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change default language revisited

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I know this has been discussed in detail over the years and I read everything I could find about it in the forum. And still, no (straightforward) solution to my scenario.

My situation:

I set up a multilingual events directory site were instructors can sign in and manage their events. There is a core content area which is available in 4 languages. Instructors post their personal info and their events in only one language, but field labels need to be multilanguage. Therefore I need multilanguage page names and fields for them, too. The site has been running on Joomla/Seblod for 3 years already.

I am currently in the process of porting it to PW.

Once this is done, a skeleton of the site will be rolled out in different EU countries, so instructors in those countries have their own PW install to manage events for their country.

Of course, the default language needs to be a different one in each country. And this is where my problem lies.

I have the multilanguage setup with Language Support Page Names module and am working with multi-language fields in a 2.6.23 install.

In the original project, the default language is English. Now I need to make a copy of the site that has German as default.

Solutions that I am aware of are:

1. do a redirect for the default language homepage. For the frontend this is fine except for the /de/ appended to the home page. In the backend, the German users have language German. But German is not the default language. So when a user creates a new event, they will be presented with the German tab open for multi-language fields. When they fill in the title (PageTitleLanguage) and hit save, they get an error "Required value missing" for the title field. Because they only fill in the german title and the default (english) title is still empty, hence the error. So this is actually not a solution.

2. switch the values for multi-language fields by script (like proposed here) and rename the default's language title to "German" and adjust the URLs in the page names of the home page. While this is doable, it requires quite some effort as I will have to do this for every country.

In Joomla/Seblod I can just change the default language with one click in the backend. And I am very much missing this feature in PW  :'(

Finally, my question: Is there any way other than solution 2 to handle the situation? Maybe I missed some new features or maybe someone has come up with a way to truly change the default language programmatically.

Thanks for reading through all of this. Any help would be very much appreciated.

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The thing is, if those sites will be available in different countries you shouldn't even use language support fields. So I'd try it with just removing the "data" column of each field table and renaming "date_langID" to "data". Remove all other language cols and the modules and you should be good to go with a single language site for each language you created.

But keep in mind that you'll still need to have the LanguageSupport module installed to be able to have backend translations, but no other language module should be needed.

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Thank you for your looking into this and for your input.

I still need multilingual for each country because there is a core content section that is the same for all countries. And that core content needs to be available in 4 or more languages in each country. And, honestly, I am a bit scared of manipulating the DB manually. I might break the whole site.

I will experiment with option 2 from my first post and post my findings here. That is, writing a script that swaps language content over. E.g. English content gets swapped with German content. Then just change language titles and URLs on homepage.

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Setting guest language plus swapping localization files won't work? Home page name should be also adjusted.

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@tpr

Thanks for the suggestions.

As I wrote in solution #1 in my first post, from the frontend side that solution would work. But it brings problems in the backend when users with non default language are creating pages. Because page title values only fall back from default to non default languages and not vice versa.

To illustrate this: 

user has language German assigned and creates new event. There he gets presented with the "Deutsch" Tab of the title field where he fills in his title.

post-1920-0-29100100-1447397787_thumb.pn

Now he hits save and gets an error, because there is only a german title and page name. And the default (English) title and page name do not fall back to the german value

post-1920-0-77125800-1447397923_thumb.pn 

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I see. And what if you set all user's default language to the site's default?

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@tpr

Then they would be presented with a backend in English. But they should have the backend in their native language.

I also do page manipulations through frontend forms and there the user language determines for language fields which language to populate.

So your suggestion is not an option.

I am currently writing a language value swap function and will report back here.

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In my language swap function, I iterate over all page fields and swap the languages only for multi language fields

                var_dump($p->id);
		foreach ($p->template->fieldgroup as $field) {
			if($field->type instanceof FieldtypePageTitleLanguage || $field->type instanceof FieldtypeTextareaLanguage) {
				$fieldlog .= " {$field->name}";
				var_dump($p->$field);
				$$langDefault = $p->getLanguageValue($l1);
				$$lang = $p->$field->getLanguageValue($l2); //line 268

				$p->$field->setLanguageValue($l1, $$lang);
				$p->$field->setLanguageValue($l2, $$langDefault);
			}
		}

What is really boggling me is that for some pages that all have the same template basic-page, this code works fine. But for others it throws an error

Fatal error: Call to a member function getLanguageValue() on string in /var/www/utgpw/site/templates/convert.php on line 268

the var_dump reveals

int 27
object(LanguagesPageFieldValue)[372]
  public 'default' => string '404 Not Found' (length=13)
  public 'de' => string '' (length=0)
  public 'fr' => string '' (length=0)
  public 'es' => string '' (length=0)
object(LanguagesPageFieldValue)[395]
  public 'default' => string '' (length=0)
  public 'de' => string '' (length=0)
  public 'fr' => string '' (length=0)
  public 'es' => string '' (length=0)
int 1421
object(LanguagesPageFieldValue)[376]
  public 'default' => string 'Mantak Chia' (length=11)
  public 'de' => string '' (length=0)
  public 'fr' => string '' (length=0)
  public 'es' => string '' (length=0)
string '<p>test</p>' (length=11)

For the same field of type TextAreaLanguage in one case "$p->$field" returns an opject and in the other case a string. Now why is that?

