Runtime Dimension Switching: Overview

There is a huge variation in the length of phrases that convey the same meaning in different languages (German, for example, can take 2 to 3 times as much space as English). This variation poses a constant challenge to high quality localization, because a single visible interface switched between languages is apt to look crowded in some, vacant in others. A single visual interface for a multilingual application is apt to look mediocre in all of them.

In response, VBLM can build runtime-dimension-switched (RDS) multilingual versions of your VB applications that dynamically resize their interface when a language is selected, and thus look good at all times in all languages.

Creating an RDS app involves five straightforward steps:

1. Decide which languages need their own sets of interface dimensions (dimsets). This is not an all or nothing decision; you can implement RDS for any or all of the languages in a multilingual app, because the dimension-switching code doesn't execute when a language with no corresponding dimset is selected. To make the decision, use VBLM to build an RSV with all languages and step through them observing the "fit" of the strings.

2. Create the dimset(s) required. You'll get the best results by resizing the interface manually to fit each language, but VBLM can also do it for you if you want by stepping the interface dimensions up or down by a fixed percentage. See Creating Dimension Data Files for a complete explanation.

3. Assign the dimsets you've created to the corresponding languages. See Assigning Dimsets for details.

4. Configure the runtime dimension switching code options as desired. These options are set on the Runtime Dim Switching Options page of the Build window, and discussed in detail in the RDS Coding topic.

5. Check the Include Dimension Switching option on the Build Now page before commanding the build.

That's all there is to it.