Custom wiki styles | Documentation index | Local customizations

PmWiki supports internationalization (internationalisation) of web pages, allowing accented characters to appear in page names and almost complete customization of PmWiki’s prompts. Most customization is provided via the XLPage() function in PmWiki, which loads a set of translation variables from a wiki page (typically named XLPage, but it can be named anything you wish).

Loading Translation Pages

Pages for many other languages have already been created and maintained at the site. You can download an archive of these translations from . Simply download the appropriate language archive(s), and unpack the archive(s) into the directory containing your pmwiki.php installation. Each archive contains a number of page files that are placed in your wikilib.d/ directory, and some special scripts for translations that use a character set other than iso-8859–1 (PmWiki’s default). You can also use UTF-8 charset.

Once the translation pages are installed, you enable a language by adding a call to XLPage() in your config.php file. For example, to select French language prompts, one would specify


which says to load the translations for French (‘fr’) from the page PmWikiFr.XLPage?. It’s perfectly okay to load multiple pages; so if you want to create your own local translations without changing the ones you got from from an i18n archive, just create another page (see below) and load it on top. Be sure that you load first the page with your local changes:

XLPage('fr','PmWikiFr.XLPageLocal');  # my local translations
XLPage('fr','PmWikiFr.XLPage');       # from i18n.tgz

If your intention is to offer multiple languages on your site, and use Wiki Groups as language selectors, you may want to place this code in local customizations files (see PerGroup Customizations). For example, if your site is published in French and English, and the French pages are in a group called Fr, you could create a file named Fr.php in the local/ directory which contains:

<?php if (!defined('PmWiki')) exit();
##change to French language

You may wish to create a page called PmwikiFr.php with the same content to access the French documentation in the PmwikiFr group. En.php is not necessary in this case since English is the default language.

An alternative to the above would be to add to config.php the following, which tests if there is an XLPage in a group, and if it finds one it gets loaded:

$xlpage = FmtPageName('$Group.XLPage', $pagename);
if (PageExists($xlpage)) XLPage($xlpage, $xlpage);

With this method you would need to copy any relevant XLPage into any group which needs the different language support.

See also Cookbook:MultiLanguage

Creating New Translations

If language pages don’t exist for your desired language, it’s easy to create one! An XLPage translation file simply contains lines of the form

'phrase' => 'translated phrase',

where “phrase” is an internationalized phrase (denoted by $[phrase]) in PmWiki’s $…Fmt variables, and “translated phrase” is what should be printed in your particular language. For example, the line (in PmWikiFr.XLPage)

'Search' => 'Rechercher',

converts “$[Search]” to “Rechercher” on output. The file PmWiki:XLPageTemplate is a good starting point for creating a new XLPage and has most of PmWiki’s key phrases already listed in it.

If you create new versions of PmWiki pages in other languages, please consider adding them to the main PmWiki site so that they can be made available to others in the i18n archives!

The term “i18n” is commonly used as an abbreviation for the English word “internationalization”. The abbreviation is derived from the fact that there are 18 letters between the “i” and the final “n” and few people want to type them all out.

Enabling “Special” Characters in WikiLinks

To enable “special” characters like for example German umlauts in WikiLinks, it is necessary to configure the server locale to ensure that PmWiki uses the proper character set definition.

If this is not possible due to limited access to the server configuration, PmWiki can be configured to use a specific locale by using the XLPage options (see XLPageTemplate).

For German umlauts, you’d need for example:

Note that the locale identifier depends on the operation system and perhaps on the specific installation.


Q If my wiki is internationalized by config.php, how do I revert a specific group to English?

Use $XLLangs = array('en'); in the group’s per group customization file.

Q If my wiki is in English and I want just one page, or group, in Spanish do I say XLPage('es','PmWikiEs.XLPage'); in the group or page configuration file?

Yes, that is usually the best method. If you were doing this with many scattered pages, or with several languages, you might find it easier to maintain if you load the translations all in config.php like this:

   $XLLangs = array(‘en’);

Then in each group or page configuration file, you’d just use $XLLangs = array(‘es’); to set the language to use (in this case, Spanish). Note that though this method is easier to maintain, its somewhat slower because it loads all the dictionaries for each page view, even if they won’t be used.

Q What does the first parameter of this function stand for? How can it be used?

The XLPage mechanism allows multiple sets of translations to be loaded, and the first parameter is used to distinguish them.

For example, suppose I want to have translations for both normal French and “Canadian” French. Rather than maintain two entirely separate sets of pages, I could do:

    XLPage(‘fr’, ‘PmWikiFr.XLPage’);
    XLPage(‘fr-ca’, ‘PmWikiFrCa.XLPage’);

PmWikiFr.XLPage would contain all of the standard French translations, while PmWikiFrCA.XLPage would only need to contain “Canada-specific” translations — i.e., those that are different from the ones in the French page.

The first parameter distinguishes the two sets of translations. In addition, a config.php script can use the $XLLangs variable to adjust the order of translation, so if there was a group or page where I only wanted the standard French translation, I can set

    $XLLangs = array(‘fr’, ‘en’);

and PmWiki will use only the ‘fr’ and ‘en’ translations (in that order), no matter how many translations have been loaded with XLPage().

Tools for PmWiki Localization

You can help to localize PmWiki in your language in the original site:

Custom wiki styles | Documentation index | Local customizations

This page may have a more recent version on PmWiki:Internationalizations, and a talk page: PmWiki:Internationalizations-Talk.