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Refactoring Multilanguage Documents

Documents that are multilanguage store a copy of their translated fields for each locale. When you refactor documents and to change fields to become translated or no longer translated, the data in PHPCR needs to be migrated.

A command line tool and a class are provided to help with this task.

New in version 1.3

The command and helper class where introduced in PHPCR-ODM 1.3.


As always with data migrations, create a backup before you attempt to migrate the live data. If there is a bug or you make a mistake, data could be destroyed otherwise.

The first step is to update the translation metadata (add or remove the translated attribute of a field mapping, or change the translation strategy declaration on the class mapping). The conversion tool converts to the current state. Sometimes it can guess the previous state, sometimes you will need to provide that information.

Once this is done, use the command line tool doctrine:phpcr:document:convert-translation. If you need additional logic, you can also write your own PHP code that instantiates Doctrine\ODM\PHPCR\Tools\Helper\TranslationConverter and calls its convert method. If you do the later, make sure to read the phpdoc on the convert method.

Converting Untranslated Fields to be Translated

First, add the translated mapping attribute for the fields that should become translated. If the document had no translated fields previously, you also need to define a translator strategy on the class mapping, as explained in multilanguage support.

Now you can run the command to make fields translated. It will copy the current untranslated value of the fields into all locales specified in the --locales option. From this, editors can adjust translations in specific languages.

Assuming you have a Acme\Document\Article with the fields title and body that was previously not translated at all, the command looks as follows:

$ ./vendor/bin/phpcrodm doctrine:phpcr:document:convert-translation "Acme\\Document\\Article" --locales=en

If a document is already translated but new fields become translated, you can limit which fields to convert using the fields option to the command.

To continue with the previous example, lets assume you had a field furtherInfo that you did not translate but now realize needs being translated as well. Add the translated attribute and then run:

$ ./vendor/bin/phpcrodm doctrine:phpcr:document:convert-translation "Acme\\Document\\Article" --locales=en --fields=furtherInfo

Removing Translation from a Field

To remove translation from a field, adjust the field mapping to not provide the translated attribute anymore. As long as the class mapping specifies the translation strategy, you can just specify what field to update. Assume you have a field furtherInfo that you changed from translated to untranslated:

$ ./vendor/bin/phpcrodm doctrine:phpcr:document:convert-translation "Acme\\Document\\Article" --fields=furtherInfo

The command will request the translation of the field in the current locale, with fallback order as configured.

If your whole document should no longer be translated, you can remove the document translator configuration and the translated attribute from all fields. You then need to specify all fields that need to be converted back, as well as the translation strategy that was used:

$ ./vendor/bin/phpcrodm doctrine:phpcr:document:convert-translation "Acme\\Document\\Article" --fields=furtherInfo,title,body --previous-strategy=attribute

Changing the Translation Strategy

To convert from one translation strategy to another, update the document to specify the new strategy, and pass the old strategy on the command line:

$ ./vendor/bin/phpcrodm doctrine:phpcr:document:convert-translation "Acme\\Document\\Article" --locales=en --previous-strategy=attribute