Pages where this happens have been imported through the API. I can't pull up the code that I used for the import because it is some time ago. The affected pages are working fine in the frontend, though.

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Maybe the output formatting is randomly enabled? That's the only reason I can imagine, that would change the fields' data output.

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No, I set $p->of(false) just before these operations. I also tried with including $p->of(false) in the foreach. 

EDIT:

@LostKobraKai : thank you!

I changed my foreach to

		foreach ($p->template->fieldgroup as $field) {
			if($field->type instanceof FieldtypePageTitleLanguage || $field->type instanceof FieldtypeTextareaLanguage) {
				$fieldlog .= " {$field->name}";
				var_dump($p->$field);
				$p->of(false);
				$$langDefault = $p->$field->getLanguageValue($l1);
				$$lang = $p->$field->getLanguageValue($l2);

			 	$p->$field->setLanguageValue($l1, $$lang);
				$p->$field->setLanguageValue($l2, $$langDefault);
			}
		}

Strange, when I tested earlier, I had the $p->of(false) before the if statement and it wouldn't do.

EDIT again:

And now I suddenly get the error again, on a different page even with $p->of(false) in place.

I just found that after reloading the edit screen for the page in the backend, the error disappears.

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Now I found a pattern.

When I have the var_dump($p->$field); in place, it is working. When I comment it out, I get the error. What can that be?

EDIT:

I don"t even need the $p->of(false) in the foreach loop. As long as thje var_dump is in place, the error is gone.

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Not sure if it's a problem, but I'd not use those dynamic variable names, but rather just $lang, $langDefault.

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Replacing the dynamic variable names didn't help either.

I observe that this is happening only for some pages. Now I need to go and find out what these pages have in common or what makes them different from the pages that are working.

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I managed to successfully change my default language  O0

Everything went quite smoothly, except for some strange errors that I desribed above and which might be related to my particular environment.

Here my complete function for swapping a language with the default language. Instructions for necessary steps after swapping languages are included. 

 
<?php

function swapLanguages($pages, $lang) {

	$startTime = microtime(true);
	$langDefault = "default";
	$log = ["languages" => "Swap field values for language {$langDefault} with {$lang}", "pages" =>[]];
	$languages = wire("languages");
	// get languages
	$l1 = $languages->get($langDefault);
	$l2 = $languages->get($lang);

	foreach ($pages as $p) {

		$log["pages"][$p->id] = "";
		$fieldlog = " name";

		$p->of(false);

		// swap page names
		$nameDefault = $p->localName($l1);
		$name = $p->localName($l2);

		if($nameDefault != $name && !empty($name)) {
			$p->set("name",$name);
			$p->set("status$l2",1);
			$p->set("name$l2",$nameDefault);
		} elseif($nameDefault != $name && empty($name)) {
			$p->set("status$l2",1);
			$p->set("name$l2",$nameDefault);
		}
		// iterate through all fields and swap multi language field values
		foreach ($p->template->fieldgroup as $field) {

			if($field->type instanceof FieldtypePageTitleLanguage || $field->type instanceof FieldtypeTextareaLanguage || $field->type instanceof TextLanguage) {
				$fieldlog .= " {$field->name}";
				// var_dump($p->$field); // needed this for some pages otherwise they threw an error
				// $p->of(false); // needed this for some pages otherwise they threw an error
				$langDefault = $p->$field->getLanguageValue($l1);
				$lang = $p->$field->getLanguageValue($l2);

				if( $langDefault != $lang && !empty($lang) && !empty($langDefault) ) {
					$p->$field->setLanguageValue($l1, $lang);
					$p->$field->setLanguageValue($l2, $langDefault);
				} elseif( $langDefault != $lang && empty($lang) ) {
					$p->$field->setLanguageValue($l2, $langDefault);
				} elseif( $langDefault != $lang && empty($langDefault) ) { // only needed this for pages that got created through API and had no default lang value set
					$p->$field->setLanguageValue($l1, $lang);
				}
			}
		}
		
		try {
			$p->save();
			$log["pages"][$p->id] = "Swapped values in fields: {$fieldlog}";
		} catch (Exception $e) {
			$log["pages"][$p->id] =  'Error: ' .  $e->getMessage();
		}

		$p->of(true);
	}

	// write logfile
	$logfile = fopen(wire("config")->paths->logs . "swaplanguage-log.txt", "w") or die("Unable to open file!");

	$iterator = new RecursiveIteratorIterator(new RecursiveArrayIterator($log));
	foreach($iterator as $key => $value) {
		fwrite($logfile, "$key => $value\n");
	}

	fclose($logfile);

	$time_elapsed = microtime(true) - $startTime;

	echo "Finished after {$time_elapsed} seconds";

