Localising your application

Some time ago, while working on an abandoned project (which, I have to admit honestly, turned out to be too laborious and complicated for me at that point) I had worked out a method to localise the program using XML files. That worked perfectly okay but only recently I have that there are way easiest methods to achieve that.
Let’s start with XML method. Available languages have a unique file with all strings stored in. The file is organised as follows:

As you can see each window has a specific section in XML file, and only this section will be loaded when a window is displayed. Every window has a method which loads all related strings:

Drawbacks of this method are clearly visible: you have to write a method which will load all strings from XML file. And you have to be extremely careful not to omit any text you want to display. It worked but not effectively at all.

There is other much simpler method which I found at AltControlDelete.pl. It uses resource files and System.Globalization. General idea is that you create individual *.resx file for each language: Lang.resx for default (English) language and Lang.xx-XX.resx, where xx-XX is the name of a culture (for instance, pl-PL for Polish). What’s important is that access modifier for those files must be set as public as shown below.

These files must be stored in one folder (let say “Languages”). Now, you need to include them in your source code and you’re ready to use these strings in your code:

To use it with XAML you need to add appropriate namespace to Window element in XAML file:

Now, to switch between languages you need to change Culture in your process:

Of course, you need to build your app in a way that user has the possibility to switch between languages as he intends.

That’s about it. The method with *.resx files is much simpler and most of all quicker and to some point less prone to omissions and mistakes. Of course, there are other methods (for instance, Mulitilingual app toolkit  from Microsoft) but this one seems to me that is easy enough and does not require any add-on or third-party software other than Visual Studio).

This post is based on articles available at www.altcontroldelete.pl by Jerzy Piechowiak.