Converting Comments into Values in Localizable.strings Files Generated by Genstrings

Posted on 06 June 2007 by Johannes Fahrenkrug. Tags: programming localization mac cocoa python
I'm working on a Mac Cocoa project at the moment and had to deal with localization - something that has to be done but sure isn't fun. Localization isn't that hard though when using Cocoa: Enclose your localizable strings in a call to the NSLocalizedString macro and run genstrings over your files. When you have a string like @"I think this is a long string" somewhere in your source code and you want to localize it using NSLocalizedString, you might not want "I think this is a long string" to be the key in the strings file. What I do is this:
NSLocalizedString(@"LONG_STRING", @"I think this is a long string")
and then I run genstrings over my source and end up with this in the Localizable.strings file:
/* I think this is a long string */ "LONG_STRING" = "LONG_STRING";
I actually want "I think this is a long string" to be the value and not "LONG_STRING". That's why I wrote a small Python tool that takes care of this and uses the comments as the values. pyGenstrings coverts such files to look like this:
/* I think this is a long string */ "LONG_STRING" = "I think this is a long string";
That might come closer to what you want... Download pyGenstrings here:


Anonymous said...

The link to your pyGenstrings script is broken. Do you have an updated link?


December 13, 2008 05:54 AM

Jordy said...

Saw your post on CocoaDev...what you might want to do instead is reverse your order: NSLocalizedString(@"I think this is a long string", @"LONG_STRING"). Why? If NSLocalizedString doesn't find the Localizable.strings table, it will default back to the first argument. And because you're using the second argument as a description of the string, and not the value, there is no real problem, and this comment (LONG_STRING) is what will appear in each of the localized files. Of course, if you preferred the comments to be native-language versions of the localization, that's another story. But in any case, there's no reason to bring a not-so-useful "variable name" string into it.

July 16, 2007 07:01 AM


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