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Created 2014-02-21 by Yann Guidon
Version 2014-02-22

YGWM supports different languages through two files, one for the translations and one for the code. A tutorial explains the necessary steps if you want to add a new language.


This file contains a collection of strings inside a single big object named i8n. It's a database for localisation of the YGWM interface as well as the rest of the application. You are encouraged to add new definitions or languages, but be careful if you ever touch existing strings.

The database is a simple JavaScript object and the syntax must follow certain rules. The format for one entry looks like this :

    "english string",
    "version française",
    "versión española",
    "deutsch Version"

Don't forget the commas. If a translation in a given language does not exist for the entry, the string can be left out. The default version is english, the first string. And in certain cases (only when used by I8N()) if this string does not exist, the name of the entry is used as a string. So an apparently empty entry is also valid and the following entry means that the first and second strings are the same as the name:


The file contains strings that belong to documentation where lines are identical across several files. This saves a bit of space.

Other hints and advices are found in the file's header and in the tutorial. It is pretty "code-free" and does not require computer skills, as long as you respect the syntax.


This file (included after i8n.js) contains code that manages the language and switches between them. It reads the i8n object to deliver the right localised message, if it's available.

The file starts with the LANG object, that contains a few variables and a function for later.
LN is the currently chosen language (it's a 2-char string). It first gets set by this file when the browser language is detected, then it might be changed by cookies, and the visitor can change it again.
FLAGS is an array of HTML code that create a DIV whose class is a CSS inline logo, it's built later in menu.js
change_innerHTML is an array of pairs : one DOM element (usually a DIV) is linked to a i8n entry. When the language is switched, this array is scanned and all the DOM elements get rewritten with a string that corresponds to the new language. At one point, the "title" (info-bubbles) of the elements was also changeable but this has been removed, since it's only a minor improvement.
Entries get added to change_innerHTML as more windows are created so there is a risk of memory leak here. Be extra careful to remove entries when the window is destroyed.

  LN:"", // the selected language string, can be different from browsLang

  // inline images to save some HTTP requests
  FLAGS:[], // initialised by init_obj / menu.js

  change_innerHTML: [], // beware of memory leaks !

  change_lang: function(i){
    i=+i; // in the case where the argument is a string

    var j,k;
    if ((i<0)||(i>=i8n.LANGS.length))

              LNG=i];; // see later
    changeMainWinTitle(I8N("welc").replace(/ /gi," ")); // application.js

    // change the contents of DOM objects
    for (j in LANG.change_innerHTML){
      if (k=LANG.change_innerHTML[j])
        k[0].innerHTML=k[1][i] || k[1][0];

Then there is some code to detect the browser's native language and make a preliminary guess, in case there was no previous cookie. A couple of globals are introduced:

// detect the browser's language : 20120829

// LNG may be changed later when reading the cookies, it
// could become any large integer number, as it gets encoded/decoded in base66.
if (LNG<0)

This is followed by a few useful functions. I8N() is the most used, as it translates a keyword into a localized string, depending on the current chosen language. Al8N() is mostly the same except that it creates an alert window and the argument can contain litteral strings.

function I8N(i,t){ // dirty variable generation syntax... t is not a parameter...
  if (!t)
    return i; // alert("lang.js: unknown message "+i);
  if (t[LNG])
    return t[LNG];
  return t[0] || i; // if t[0] doesn't exist, return the original parameter.
} // Note : I8N can return an array of strings. Or anything else in an array stored in i8n.js !

// Alert with a variable length argument,
// interpret "" as followed by a litteral argument,
// otherwise use an internationalised string :
function Al8N(){
  var i=0,s="",t,a,l=LNG;
  while (typeof(a=arguments[i++])!="undefined"){
    if (a=="")

Then a couple of function. generated() is not very exciting but setHTML() is interesting as it adds a DOM element to the list change_innerHTML, and fills it with a preliminary value.

// used by yasmed.js, gen_asm.js, config.js...
function generated(c,tool){
  return "\n"+c+" "+I8N("Generated on")+" "+new Date().toGMTString() +"\n"
             +c+" "+I8N("by")+" "+document.location+"\n"
             +c+"    yasep/"+tool+" "+I8N("version")+" "+VERSION+"\n";

// used by menu.js
function setHTML(o,t){
  // o = DOM object to fill
  // t : string or array of strings
  if (typeof t != "string") {
    // suppose it's an array (because the contents is not optional
    if (t.length > 1)
    t=t[LNG] || t[0];

Here is some code that shows how those functions might be used:

changeMainWinTitle=emptyFunc; //wil be seen later;

s="Default browser language : "+i8n.LANGS[LNG];

// show a localised alert box when clicking on a certain button :

// executed when one clicks on a language change button:
function changeLang(){

// create an array of buttons to select the language
var d=getById("ex"),
for (var i in i8n.LANGS) {
  var e=dcE("BUTTON");
  e.language=i; //create a local copy of the counter

// register places to update when the language changes
setHTML(d, i8n.welc);
setHTML(getById("lng"), i8n.LANGUAGES);

// update the messages :

Current browser language: none

At this point, you should have a good idea about how multiple languages are managed. There's quite a "ad hoc" in the system, that might sometimes become a bit confusing, but it's flexible, has undergone a few evolutions and it gets the job done.