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6.1 Use a "Scaling" or "Test Card" Language

A useful technique in the development of standards and practices for multilingual applications development, is the use of a "scaling" or "test card" language.

To do this, you just invent a "new" language.

The recommended identifier is LLL and the description should be something like "Scaling / Testcard Language".

The LLL language sets the standards and scaling sizes for all other languages.

For example, when you put a new field in the dictionary you would also specify its description, label and column headings in the "LLL" language as rows of "LLLLLLLLL"s or "XXXXXXXXXX"s.

This information establishes the application designer's scaling limits for the maximum lengths of descriptions, labels and column headings.

All other language's details, whether filled in now or later, must conform to the scaling limits established by the designer in the scaling or test card language.

It may also be useful to set up the environment for application developers so that they actually do all initial development in the scaling language.

This may have several benefits for the developers: