Plant Base 2 - Language Support

The Plant Base 2 program now gives the possibility to support other languages for the user interface. This is a new feature and there is still much work to do!

Changing language is done by opening the Config Options screen, selecting from the drop-down box and clicking Apply. This will offer to re-start the program, which is needed to changed the language text throughout the user interface.

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, using the language of their choice. Some of the drop-down box choices (colour, growth habit and so on) are also read from the database and therefore do not change when selecting a language. This data can also be user-modified and to make it easy to switch these to a different language we are planning to provide small import files of translated records.

Alternative languages are provided 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 others 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 a suitable 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 fonts used. All European languages should work and others might - our UK specification test systems accept 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 who can translate all or part of other language files. Contact us if you might be interested.