IBM's open source Lotus Symphony suite, already downloaded by more 400 000 users in English, is now available in 24 launguages.
Since its release in September 2007, the English version of Lotus Symphony software has received worldwide interest. The top markets for Symphony adoption that now have local language support include: Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Indonesia, Poland, China, the Russian Federation, Belgium, Finland, Sweden, Korea, Denmark and Taiwan. The leading market for Symphony to date is the US, with about 25% of downloads.
"Customers want an open alternative to desktop software that gives them the flexibility to innovate," says Steve Mills, senior vice-president and group executive at IBM Software Group. "This is increasingly important as the workforce requires tools to collaborate seamlessly across borders and languages in the globally integrated economy, which represents the future of work."
Lotus Symphony is a suite of software tools for creating text, spreadsheet and presentation documents — the most frequently used desktop tools — based on OpenOffice code. It supports the OpenDocument format (ODF), Microsoft Office and Lotus SmartSuite formats.
IBM has employed innovative development techniques in the development and translation of Lotus Symphony. Lotus Symphony was developed by a global network of IBM laboratories led by a core team in Beijing, China using agile development techniques that allow work to continue seamlessly and in parallel on components of the product at all times.
The newest version of Symphony benefits from another technique to provide users with numerous language options – users can now download a base package and select additional language packs, which IBM has never before provided for a product in Beta form until Symphony Beta 3.
Since Symphony is developed using the Eclipse-based Lotus Expeditor open framework, IBM has the flexibility to install additional language packs that include spell check dictionaries. Users can install any number of these additional language packs. In the globally integrated business world, this allows users to interact with Symphony in their native languages but also create content in a different language with the confidence of language specific spell check support.
For example, a native Spanish speaker who also speaks German and frequently works with contacts in Germany can download the new Symphony Beta 3 with the Spanish language support. The same user can download and install the German Language Pack, enabling them to see the menu items in the Symphony user interface in native Spanish; create content in Spanish with the spell check feature; and create content with spell checking in German.
This empowers the user to create quality content efficiently in both languages, increasing productivity by avoiding the use of separate dictionaries, translators and deciphering menu choices like "file" and "save" in different languages.
The number of dictionaries users can install with Lotus Symphony is unlimited. The Eclipse framework enabling this innovation is flexible enough to allow a wide range of other innovations currently under development at IBM's global laboratory network. Key laboratories involved in the global translation of Symphony include, the China Software Lab in Beijing; the Lotus Software Development Teams in Austin, Texas and Westford, Massachusetts; and lab translation centers worldwide, including Korea, Japan, France, Germany, Spain, Israel, Egypt, among others.