PHPBuilder - Native Language Support Page 5



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Native Language Support - Page 5

by: Didimo Emilio Grimaldo Tunon
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February 13, 2001

Auxiliary functions

The CtNls class has several auxiliary member functions. These are not normally used, but can come in handy.
The SetCatalogPath function overrides the path to the catalog directory given in the configuration part of the CtNls class.
SetDefaultLanguage does just that. It sets the code of the language to be tried in case all else fails. This is normally English.
SetLanguageId and GetLanguageId set and return the id/code of the first language to check. This language is checked before any of those found in the user preferences. Upon initialization, it is the same as the first language in the user list. Once LoadPage() or LoadMessages() is invoked, GetLanguageId() would return the ID of the language that was used in delivering the content to the browser. It is also useful if the user has stored his/her preference in a cookie.

How it actually works

We have already explained what happens during the content negotiation phase. The browser sends the user's choice of languages in the Accept-Language header. This information is available to any PHP script in the $HTTP_ACCEPT_LANGUAGE global variable.
When you create a new instance of the CtNls object, the constructor function CtNls() takes control. In turn, it initializes some internal settings and calls setLanguage(). This internal member function goes through the list of languages in $HTTP_ACCEPT_LANGUAGE (delimited by commas), by using only the language code and stripping the region code. The language code is for selecting the appropriate file. In this process, we convert the list to an array, but preserve the language priority.
When an application invokes either LoadPage() or LoadMessages(), these methods will call the internal search() function.
The search() member function walks the language preference array from start to finish and if all of them fail to produce results, it checks for the default language. This function keeps track of which languages it tried so that two attempts are not done on the same language.
The getFile() member function is called every time the search() function generates a new language candidate. It does this by passing it a base name, a language candidate and optionally a file extension.
By passing the base name, the language code and the file extension in that order, the getFile() function generates a list of candidate file names. If we are using LoadMessages() and pass it an empty extension name, it produces a list by using all known valid PHP script extensions by prefixing them with the path to the catalog directory. These PHP extension names are currently ".php3" and ".php". If, on the other hand, we pass the file extension to the function, then, we reduce the list of candidate file names to one.
getFile() then continues by walking through the list of candidate file names until it finds one that exists. Based on this, we determine the current language and the object reads in that file.
-- Didimo

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