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Wanted: Overview of Multi-Language Support

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  • Wanted: Overview of Multi-Language Support

    I haven't used Setup Factory's multi-language features in the past, but am interested in trying them out. Unfortunately, I cannot seem to find a good overview of how it works in the built-in help, online help, Knowledge Base, or searching the formums. One of the threads in this formum refers to message that looks like it might answer my question, but it is a dead link (

    Can anyone point me to a good overview or resource?


  • #2
    Re: Wanted: Overview of Multi-Language Support

    Seems to be some stuff here if you click on "Index" and then "multilingual":

    Corey Milner
    Creative Director, Indigo Rose Software


    • #3
      Re: Wanted: Overview of Multi-Language Support

      Subj: Multilingual support in Setup Factory 6

      Thanks for the pointer in your reply. Unfortunately, I'd already gone through the built-in and online help. After having played with the product some more, I thought I'd jot down my thoughts and suggestions. Hopefully this will make my request a bit more clear -- and provide suggestions to improve SF6 and its help files.


      I appreciate the multilingual support that I've been able to find in Setup Factory 6. In my case, providing multilingual installers is not a requirement. Rather, I was hoping to use this feature to help our international customers. Most of them speak English, but I suspect that all would appreciate using their native language.

      I started investigating the multilingual features last night and have come up with this list of issues and suggestions. Please don't get me wrong, what you have provided is great. But for someone like me (who is not fluent in any other languages and who also likes the path of least resistance), it could be much easier to use.

      Here's the list:

      1. You HAVE to provide an overview of Setup Factory's multilingual features! The current help is inadequate to help new (or not so new) users. Essentially, only "reference" type help is available. This type of helps tells you what a Language Tab is, but doesn't provide a context for it, and how it fits into the rest of the multilingual features. Additionally, an overview of these features would be a great way to provide style guidelines (i.e. suggestions) on how to best use the products multilingual features.

      2. If I'd only known ...
      For example, it would have been nice to know about using BTN_NEXT rather than Next> for the "next" button in my screens. (Now, to change this I'll have to go back and hand edit every screen of every installer I've created - or do you have an easier suggestion?) Again, an overview with hints and suggestions would have helped me to do this right from the start. Even more importantly, if BTN_NEXT had been the default text for the "next" button on all the screens, I'd have probably gotten the idea pretty quickly.

      3. I find the use of BTN_NEXT confusing. I guess this must be a reserved keyword in Setup Factory. I first tried %BTN_NEXT% in the text of the "next" button, but quickly realized that wasn't correct. The confusing part is that BTN_NEXT seems more like a variable, in that it changes based on the base language. Even if you didn't want to use % or # for these types of runtime constants, maybe some other character (like &amp word work?

      4. It's great that you have provided template screens for each language you support. (I can only imagine the extra work this must have taken.) The problem is, adding a duplicate screens - one for each language - is a big burden for me. Not only is it a lot more to manage, though, but this is where my inability to speak other languages hurts me. Here's my initial thoughts on how your tool could help me to minimize these two problems:

      a. Add a "Preferred Language" preference setting to Setup Factory. This is a design time setting, not something that is related to the end users language.

      b. Add a "Language" selector field (drop-down combo box) to each screen. To be clear, I'm suggesting a field available to the installer developer, not the end user. The default language in this language selector field would be the one chosen by the developer (see comment 4a).

      c. For each field of a screen, there could potentially be as many values as there are languages specified in project's language tab. The language selected in the screen's language selector field (comment 4b) would indicate which value would be shown for each of the screen's fields.

      d. By default all values for a field would reflect the value initially entered for a field. This is a great solution for items like the "next" button. I would enter BTN_NEXT for 'my' language and every language would use the same value. Of course, Setup Factory already converts BTN_NEXT as required, so this is a very simple fix.

      e. If I wanted to override the value copied for a specific language (comment 4d), I'd just have to select the specific language (using the screen's language selector field) and replace BTN_NEXT with whatever value I wanted to use for that language. Of course, some button in that field (or maybe a drop down choice) to make all languages use this value would be nice. (This whole idea seems reminiscent of the <<neutral>> language feature used to select the startup page in your AMS3 program.)

      f. For the more free form, custom text fields the ability to specify a specific value for each language becomes more important. But here's why this method is so convenient for folks like me. If I don't have a translation available, I can leave it filled with 'my' languages text. No, this may not seem ideal for the end user (and hopefully I'd be able to eventually get my text translated), but it's better than the alternative -- which is to provide no additional language support.

      Please note, I don't taking away the capability you already have. It's great to allow a screen to be used (or not used) based on the %SysLanguage% system variable. I'd just like to see the multilingual feature enhanced.

      I hope you find these comments of use!



      • #4
        Re: Wanted: Overview of Multi-Language Support

        Thanks for your detailed suggestions. I've added them to our suggestions database for SF7.

        BTW, I agree with you on the documentation. [img]/ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif[/img] Part of the problem is that reference material is sort of a given necessity, and the sheer volume of it can mean there isn't much time left to prepare procedural docs.

        We're working on it, though. Our latest project has us focusing on procedural documentation first, with more of a lesson-based approach to things. (If it's successful, I imagine we'll use the same approach for other projects, like SF7.)
        --[[ Indigo Rose Software Developer ]]


        • #5
          Re: Wanted: Overview of Multi-Language Support

          okay, so with the understanding that BTN_NEXT is kindof a variable of it's own, to avoid using tons of different screens, i now need to go back through each screen, and replace the regular text with it's appropriate variable (i.e.- replace Next with BTN_NEXT)

          then i assume i should remove the default condition on each screen which says %SysLanguage%=9, and then create an IF to display translated lumps of text? (like, for the License agreement, i've had a few volunteers translate the whole installer into their own language, so for the lumps of text that aren't auto-translated by the installer, i assume an IF statement would fit best, correct?)

          if there is a better way to do all this (other than what i suggested), a way which does not involve creating a plethora of individual language-screens, please enlighten me

          btw, is it possible to set the value for %SysLanguage%? i'm assuming that if the user is on a multi-user pc (and thus, a possibly multi-language pc), they might want to use a different language than the default System Language, so I would like to create a list of radio options for the language selection... would there by any issues with this? there's not much of a way for me to test this all out without reinstalling windows with a new default language...


          • #6
            Re: Wanted: Overview of Multi-Language Support

            Yes, as you say, the two options are either creating separate language screens or using custom variables for all of the text in the different languages. So yes, you could certainly create variables to hold the text for each of the different places and then conditionally set them based on the language they are using. However it may result in a lot of different variables and code, so you may find it easier to have different screens.

            Yes, you can set %SysLanguage% based on a screen that is always presented to the user if you wish.