Recap of Multilingual Drupal Code Sprint in Montreal

Sep 30, 2011 · by Suzanne Kennedy Dergacheva

This September, to kick off Drupal Camp Montreal 2011, the Montreal Drupal community held our first large-scale Drupal code sprint. The sprint was held from September 14-16 at Notman House and carried on at the camp until September 18th. The sprint was spearheaded by Gábor Hojtsy who is leading the Drupal 8 Multilingual intiative. Francesco Placella, who has contributed to Drupal 7’s field translation API as well as the Entity Translation module, was also a key contributor.

In Quebec, support for multilingual websites is extremely important as most projects include some type of multilingual user interface and content. Holding a code sprint for the multilingual initiative was a perfect opportunity for our community to contribute to Drupal. Overall, there were over 15 contributors who attended the code sprint including developers, UX designers, site builders, and new-comers to Drupal. Our whole team participated in the sprint and three of our developers attended all five days of the sprint.

The code sprint covered a lot of ground, including documentation, UX improvements, and patches to Drupal core and the Entity Translation module. UX improvements were proposed for installing new languages and configuring languages in Drupal. Core development was done to improve how various Drupal APIs handle language. Since most Drupal developers don't have experience with multilingual, this is key to improving Drupal's overall multilingual support. For an overview of all the progress made, read Gábor’s summary of the sprint or watch his presentation from the camp on the Drupal 8 Multilingual initiative. Here’s a summary of our contributions:


Logan Smyth worked on creating new functions for managing multilingual field items (, adding support for Javascript versions of t and formatPlural (, moving the language domain and prefix settings to the language negotiation configuration page (, and creating a new API for managing Locale source and target strings (

Tavish Armstrong worked on language handling in the form API (, the API for deleting languages (, and compatibility between Node Clone and Entity Translation (

Thomas Getgood, our newest developer, worked on a patch to enable bulk field language updates when switching field translatability for the Entity Translation module (


Suzanne Kennedy, our front-end developer, worked on multilingual documentation with Sylvain Aube of Whisky Echo Bravo. Together, they cleaned up the existing documentation and added pages on Entity Translation ( They also pushed to make the Drupal multilingual documentation guide a top-level handbook on, which it now is. You can learn more about the Entity Translation module and how it compares to Content Translation from Suzanne’s presentation at DrupalCamp Montreal.

Thank You!

The sprint was a huge success, and a great milestone for the Montreal Drupal community. In addition to learning more about the multilingual intiative and how languages are handled in Drupal 7 and 8, we learnt a lot about contributing to Drupal, issue queue management using IRC, and how to write tests. Thanks to Francesco and Gábor for making the trip to Montreal from across the Atlantic! Thanks to Notman House for providing the venue for the first three days of the sprint, and McGill for hosting the camp and sprint over the weekend. The Drupal Association also provided us a community cultivation grant, which paid for Francesco's flight from Italy and Acquia flew in Gábor Hojtsy from Hungary as part of their sponsorship of the camp.

We’re looking forward to helping organize another sprint in Montreal in the near future!

Suzanne Kennedy Dergacheva

About the author, Suzanne Dergacheva

As co-founder and front-end lead at Evolving Web for the past 9 years, Suzanne is responsible for defining and implementing both the information architecture and the visual elements of websites and web applications. She manages the creation of Drupal sites from module selection and configuration to integration and custom development.

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