A Visual UI String Editing Tool: Recommendations?

Subject: A Visual UI String Editing Tool: Recommendations?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: techwr-l List <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, Paul Hoy Gmail <paulhoy -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 10 Jun 2008 17:20:13 -0400

Paul Hoy wondered: <<Can someone recommend a tool that allows writers
to update UI strings and save them to resource files?>>

Depends on what you mean by "resource files". If the resource format
is proprietary to the specific programming language (i.e., it's some
form of binary file), then you probably need to use that SDK's
editing tools -- unless you can export and reimport the text somehow.
If you do that, test very carefully; for example, export, reimport,
then ask the programmers to use some kind of "diff" utility to make
sure nothing changed. If nothing changed, then you can use this

If the format is plain ASCII (text), then any word processor will
work just fine, provided you remember to resave the file in text
format when you're done. For example, I used to do a lot of editing
of Delphi .PAS resource files using Word and revision tracking: you
open the file in Word, save it as a .doc file, and edit using
revision tracking. The developers then review (accept or reject or
discuss) your edits, and save the results again as a text file. Works
quite easily, and very efficient too. (See Chapters 12-13 in my book
for other nifty ways you can use this same trick.)

One note of caution: always read up details of how the SDK formats
text. For example, you may need to use special "escape" codes to
indicate line breaks or characters such as quotation marks that may
have special meanings in the resource file. You will also need to ask
the developers about whether there are any length or other
restrictions on the text you create; for example, if button labels
are limited to 10 characters, you need to know this so you don't
create any 20-character labels that are brilliantly clear -- but that
aren't visible in the buttons. <g> In short: learn your constraints,
and add the necessary QA steps to catch any problems.

-- Geoff Hart
ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca / geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com
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A Visual UI String Editing Tool: Recommendations?: From: Paul Hoy Gmail

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