Chapter 16. Internationalization
If a plug-in developer's audience is to be wider than a single country, such as the United States, then internationalization becomes an important aspect of development. Both Eclipse and the underlying Java runtime environments provide APIs for separating language and UI-related issues from the code. This chapter covers the techniques involved and provides examples of internationalizing the example plug-in.
Every applicationand an Eclipse plug-in is no exceptionincludes dozens of human-readable strings that present themselves to the user in windows, dialogs, and menus. Isolating those strings so that they can be localized (translated) for different countries and languages is the most important step in internationalizing your plug-in.
The strings that present themselves to the user of a plug-in come from different types of files. The plug-in manifest file contains the names for views and perspectives and labels for menus and actions. The plug-in's about.ini file (discussed in more detail in Chapter 18, Features, Branding, and Updates) contains the text shown in the Eclipse About dialog.
Other strings visible in the plug-in's interface, such as widget labels and error message text, come from the Java classes implementing the plug-in. Different techniques and tools exist for externalizing the strings found in these various files.