Flex - Internationalization

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Flex provides two ways to internationalize a Flex application, We'll demonstrate use of Compile time Internationalization being most commonly used among projects.
TechniqueDescription
Compile Time InternationalizationThis technique is most prevalent and requires very little overhead at runtime; is a very efficient technique for translating both constant and parameterized strings;simplest to implement. Compile Time internationalization uses standard properties files to store translated strings and parameterized messages, and these properties files are compiled directly in the application.
Run Time InternationalizationThis technique is very flexible but slower than static string internationalization. You need to compile the localization properties files separately, leave them external to application, and load them at run time.

Workflow of internationalizing a Flex Application

Step 1: Create folder structure

Create a locale folder under src folder of Flex project.This will be the parent directory for all of the properties files for the locales that the application will support. Inside the locale folder, create subfolders, one for each of the application's locales to be supported. The convention for naming a locale is

{language}_{country code}

For example, en_US represents English of the United States. The locale de_DE represents German. The sample application will support two common languages: English, and German

Step 2: Create properties files

Create properties file containing the messages to be used in the application. We've created a HelloWorldMessages.properties file under src > locale > en_US folder in our example.

enterName=Enter your name
clickMe=Click Me
applicationTitle=Application Internationalization Demonstration
greeting=Hello {0}

Create properties files containing translated values specific to locale. We've created a HelloWorldMessages.properties file under src > locale > de_DE folder in our example. This file contains translations in german language. _de specifies the german locale and we're going to support german language in our application.

If you are creating properties file using Flash Builder then change the encoding of the file to UTF-8.Select the file and then right-click in it to open its properties window.Select Text file encoding as Other UTF-8. Apply and Save the change.

enterName=Geben Sie Ihren Namen
clickMe=Klick mich
applicationTitle=Anwendung Internationalisierung Demonstration
greeting=Hallo {0}

Step 3: Specify Compiler options

  • Right-click your project and select Properties.

  • Select Flex Compiler, and add the following to the Additional Compiler Arguments settings:

-locale en_US de_DE
  • Right-click your project and select Properties.

  • Select Flex Build Path, and add the following to the Source Path settings:

src\locale\{locale}

Internalization Example

Now Let us follow the following steps to test Internalization technique in a Flex application:

StepDescription
1Create a project with a name HelloWorld under a package com.tutorialspoint.client as explained in the Flex - Create Application chapter.
2Modify HelloWorld.mxml as explained below. Keep rest of the files unchanged.
3Compile and run the application to make sure business logic is working as per the requirements.

Following is the content of the modified mxml file src/com.tutorialspoint/HelloWorld.mxml.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
   <s:Application xmlns:fx="http://ns.adobe.com/mxml/2009" 
   xmlns:s="library://ns.adobe.com/flex/spark" 
   xmlns:mx="library://ns.adobe.com/flex/mx" 
   minWidth="500" minHeight="500">
   <fx:Metadata>
      [ResourceBundle("HelloWorldMessages")]
   </fx:Metadata> 
   <fx:Style source="/com/tutorialspoint/client/Style.css"/>
   <fx:Script>
      <![CDATA[
         import mx.controls.Alert;
         [Bindable]
         private var locales:Array = [{label:"English", locale:"en_US"},
            {label:"German", locale:"de_DE"}];

         private function comboChangeHandler():void
         {
           resourceManager.localeChain = [localeComboBox.selectedItem.locale];
         }

         protected function clickMe_clickHandler(event:MouseEvent):void
         {
            var name:String = txtName.text;
            var inputArray:Array = new Array();
            inputArray.push(name);
            Alert.show(resourceManager.getString('HelloWorldMessages'
            ,'greeting',inputArray));
         }
      ]]>
   </fx:Script>
   <s:BorderContainer width="500" height="500" id="mainContainer" 
      styleName="container">
      <s:VGroup width="100%" height="100%" gap="50" 
	  horizontalAlign="center" verticalAlign="middle">
         <s:Label id="lblHeader" fontSize="40" 
            color="0x777777" 
            text ="{resourceManager.getString('HelloWorldMessages'
            ,'applicationTitle')}"
            styleName="heading" width="90%" height="150"/>
         <s:Panel width="300" height="150">
            <s:layout>
               <s:VerticalLayout paddingTop="10" paddingLeft="10" />
            </s:layout>
            <s:HGroup >
               <s:Label 
               text="{resourceManager.getString('HelloWorldMessages'
               ,'enterName')}" 
               paddingTop="2"/>			
               <s:TextInput id="txtName"/>
            </s:HGroup>
            <s:Button 
            label="{resourceManager.getString('HelloWorldMessages','clickMe')}" 
            click="clickMe_clickHandler(event)" right="10" />	
         </s:Panel>
         <mx:ComboBox id="localeComboBox" 
         dataProvider="{locales}" change="comboChangeHandler()"/>
      </s:VGroup>	
   </s:BorderContainer>	
</s:Application>

Once you are ready with all the changes done, let us compile and run the application in normal mode as we did in Flex - Create Application chapter. If everything is fine with your application, this will produce following result: [ Try it online ]

flex Internalization

Change the language using language drop down and see the result.

flex Internalization 2

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