Implicit & Explicit localization

Implicit localization

Implicit localization is used within your markup, and its main advantage is that it allows you to localize several properties of the same control/object, without explicitly referencing each property. In our Localized Hello World chapter, we used it, and saw how we could set the meta:resourcekey property of a control, and then automatically have its Text property mapped to the resource row in our resource file. Let's expand a bit on that example, to have several properties localized. If you haven't already done so, you should read the Localized Hello World chapter now and create the project from it, as the following example uses it:

<asp:Label runat="server" ID="lblHelloWorld" Text="Hello, world!" Font-Names="Verdana" ForeColor="Blue" meta:resourcekey="lblHelloWorld" />

In the three resource files we created (default, Germand and Spanish), you can now add two extra rows to each of them, with the names "lblHelloWorld.ForeColor" and "lblHelloWorld.Font-Names", and then define different values for it. For instance, the default label color could be blue, the German version could be green and the Spanish version could be red, and you could define different font names for each of them as well. This makes it really easy to localize e.g. controls, because we only have to define the name of the resource row - each property is automatically mapped.

Explicit localization

With explicit localization, you pick out a specific resource row from your resource file, which is returned to you, and while implicit localization can be helpful when localizing webcontrols and other declarative objects, explicit localization is the only possible way of doing things in any other circumstance. Let's see how the above example would look with explicit localization:

<asp:Label runat="server" ID="lblHelloWorld2" Text="<%$ Resources:lblHelloWorld.Text %>" Font-Names="<%$ Resources:lblHelloWorld.Font-Names %>" ForeColor="<%$ Resources:lblHelloWorld.ForeColor %>"  />

We simply re-use the resource rows from our previous example, and as you can see, the markup for explicit localization is a bit more complicated and verbose than for implicit localization. The syntax for retrieving a resource row is like this:

<%$ Resources:[resource class name,]RowName %>

As you can see, we didn't specify a resource class name in our example, because we use a local resource. If you use a global resource, you should specify the name of the class it results it, which as a rule of thumb is the same as the filename, but without the .resx extension. So for instance, if you have a global resource file with the name of MyGlobalResources.resx, you would obtain a resource from it like this:

<%$ Resources: MyGlobalResources,NameOfRow %>

As simple as that.

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