From: John Stone (
Date: Tue Mar 04 2008 - 13:53:24 CST

  Thus far there hasn't been any effort put into adding internationalization
into VMD. One of the main reasons for this is that the funding for VMD
comes from the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and their primary
criteria for judging the software is its scientific utility,
as evaluated by NIH-funded researchers that use it, educational institutions,
and the like. Realistically, the only way we could pursue an
internationalization effort would be if there was a source of funding to
support it. Even if volunteers did all of the translation work, just the
software engineering tasks involved in rewriting code to support
translation tables, re-testing all of the code, and so on would be very
time consuming. I could easily imagine such an effort costing
two programmer-years of development time to end up with an
internationalized version of VMD. It could actually take longer
depending on what problems cropped up on different operating system
platforms, GUI toolkits, scripting languages, etc.

If I was going to pursue this, I would begin by researching the
following items, and determining their impact on the time/effort required:
 - i18n support in FLTK
 - i18n support in Tcl/Tk
 - i18n support in Python
 - how/whether i18n affects the molfile plugins
 - how i18n affects the already-written VMD tutorials, example scripts, etc.

 One big item:
 - Are the i18n methodologies compatible between FLTK, Tcl/TK, Python, etc,
   or do they have completely unrelated implementations requiring significant
   duplication of work? VMD presently shares many menu name strings across
   scripting languages, and GUI toolkits, if this were no longer possible due
   to differences in internal string representation format or other problems,
   much code would have to be rewritten or redesigned.

I'm certain that VMD could be internationalized, it's just a question of
how to go about doing it, and determining what the problems and solutions
will be. The biggest question is how it could be done without impacting
the ongoing development efforts that support the scientific capabilities
of the software.

  John Stone

On Tue, Mar 04, 2008 at 04:24:09PM +0000, Alba Colet Subirachs wrote:
> I'm an university student and I'm working in 3D viewing of VMD as a teacher assistant. Also, I'm doing a research to translate the VMD package from english to spanish or catalan, and I'm interested to know if there is anyone that's doing the same and could help me. Anyway It will be so grateful, If you can suggest me how can I start working.
> Thanks.
> Alba Colet Subirachs.
> Barcelona, Spain
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