Yes, modifying the Mail template is to be avoided at all costs. But sometimes the customer needs changes. The scenario we had was a customer requiring CommonStore and DUCS design elements in the same template, and there was nothing available off the shelf. I had information about the design elements that needed adding, so it should have been straightforward. Except it was multi-lingual, in ten languages (including English), initially in two templates. Fortunately the customer only wanted English messages, they did not have the time to get it translated.

First, in all cases document the changes, because even if you’re still around when the customer migrates to a later version, chances are you won’t remember what you did. And if it’s someone else who has to pick up the job, make sure they have cause to curse you.

Second, try to put your documentation in a place you’ll find it, even by accident!

Because, typically, this week I’m reproducing the changes in single-language templates for each of the ten languages. And I just happened to come across the notes I made about four months ago when I did it.

For those of you who haven’t looked at a multi-lingual Mail template, it looks like this: 
Multi-Language Script Libraries

If you just need to change existing design elements, it’s the same as changing an English-only mail template. But if you need to add a design element, it gets more complicated. You could use the Domino Global Workbench (which will help identify what content needs translating), but if it’s only a minor change and you haven’t had experience of using the Domino Global Workbench, it’s quite easy to do using Domino Designer.

If you look at the properties of a multi-lingual script library there are two bits that need changing – the Language and the $BabelInfo field. Language is straightforward, it’s on the Design tab. The easiest way to make it available is to copy and paste an existing design element and make the changes you need.

If you look at the $BabelInfo field, you’ll see it has two value, a UNID and a language link. The UNID is the UNID of the English-language version of the design element – just look in the English Mail template. The language link is what is after the underscore (“_”) in the design element name, so for French it’s “fr-FR” for Russian “ru-RU”, for Norwegian “nb-NO”. To set this, just use an agent, like the one below, changing your design element names in the “Like” statements and the English-language element UNID.

This makes the whole process quite quick and straightforward.

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