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
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.
To get started you will need to download this zip file - lang_en.zip.
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 http://prbeditor.dev.java.net/.
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.
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 lang_en.zip file.
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.
With "net" set as the root folder, expand the subfolders to begin
working with the resource files. (These files have the extention
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.)
To start a new translation of the current .properties file, click on
the "Create New Locale" button on the toolbar.
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.
- de - German
- fr - French
- es - Spanish
- jp - Japanese
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)
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
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.
- 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 lang_en.zip.
- Name the zip file according to it's language. For instance if it
is a german translation, it should be named lang_de.zip. If it's
a French translation it should be named lang_fr.zip, etc.
- Copy the zip file to the "lib" subfolder in your Thingamablog
installation directory. For example, on Windows, this will likely be
- 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
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
- If all went well, your translation should be displaying in the