) is not supported. You must name each publication.
  • We assume that the fields in your document are in English, if it isn't the case, use the base_language option of the tap-i18n-db collection constructor to set the correct language.
  • If you want to use an inclusive fields option in a client-side query, i18n must be part of the fields subset. Otherwise, it won't be reactive, e.g. Inventors.find({}, {fields: {born: 1, i18n: 1}});.

Data Structure

In MongoDB

Each tap-i18n-db collection has a base language (English by default). The document's fields are in the base language and the translations for these fields are kept in a in a subdocument named i18n, example:

{
    name: "Nikola Tesla",
    born: 1856,
    place_of_birth: {
        country: "Austrian Empire",
        city: "Smiljan"
    },
    i18n: {
        zh: {
            name: "尼古拉·特斯拉",
            place_of_birth: {
                country: "奧地利帝國"
                // Chinese translation does not have city defined, so it will fallback to English
            }
        },
        ru: {
            name: "Ни́кола Те́сла",
            place_of_birth: {
                country: "Австрийская империя",
                city: "Смилян"
            }
        }
    }
}

You can maintain the above structure by yourself or use tap-i18n-db's translations editing methods.

On the Client

On the client, tap-i18n-db documents won't show the i18n subdocument. Instead, you'll see the fields overridden by their translation in the current client's language.

Example: If a client uses the zh language, the document from the previous section will appear on the client as:

{
    name: "尼古拉·特斯拉",
    born: 1856,
    place_of_birth: {
        country: "奧地利帝國",
        city: "Smiljan"
    }
}

Data & Security

Since all the translations are in the i18n subdocument, by setting allow/deny rules that allow or restrict access to this field, you can control who can edit translations.

Package Developers

You can use tap-i18n-db to support the translation of your package's collections. Keep in mind that it is the project developer that manage the client's language and set the supported languages.

The i18n subdocuments of your collections will be ignored in projects that will use your package without installing and configuring tap-i18n.

Please refer to the Developing Packages section of tap-i18n's REAMDE to get more background about tap-i18n and package development. You don't need to follow the "Setup tap-i18n" steps in your package to use tap-i18n-db.

Notes:

  • All the translation editing methods will fail if tap-i18n is not enabled in the project level. The optional callback argument will be called with an error object as the first argument (a log will be sent to the console if there is no callback).

API

Relevant tap-i18n Methods

TAPi18n.setLanguage(language_tag) Client

Documentation available on TAPi18n's README.

Note: The returned deferred object resolves or fails when the language file load succeed or fail. The actual load of the collections translations begins upon resolution of the deferred (upon successful language change).

tap-i18n-db Collections

TAPi18n.Collection(name, options) Anywhere

Constructor for tap-i18n-db collections.

It extends Meteor.Collection with the TAPi18n.Collection API.

Additional options:

On top of the options supported by Meteor.Collection, TAPi18n.Collection also has:

base_language: We assume that the fields in your document are in English, if it isn't the case, use the base_language option to set the correct language tag.

Check Meteor.Collection documentation for arguments documentation.

Publish and Subscribe

TAPi18n.publish(name, func) Server

Publish a language aware record set.

Use just like you use Meteor.publish(), but instead of using Collection.find() to generate a cursor use tap_i18n_collection.i18nFind().

Inside func you can get the client's language tag with this.language. It will be null if language is not defined.

Just like it works in Meteor.publish() the publish function can return cursors, or control its published record set directly.

Note: TAPi18n.publish(null, ...) is not supported.

tap_i18n_collection.i18nFind(selector, [options]) Server

Generates a language aware cursor for the publish methods of TAPi18n.publish.

This method will work only when it's called from a publish methods of TAPi18n.publish().

Use just like you use collection.find().

TAPi18n.subscribe(name [, arg1, arg2, ... ] [, callbacks]) Client

Subscribe to a tap-i18n-db publication.

Use just like you use Meteor.subscribe().

