Two new language features are added in Joomla! 3.0.3:
- Installation of language packs when installing the CMS
- Extension of items associations to remaining core components in multilanguage.
After implementing the installation of language packs through the Extension Manager since 2.5.7 ( See http://community.joomla.org/blogs/community/1668-first-time-in-joomla-history.html ), Javier Gomez completed his GSOC project by coding this new functionnality.
1. In the last page of installation, a new choice is proposed to install language packs
2. A list of available language packs is displayed. Tick on the language(s) you want to install.
Note 1: language packs included in custom distributions will not be listed at this stage as they are already installed.
Note 2: the version of the packs proposed will match the Joomla Major version (3.0.x, 3.1.x, etc.). If the minor version of the pack does not correspond (3.0.3, 3.0.4, etc.), one may have untranslated strings. When the packs concerned are updated by the registered Translation teams, the update will be proposed in the Control panel as well as in Extensions Manager => Update. The behavior is similar to Extensions Manager => Install Languages.
3. A progress bar will display while the packs are downloaded.
4. The default Administration and Site languages may be chosen among the packs installed.
5. The installation process may now be completed.
In 3.0.2 the multilanguage functionnality was extended from Menu Items associations to Articles and Articles categories.
(see http://community.joomla.org/blogs/community/1695-multilanguage-in-302-whats-new.html )
Benjamin Trenkle completed the process in 3.0.3 for all core Categories and items in Contacts, Newsfeeds and Weblinks.
If 2 items are associated, clicking on the Language Switcher chosen language will display the associated item, even if there is no specific menu item associated.
Example for Contacts:
1. An Associations tab displays when editing a Contact. Select a contact in another language.
2. The Contact manager displays the associated contacts. Hovering over the icon displays the list.
3. We are here in the French fr-FR Frontend. The menu item 'Contact fr' has been displayed.
URL is mysite.com/fr/contact-fr.html
4. If we have no associated Menu item for this in the English en-GB Frontend, clicking on the English flag displays the associated contact item.
The url is mysite.com/en/component/contact/contact/15-contact-cat-en/1-contact-en.html?Itemid=103
5. If we have a Menu item displaying the associated contact for English en-GB —even if the Menu item itself is not associated—, the URL we get in this case would be: mysite.com/en/contact-en.html
Native multilanguage implementation has been drastically improved in Joomla! since 1.6. From the possibility to switch only to home pages, it now lets associate any core items and nevertheless switch to home page when no associations.
To ease this, a patch in 3.0.3 is improving considerably the loading speed of the associations table when there are a large number of items.
( http://joomlacode.org/gf/project/joomla/tracker/?action=TrackerItemEdit&tracker_item_id=29845 )
It's quite easy for third party components to mimic this Items Associations behavior and we do hope many of them will introduce this functionnality as well as proposing improvements.