Translating Thingamablog 1.5

This is a guide to translating the Thingamablog GUI to various languages. The language files have changed for this version. Existing text has been reworded and much new text has been added to the user interface, so the translations from the previous version no longer apply.

Any help translating Thingamablog will be very much appreciated! If you are interested in becoming a translation maintainer, or have any questions, please send a note to: bob at thingamablog d0t net.

Getting Started

To get started you will need to download this zip file -  This is the base language file for Thingamablog containing all the  user interface text, mnemonics, most keystrokes, and other GUI information. All translations should be based on this file.

Save and extract the zip file to a folder on your hard drive.


After extracting the file you'll have a folder called "net" on your hard drive. Make a note of it's location.


Now that the language file is unziped and ready to be worked on, you'll need to obtain the PrbEditor translation tool at  On this page you can either click the "Launch" button to start the tool with Java webstart, or download the program and run it locally.  

Launch Editor

Working With The Language File

After starting the prbeditor for the first time it will ask you to open a property file- cancel that dialog to get to the main window.

On the left side of the window, you will see a hierarchy of the drives and folders on your computer. Expand the directories to navigate to the "net" folder that you extracted from the file.

The PRBEditor

Right click on the "net" folder and select "Set as root" from the pop up menu. This will allow you to more easily focus on the files and sub directories contained in the "net" folder.

set as root

With "net" set as the root folder, expand the subfolders to begin working with the resource files. (These files have the extention ".properties").

To begin translating a file, double click on it to open it in the property editor. For this example we'll be starting a German translation.  (Note: You might need to resize the table columns after first opening a file.)

Editing a file

To start a new translation of the current .properties file, click on the "Create New Locale" button on the toolbar.

New Locale

This will open the New Resource File dialog box from which you can specify the locale. There are probably more options on this dialog than are needed. You can simply type in the two letter language code for the locale you want to create into the "Locale ID" text field and ignore the other options. In this example, since we are creating a German translation, we'd simply enter the two letter ISO code "de" into the Locale ID text field. Other examples of two letter ISO language codes include.
New Resource file

After clicking the OK button, a "German" column will be added to the resource editor (You might need to resize the table).  Enter in the German translation of the English words into this column.  Note: In many of the words you will see the ampersand '&' character. This character denotes a menu or button mnemonic.  So in the example pictured below the mnemonic of the "File" menu would be 'F' in english and 'D' in German.  ("mnemonics" are underline letters in menus and buttons used when navigating via the keyboard)

Editing a German translation

Also please note that you will only need to translate text. Paths to image files and other resources in the properties files can be left blank in your translation. Whenever a field is not found in a translation file, it reverts to the default language file.

After editing a translation file, it's a good idea to save it frequently by clicking the Save button on the tool bar.

Testing Your Translation

After you've done some work on the translation you can test it by following the steps below.

  1. Zip up the "net" folder you've been working on. The root directory should be "net", That is, the directory structure should be the same as that of 
  2. Name the zip file according to it's language. For instance if it is a german translation, it should be named  If it's a French translation it should be named, etc.
  3. Copy the zip file to the "lib" subfolder in your Thingamablog installation directory. For example, on Windows, this will likely be C:\Program Files\Thingamablog\lib.
  4. Depending on the current locale of your system you may need to start Thingamablog from the command line with the following arguments to test the translation. (Assuming a German translation if your system locale is not DE.  If your current locale is DE, then this step is not needed)

    java  -Duser.language=de   -jar Thingamablog.jar

    Note: Another way to do this under Windows is add the line "-Duser.language=de"  to the file  tamb.l4j.ini . That way you can launch it normally  without having to start it from the command line.

  5. If all went well, your translation should be displaying in the Thingamablog GUI.