Collections - Translations Editing

tap_i18n_collection.insertTranslations(doc, translations, [callback]) Anywhere

Insert a document and its translations into the collection. Returns its unique _id.

The doc and callback arguments are just like collection.insert().

translations object should be like:

{
  'language-tag': {
      'field_a': "field_a translation to language-tag",
      'field_b': "field_a translation to language-tag",
      .
      .
      .
  },
  'language-tag': {...}, ...
}

Notes:

  • If one of the translations languages-tag is the collection's base language we'll override the doc fields with the fields that it contains.
  • If language-tag is an unsupported language tag the optional callback argument will be called with an error object as the first argument (a log will be sent to the console if there is no callback).

Example:

tap_i18n_col.insertTranslations({a: 1, b: 5}, {aa: {c: 3}, en: {b: 2, d: 4}});
// -> will insert: {a: 1, b: 2, d: 4, i18n: {aa: {c: 3}}, _id: _id}

tap_i18n_collection.updateTranslations(selector, translations, [options], [callback]) Anywhere

Merge translations with the existing translations of the selected documents. Returns the number of affected documents.

The translations argument should be like the one of tap_i18n_collection.insertTranslations()

The selector, options and callback arguments are just like collection.update()

Example:

_id = tap_i18n_col.insertTranslations({a: 5, b: 2}, {aa: {x: 4, y: 2}, "aa-AA": {l: 1}})
tap_i18n_col.updateTranslations(_id, {en: {a: 1}, aa: {x: 1}})
// resulted document -> {a: 1, b: 2, i18n: {aa: {x: 1, y: 2}, "aa-AA": {l: 1}}, _id: _id}

tap_i18n_collection.removeTranslations(selector, fields, [options], [callback]) Anywhere

Remove translations from the selected documents. Returns the number of affected documents.

fields is an object of the form:

["lang-tag1.field_name_a", "lang-tag1.field_name_c", "lang-tag2"]

If you specify a language without a field (like "lang-tag2" in the above example), if that language is not the collection's base language, all the translations to that language will be removed.

We don't allow the complete removal of the base language translations, since tap-i18n-db doesn't distinguish between "translated" fields and other fields the document has, so removal of the base language would mean the removal of the document. If fields will contain a request to remove the Collection's base language we won't remove any field and the optional callback argument will be called with an error object as the first argument (a log will be sent to the console if there is no callback).

The underlying method used for removeTranslations is collection.update with the $unset operator, the selector, options and callback arguments are just like collection.update()

Example:

_id = tap_i18n_col.insertTranslations({a: 1, b: 2}, {aa: {x: 1, y: 2}, "aa-AA": {l: 1, m: 2}})
tap_i18n_col.removeTranslations(_id, ["en.a", "aa.y", "aa-AA"]);
// -> result: {b: 2, i18n: {aa: {x: 1}}, _id: _id}

tap_i18n_collection.insertLanguage(doc, language_translations, [language_tag=TAPi18n.getLanguage()], [callback]) Client
tap_i18n_collection.insertLanguage(doc, language_translations, language_tag, [callback]) Server

Insert a document into the collection with translations to the specified language_tag. Returns its unique _id.

language_translations is an object of the form:

{
  'field_a': "field_a translation to language-tag",
  'field_b': "field_a translation to language-tag",
  .
  .
  .
}

language_tag is by default the current client's language or one of the supported languages tags, if no language is set (TAPi18n.getLanguage() returns null) you must set the language_tag yourself. On the server you must specify language_tag.

If language_tag is null, undefined, or an unsupported language tag the optional callback argument will be called with an error object as the first argument (a log will be sent to the console if there is no callback).

Notes:

  • If language_tag is the collection's base language we'll override the doc fields with the fields that it contains.

