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Separating Strings from Standard Graphical User Interface Resources for Translation and Builds

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000117539D
Original Publication Date: 1996-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-31

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Aken, AJ: AUTHOR

Abstract

Disclosed is a utility to extract strings from resource files for translation.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 18% of the total text.

Separating Strings from Standard Graphical User Interface Resources
for Translation and Builds

      Disclosed is a utility to extract strings from resource files
for translation.

      In traditional Graphical User Interface (GUI) resources (i.e.,
for Windows* and S/2**), the text to be translated is imbedded within
control information (code) which should not be modified during
translation.  If these sources are sent for translation, there is the
possibility of making the whole program non-functional.  Direct
translation on these sources will also not allow any error checking
(i.e., for translation space, substitution variables) which may allow
the translators to make changes to the code which will render it
virtually unusable, although still functional.

      It has also been mandated that all Machine Readable Information
(MRI) is to be completely separated from the code at compile time as
well as load time (i.e., it is not enough to have the MRI separated
when it is translated, it must also be separated at shipment time).
This allows multiple languages to be installed simply on the target
machine, and also makes maintenance considerably cheaper (if their is
a code fix to be made, you do not have to make it for all forty
languages).

      There was already in place a process for translating PC MRI
which had completely separated the MRI from the code and performed
much additional error checking after translation.  However, there
were many manual steps in this process, it was difficult to
understand and use, it was prone to errors when trying to get the MRI
back into a usable form by the programs, and it was wholly dependent
on Application Program Interfaces (API's) which shipped with PC
Support for MRI retrieval.

      To correct the above problems, it was necessary to create a
tool which would perform all of these operations in a completely
automated process.  This tool had to maintain the separation of code
and MRI, it had to continue to support the old translation process,
and it had to be easy and quick for development to use.
Additionally, it would be beneficial if this new process would allow
developers to use standard operating system API's to access the
translated information instead of wholly relying on PC Support to be
installed and/or running.

      The tool created to perform these tasks was RC2STR-2.  Although
initially used by development about three months ago, it was just
recently completed and made fully functional.  This tool can take a
set of resource script files (from either OS/2 or Windows) for a
product, extract all of the translatable text from these files,
create a STRINGTABLE with this text, create the MRI file which is
sent to the translation centers, and build a Data Link Library (DLL)
from the MRI file if that option is selected.  There are also
additional tags which can be added to your resources which will
either prevent text from being translated, limit the translation
expa...