New this week, in our blog and our newsletter: the interview of the month. Members of our team will alternately answer your questions! This week, Matthieu begins, and talks about the internationalization of PrestaShop.
One of your missions is to work on the PrestaShop international compatibility. Can you tell us about it in a few words?
A few words I'm afraid no, that's too much complex But I'll try to make it short.
Although the development team is based on Paris, France, our ambition has always been to make PrestaShop a real international project. Therefore our main goal is to satisfy merchants, taking care of the different countries and cultures' requirements.
At the moment each country has its own e-commerce laws and each culture has its own specificities (language, writing convention...).
There are some attempts to uniform this mish-mash (we can have a look on the European Union) but we are far away from a worldwide universality. We are facing issues both legals and culturals.
My mission is to identify each of those issues and to solve a maximum of them in the best way regarding PrestaShop (and its technologies) technical constraints.
I would like to precise that I am not in charge of language/translation management which is an important part by itself. We should thanks Patric and Lucas who are the ones in charge
Which are the PrestaShop main parts concerned with this compatibility issue?
There is a lot of them. Firstly we can talk about legal issues: the tax management (which may be radicaly different from one country to another), the legal display obligations to customers (terms and conditions, opt-in...), the reference display obligations (merchant/customer IDs, public health insurance ID, tax ID...) or even the order process modification.
Secondly there are the cultural issues: each language has its own charset (e.g., « alphabet ») and its own display conventions (e.g., numbers, dates, addresses).
We can assume that to progress effectively on the PrestaShop internationalization, the community support is really helpful to you. What are their contribution possibilities?
Everything is useful! Concretly, a simple post, or a complementary reply to an existing thread on the forum « Taxes and Laws », explaining how your country's tax works (as well about products, vouchers/discount coupons, shipping cost's as about handling cost's) and/or talking about its applicable e-commerce laws will already be a real help for me
What are the main difficulties of this mission?
It is clearly the tax management and order process. Indeed those parts are really close to the PrestaShop's core and cannot simply be « configured » via the framework. We have to rewrite some core parts in order to acheive our aim.
The main issue is that cultures' rules can easily conflict with each others. This all about conceiving modifications before implementing them. That means identifying a maximum of issues before starting any development.