Talking WordPress language packs with Andrew Nacin (at WordCamp London 2013)

Remember WordPress 3.7 introducing automatic core updates as the new feature? There was another new core feature in that release, and whereas it hasn’t been talked about too much up until today, it may have at least just as much impact in the future.

That feature is called “language packs”, and aside from multilingual WordPress it could easily be assumed the most wanted feature for non-english spoken users and communities world-wide.

At WordCamp London 2013 we’ve got a chance to speak with WordPress Lead Developer Andrew Nacin about language packs and their potential in a WordPress ecosystem where around 65%* of users use WordPress in English while only around 10% of the world population speak English at all.

* The correct number of 66% of users using WordPress in English mentioned by Nacin actually relates to WordPress.com statistics. We have not found any statistics yet on how many of all self-hosted WordPress installations use English compared to other languages. Comments and/or reliable sources are much appreciated, although we’re aware those might be hard to obtain as self-hosted installations usually are not supposed to “phone home” in any sort of way.

In a nutshell, language packs are going to be served through the automated update introduced in 3.7, thus separating the update process of language files from the release cycle of core, plugins and themes.

As Andrew points out, there is not much there yet of the final feature, but the groundwork in core has been laid in 3.7.

I would love it if the very first step when you’re installing WordPress is:
“What’s your language?”
—Andrew Nacin

For those of you who don’t know exactly who Andrew is and what he does for WordPress we’ve started out with a few questions regarding a typical work day in the life of a Nacin. 😉

The interview was taken at Mozilla Spaces during Contributor Day on November 24th, 2013. We’d like to thank the organiser team of WordCamp London for providing the space, and of course Andrew for devoting a significant portion of his WordCamp time to answer our questions.

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Caspar has contributed to customer happiness at MarketPress. When he’s not providing plugin and theme support, he can be found at WordCamps and other community events.

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