}

/* Usage:
// swapLanguages($pages->find("template=basic-page, parent=1, include=all"), "de");
// argument 1: pages array
// argument 2: language name that you want to swap with the default language
// A log file will be written to site/assets/logs/swaplanguage-log.txt.
// It contains page IDs and fields that were swapped for each page
*/

/*
// After executing this function for all required pages, following steps are needed:
// 1. load core translation files for the language that is now your default (e.g. german translation files) to Setup->languages->default
// 2. change titles of the default Language to your language (e.g. Deutsch) and the language that got swapped (e.g. English)
// 3. if default language was English before swapping: delete core translation files for the language that you swapped
// 4. if default language was not English before swapping: load the core translation files for that language
// 4. in settings for home page, change the URL for your default language and the language that you have swapped.
// Example: 
// Before swapping: default was en, swap language was de 
// After swapping: default is now de, swapped language is now en
*/
 

The function will swap page names and the contents of multi-language fields TextAreaLanguage and PageTitleLanguage.

If any of you know a more generic way of checking whether a field is multi language, other than

if($field->type instanceof FieldtypePageTitleLanguage || $field->type instanceof FieldtypeTextareaLanguage)

that would be great.

The function is also available as swap-languages.php gist

EDIT: Added field type TextLanguage to the fields that will be processed.

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I am still investigating the strange behaviour of placing a var_dump() in the code preventing the error like I described in #11

Reading up on var_dump() in the PHP docs, I found this:

Note that var_dump reset()'s array internal pointer!

In the foreach that loops through the page fields, why does resetting the internal pointer of the fields array make a difference and what can I change in my code to avoid the error in the first place?

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A near-oneclick solution to change the default language (specifically frontend) in PW would be really neat!

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I don't know if this is useful

but my approach would be this:

make a different site profile for the correct default language

a site profile with the default as english, spanish, french, etc.

share the common fields, templates and components and then

just change the default language as needed.

later install different pw installation with the site profile that the language need.

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...and then

just change the default language as needed.

How would you do that? I'd be curious to know ;)

I don't mean to offend you here. Its just that my OP and the whole thread is about finding a way how to easily - or like you put it - "just" change the default language.

This can get quite complex when you already have contents for your different languages.

I really tried to find everything in the forum related to this task. And the solution I came up with is the script I posted above.

I'd be happy to find an easier way.

Your suggestion with one site profile per language can work. But then initially setting up 1 profile per language is quite a time consuming task.

I used my script to switch the default language like described in #14. And it works.

But still, and I second ivanr here, it would be fabulous to have a switch in the backend that "just" changes the default language in an easy manner :)

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But still, and I second ivanr here, it would be fabulous to have a switch in the backend that "just" changes the default language in an easy manner :)

Exactly. Meanwhile, I will test out your script on a test-install and see how it goes. Thanks for posting.

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@dragan,

I tested it with the multilang profile that ships with PW and it worked.

Would be happy to hear how it goes for you.

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Sorry for bumping and old topic... but it seems there is still no language-module features for swapping languages with the default? I had this issue and found that dealing with PW databases was the fastest route for me:

To swap language strings repeat this SQL for each multilanguage field:

UPDATE field_FIELDNAME s1, field_FIELDNAME s2 SET s1.data = s1.data123, s1.data123 = s2.data WHERE s1.pages_id = s2.pages_id;

FIELDNAME is your fieldname in PW and data123 is the column name for the language your are swapping the default for. Just check any multilanguage field table to see the correct column name. Finally to swap page names run this SQL:

UPDATE pages s1, pages s2 SET s1.name = s1.name123, s1.name123 = s2.name WHERE s1.id = s2.id AND s1.name123 IS NOT NULL

Obviously it is risky to tamper with databases, but this approach saved me lots of work with a big site with reasonably few fields.

The language-module should have this sort of swappery built-in.

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@mscore if you think this should be included in the core module, you should send an issue or feature request at Github, to get better recognition!

And many thanks for sharing this solution! ^-^

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On 3/22/2018 at 7:40 PM, mscore said:

Sorry for bumping and old topic... but it seems there is still no language-module features for swapping languages with the default? I had this issue and found that dealing with PW databases was the fastest route for me:

Thanks a lot for this solution @mscore! I've just switched successfully my default language from English to German by this. The only remaining step seemed to be moving "German" to the first position of "Languages" in the page tree, then I also get the "German" tab at first position when editing a text.

I really can't understand why this is no PW default feature yet -- this feature was essential for finishing my site migration to PW, and my fear of wrecking my content by a dirty workaround delayed my project probably by several months!

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I still found a weird bug after having changed the default language by SQL: The "Language Support - Tabs" module doesn't work correctly any more. It does show the tabs, but on each tab the fields for both languages are shown, too.

Does anybody have a clue why this could be?

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10 hours ago, FlorianA said:

Does anybody have a clue why this could be?

There are some quirks regarding this issue, please read this report, particularly the last two comments of mine:

https://github.com/processwire/processwire-issues/issues/668

EDIT: I posted this too early by accident.

Edited by szabesz
EDIT I posted this too early by accident.
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