The new Energizer website has been the most difficult, and certainly the largest, project I've worked on to date, spanning 32 regions of Europe and covering 9 languages. From the beginning of this project I've been involved at a core level in the development aspect. This included creating the database schema to handle the content in a multi-lingual manner that allowed as much flexibility with the content as possible, and creating the framework that handled this content for both the traditional desktop and mobile versions of the site.
As well as writing the large majority of the code for this site, I also had a hand in creating in-house documentation for it to span the requirements of both the project managers and fellow developers.
The core aspect of the website is that it contains content for many European regions, in languages that I don't speak, and because of this we needed a method to manage the translations in a way that this wouldn't be an issue. To accomplish this, I created scripts in PHP to export content directly from the database into a series of XML files. These were then given to a 3rd-party translating company who returned them with the textual content translated. From there, XSL stylesheets were used to convert the returned XML into SQL statements that were run against the database. This saved a huge amount of time over having to copy/paste the content (which I did in a similar previous project) and meant that all the client deadlines could be met, and beat on occasion.
As part of my wrap-up for the site, I produced in-depth documentation on how to implement new languages and how to use the scripts I produced to generate the necessary XML and SQL, as well as produce an organised visual database schema diagram which explained the relationship across the 32 tables used. This was an invaluable tool to the rest of the team once I had left Them.
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