Friends, thank you for commenting. I read all your comments but I think many of you are missing the point of my Wish List. Some folks hate my “essays” but that’s just my way. So here’s the whole story…
For decades (yes, “decades”) I have built, translated and managed dual websites for my employer. I am not exclusively a web designer, actually. I am really an electrical engineer who just happens to be somewhat of a jack-of-all-trades and tries to save the company money where possible. So I was the self-appointed web designer of both my current employer and prior employer here in Japan all the way back into the 1990’s. I found SoftPress Freeway in 1999 and was dumbstruck with how great the app was back then. I was able to get many changes made to the app, and even brought it to Japan and did translation work on the printed documentation and the UI. I was also on their beta list for decades. Then the company went under and I eventually made my way to Blocs. I am a 100% Blocs user now. (No need to question my loyalty to Blocs – I really love Blocs now. I do!)
Through those years, I maintained dual language websites. Currently, my employer has two domains, so I build and maintain a total of 4 websites. Two are Japanese and two are English. We are based in Japan, so naturally I spend the most time on the Japanese sites. I write all the English content myself, in addition to shooting all the photos and videos, and even designing the vector art too. In fact, I even created all of the English product documentation and made the template design for our Japanese documentation. Pretty much all the website work is my doing. I have complete control.
Much of that work is still in Freeway format. I am slowly rebuilding the sites, page by page, in Blocs, to make everything modern and responsive. But there are things I can do very easy in Freeway that I cannot do AT ALL in Blocs, and that it really frustrates me. (And no, I am not going to consider RapidWeaver or another web design app. I am a Blocs-only guy now. I’m sticking with Blocs.) Please also know that my words are in no way, shape or form some kind of knock against Blocs. I am basically sharing my own internal feelings with you folks so we can work together and figure out some solution that perhaps will not only benefit me, but for everyone else who uses Blocs and reads this public forum. Sometimes I can post in this forum and find a way to rethink the problem to build a workaround. And if I can find that with regard to my language switching text link, that would be great.
So just to clarify…
I don’t want machine translation. Nothing beats a human.
I don’t want anything automated because nothing automated can translate text inside graphics and made it look lovely to behold.
I don’t want machine translation because our Japanese web pages target Japanese speakers in Japan whereas our English pages target folks outside Japan. So because the content differs a bit, machine translation is impossible.
All said, my Wish List request has NOTHING to do with automated translation whatsoever.
My Wish is a lot more simple than many of you seem to be thinking. All I want is what I wrote in my opening post. My navigation bar atop my pages and the navi bar in the foot is complex. It really needs to be placed on every page automatically by the Global Content Area. I am not about to manually put that on every single page in my site and then change every single page in my site when I need to alter the navigation menus. No way! I want it to be Globally applied. But as you can see from my Blocs-made sites, I have that text link in the navi header and navi footer that takes people to the alternate language site. That text link works, but it’s the same old URL on every page, so if you spent 10 minutes digging down in my site and then decide to language switch, you’ll be taken to the top page of the alternate language site, which is, quite frankly, really troublesome for the user to have to deal with.
On my Freeway sites, the Global Content Area is called Master Pages, and it works somewhat similar to Blocs. The fundamental difference is that I can selectively delink content from the Master. Hence, I am able to get the Master to automatically place the English or Japanese clickable button in the header, but then I can customize the URL on that button individually for every page, and that change will stick, yet all other globally applied content remains unchanged and fully linked to the global area. The beauty of that approach is that no matter where you are in the website, all you need to do is just click the language button to immediately get my custom-made alternate language page for the page you are on.
Again, this is not a knock against Blocs or complaining. This is open analysis for consideration, that is all. I want to figure out an easy way to accomplish in Blocs what I am able to do in Freeway with regard to global contact and selective delinking from that Global Content so I can get a more intuitive clickable language switching text link in my globally applied Header and Footers. For now, I cannot see a good workaround, hence my Wish List post. If you have additional ideas in light of what I have written, I’d love to hear them!