First off I think there needs to be an admin section for activating or deactivating languages on the site. Currently the system goes out (I believe) and looks at the /languages dir to see what global files are there. This is where the selection items come from on the home page. Where this is fine for the current system you will see in a moment why more is needed.
Web Links and Downloads
For multi-lingual selection results to work then obviously there would need to be fields in the link and download item tables to designate what language those items belonged to. So, when a user or admin adds a new item they will need to select via a pull-down which language. That's where the admin configuration of active languages would come in. Why not just have them all listed? Well I suppose you could. But to be honest I really don't want the pull-down to have languages like Klingon and Swahili, when I know for a fact they won't be represented in the results. It would be a waste.
Forums - Why duplicate Hierarchy?
The next idea is a little more radical as I haven't seen any sites or forums employing this yet. Using basically the same idea above. Create a language field in say the "topics" table. Anyone who creates a new topic would either select a language from the same pull-down, or the language would simply default to whatever their $currentlang setting was.
The benefits would be that for sites with a lot of hierarchal structure, that this would not have to be duplicated etc. to give users equal depth and categorization.
What about the Main Headings?
The one stumbling block (and perhaps this is why it has never successfully been done to date) are the name designations for the hierarchal structure. For example:
1. Cool Sites
2. Image Galleries
3. Web Development
In the above example you would need a way to be able to apply alternate name designations for the various languages your site supported. But...this is where that active language list would come into play again. If your site only has 2-10 languages then supplying names for each of the lang. versions would not be too cumbersome.
This system could also be applied to the Main Menu multi-lingual function in that case.
If anyone is willing to work on this from a development standpoint I would be happy to help with the project management and UI designs. I can hack code pretty well but this is more project than I am willing to take on by myself.
Primarily I would just like to see what everyone thinks of this idea. A similar point was just made on PHPNuke and it would be a shame to see them offer this functionality first.
Thanks for reading.