Archived 17 February 1997.
Last updated: 11 February 1997.

Language File Format 1

This is format 1 defined for use with HelpIndex version 1.7.x only. Please refer to the latest language file definition. Note that this format is not recognised by version 2 onwards.


From version 1.7, HelpIndex may be configured to run with a different set of prompts, field names and status displays.

Usually you will use this facility to change the language of the user interface.
Try out the "applet high" in French and German version of HelpIndex.

Here are the language files that we have available available.

Another possible use is to change the prompts for a particular application. For example, you could set up your site as an author database. Here's an example. The Query field name would remain the same, Indices: would become Author and Pages: would become Information: or Web page:.

Note that HelpIndex does not detect the desired language of the browsing user. When you set up HelpIndex for your site on your server, the language file that you specify will be seen by all users of the site.

Note also that specifying a language file does not change the language of your help index file. If you specify a French language file then it would be a good idea to make the index file indices in French as well. Heck... and your web pages.

Please also note that most of the error messages are still shown in English. While these could be made part of the language file, we thought that this would be unnecessary translation work.

Using a Language File

By default, HelpIndex uses a built-in English language file. Do not specify a language parameter if you want to use this.

To use a different language file you must make the file in the appropriate format, store it on your server and reference it when running HelpIndex.

You must set the language parameter to the URL of your language file, eg:
<PARAM NAME=language VALUE="french.hil">
If placed in a different directory to your class files, then amend the URL as necessary. Obviously make sure that it is accessible.

By convention, HelpIndex language files have extension .hil, eg french.hil.

Language File Format

A HelpIndex language file has a series of character strings, one string per line. Lines usually end in CR and/or LF. No comments are permitted. Spaces at the end of lines are kept.

If the language file is shorter than specified here then the default English strings are used for the missing items.

The first line must be in 8 bit characters terminated by CR or LF. In general, subsequent lines need not be in 8 bit characters.

The first line specifies "format number" and "coding number" fields, separated by a semi-colon.

So far only one file format has been defined: Format 1 Coding 1.

If necessary Unicode may be supported in future using another coding number. eg Unicode's UCS Transformation Format (UTF-8) - see RFC 2044.

If different strings are required for future versions of HelpIndex, then a new format number will be allocated for the new arrangement.

Language File Format 1 Coding 1

The first line must contain "1;1" followed by CR and/or LF.

The "format number" specifies which arrangement of strings is expected. Currently there is only one format number (1).

The "coding number" specifies how the strings have been encoded. Currently there is only one coding number (1) which specifies that the characters are stored in 8 bits with lines terminated by CR and/or LF. Blank lines are ignored.

The language file must have these strings in this order:

The menu items marked with an asterisk (*) may contain ampersand (&) characters. For browsers which support these menu short cuts (ie Microsoft Internet Explorer) these ampersands are left in. For other browsers, they are removed.

Built-in English Language File

The following text is in the English language file. Note that the line end character \n is included here to show that some lines have spaces at the end.
Query: \n
Enter query text\n
Indices: \n
Select an index\n
Pages: \n
Select a page\n
About HelpIndex\n
Click for HelpIndex info page\n
Display page\n
Click to display page\n
Click to clear form\n

&About HelpIndex...\n
&Licensing information...\n

Sorry index not read yet\n
Reading help index\n
Index read\n
Click to see help index\n

Reading index file...\n
Sorry, cannot do lookup as index not read\n
Displaying page\n
Could not display page\n

HelpIndex    PHD