Example:

// Assuming tap_i18n_col base language is "en"
tap_i18n_col.insertLanguage({a: 1, b: 5}, {b: 2, d: 4}, "en");
// -> will insert: {a: 1, b: 2, d: 4, _id: _id}

tap_i18n_col.insertLanguage({a: 1, b: 5}, {b: 2, d: 4}, "ru");
// -> will insert: {a: 1, b: 2, d: 4, _id: _id}

// only client side
TAPi18n.setLanguage("zh")
  .done(function () {
    tap_i18n_col.insertLanguage({a: 1, b: 5}, {b: 2, d: 4});
    // -> will insert: {a: 1, b: 5, i18n: {zh: {b: 2, d: 4}}, _id: _id}
  });

tap_i18n_collection.updateLanguage(selector, language_translations, [language_tag=TAPi18n.getLanguage()], [options], [callback]) Client
tap_i18n_collection.updateLanguage(selector, language_translations, language_tag, [options], [callback]) Server

Alias: tap_i18n.translate

Merge language_translations with the existing translations of language_tag in the selected documents. Returns the number of affected documents.

The language_translations and language_tag arguments should be like in tap_i18n_collection.insertLanguage().

The selector, options and callback arguments are just like in collection.update().

Example:

TAPi18n.setLanguage("aa")
  .done(function () {
    _id = tap_i18n_col.insertTranslations({a: 1, b: 2}, {aa: {x: 9, y: 2, z: 1}})
    tap_i18n_col.updateLanguage(_id, {x: 1, z: 3});
    // -> result: {a: 1, b: 2, i18n: {aa: {x: 1, y: 2, z: 3}}, _id: _id}
  });

tap_i18n_collection.removeLanguage(selector, fields, [language_tag=TAPi18n.getLanguage()], [options], [callback]) Client
tap_i18n_collection.removeLanguage(selector, fields, language_tag, [options], [callback]) Server

Remove language_tag's translations from the selected documents. Returns the number of affected documents.

The language_tag argument should be like in tap_i18n_collection.insertLanguage().

fields should be an array of fields which their translations to language_tag you want to remove, example:

["field_a", "field_b", ...]

If fields is null and language_tag is not the collection's base language, all the translations to language_tag in the selected documents will be removed. If language_tag is the collection's base language

If fields is null and language_tag is the collection's base language, the optional callback argument will be called with an error object as the first argument (a log will be sent to the console if there is no callback).

The underlying method used for removeLanguage is collection.update with the $unset operator. The selector, options and callback arguments are just like collection.update()

Example:

TAPi18n.setLanguage("aa")
  .done(function () {
    // remove some translations of language aa
    _id = tap_i18n_col.insertTranslations({a: 1, b: 2}, {aa: {x: 1, y: 2, z: 3}})
    tap_i18n_col.removeLanguage(_id, ["x", "z"]);
    // -> result: {a: 1, b: 2, i18n: {aa: {y: 2}}, _id: _id}

    // remove all the translations of language aa
    _id = tap_i18n_col.insertTranslations({a: 1, b: 2}, {aa: {x: 1, y: 2, z: 3}, "aa-AA": {l: 1}})
    tap_i18n_col.removeLanguage(_id, null);
    // -> result: {a: 1, b: 2, i18n: {"aa-AA": {l: 1}}, _id: _id}
  });

Unit Testing

We have more than one unittests to test the different ways tap-i18n-db might be used in a certain project, to test all of them run:

$ ./unittest/unittest-all

The unittest will be available on: http://localhost:3000 .

We call the different ways tap-i18n-db might be used environments. Each time you'll break the run of the above command (by pressing ctrl+c) the test for another environment will run, refresh your browser to load the test for the new environment.

You can also test a specific environment:

# tap-i18n is disabled in the project level
$ ./unittest/unittest-disabled 

# tap-i18n enabled in the project level - default project-tap.i18n
$ ./unittest/unittest-enabled

# tap-i18n enabled in the project level the autopublish package is installed - default project-tap.i18n
$ ./unittest/unittest-enabled_autopublish

Author

Daniel Chcouri

Contributors

Chris Hitchcott Rijk van Wel

Credits

Sponsored by TAPevents