Plant Base 2 - Language Support

This is work-in-progress! Currently only English plus two others.

The Plant Base 2 program introduced the possibility to support other languages for the user interface.

Changing language is done from the Config Options screen - from the drop-down box. A program re-start is requested to ensure all text is loaded from the selected file.

The program will default to English - it will run without any language files or the language folder.

Note that the language option only applies to the user interface. There are no plans to supply the complete database itself in anything other than English. However, the end-user is already free to modify all data entries with the language of their choice. Certain reference data (colour, growth habit and so on) is also read from the database and therefore not changed when selecting a language, but can be modified. Translations of data elements may be shared by using Import files.

Alternative languages are enabled by external text language files (.lang) stored in the sub-folder "language". The name of the file gives the language that will appear in the selection box of the program config options, for example - a file Deutsch.lang will result in Deutsch appearing in the drop-down list.

The Help file is only English only at the moment. There is provision for alternate language Help files and we hope they will be available at a future time.


Making a language file

The PB2 installation comes with a template.lang  file, giving the English version of the text file. This can be copied, given an appropriate new name and then edited with Notepad to produce a new translation file.

The format is simple - on the left-hand side are keywords, which must not be changed. On the right side of the equals sign, the English text should be replaced by the language translation.

There might be some display problems when translated text has a very different length from the English original - particularly where screen space is limited such as on buttons. The program already makes some allowance for this and will be kept under review. A certain degree of trial-and-error will probably be needed!

Languages using non-European character-sets may not display correctly. The Plant Base program is Unicode compliant, but display is subject to the PC system fonts. All European languages should work and others might - our UK localised test systems allow West and East European, Scandinavian, Greek and Cyrillic characters and more.

 

We are pleased to include language translation files for French and German. Our thanks to Pierre Hamel and Peter Lanz for doing most of the work.

Some parts, mostly late additions, were translated by software or non-fluent helpers - there may be ommisions and mistakes! We would be very happy to recieve corrections or improvements.

We are looking for volunteers to translate all or part of other language files. Contact us if you might be interested.