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Acid Test Pseudo Translated Resource File 

The ResMe String Extractor Enterprise version includes the ability to automatically generate a pseudo translated "acid" version of your Resource file that will perform a worst case translation on all strings within the Resource file. This is an especially important test to run early in your development cycle to help weed out localization problems before localization begins. Look at a sample application with the normal Resource file versus the Acid Resource file.

How It Works
A special Acid.res Resource file that is compatible with your project is generated along with the true Resource file. Each character of all the resource strings in the Acid Resource file has  been converted into a "$" character to simulate localization to the "$$$$" language. This gives the affect of having your application translated into an unintelligible foreign language. There are three reasons why this pseudo translation acid test is important:

Missed User Interface Strings
It is easy to arrest User Interface strings that should have been put in the Resource file. When the acid resource file is used in your program, all user interface strings should appear as "$". Any text that appears normal, i.e. still in English, has been overlooked by the ResMe String Extractor and will not be translated into the target language. There should be no intelligible text viewable in the application except for externally supplied information such as file names, file data, database data, and any system messages. (Windows 2000 and NT 5.0 is rumored to better handle system messages in other languages, as in common dialogs.)

Intertwined User Interface and Program Control
The Acid.res file also helps detect translation code breakers. While it is undesirable, it is common to have program control based on the contents of some user interface messages. Any string comparison test based on user interface string will cause serious problems when the application is localized to a foreign language. Consider how this application would behave after the program was translated to double-byte Japanese. The Kanji characters would never match any of the English string comparisons.

Select Case Form.Caption
   Case "Open"

   Case "Save"
End Select

If 0 = Instr(frmMain.Caption, "Help") Then

String Size Differences
In addition to the foreign appearance of the "$" strings, each Resource string's length is increased by 30%. The reason for this is that a translated string will often be longer than the original string. This is especially true when translating from English to German. The Acid.res file will help give an idea of what kinds of space and size problems can be introduced when an application is translated to a foreign language.


Subtle Problems

If you have read this explanation of the Acid test and you have looked at both versions of this sample application, then maybe you notice the difference in the size of the two applications? The application running the Acid test appears to be slightly smaller than the normal one.  Both applications  function identically except for a small discrepancy in width and height of the application at start up. This is a subtle problem introduced by localizing to a foreign language.


VisData Sample project with 'Normal' resource file.



VisData Sample project with 'Acid' resource file.


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Page last updated: December 29, 1999