|Language-Specific Pages||KEVIN RESCHENBERG|
PeopleSoft delivers a number of language translations for page elements, and we can add translations
to our custom pages as well. The three-character language code is part of the page's name, as in
"MY_PAGE.ESP". This is the page that a user logged in under the Spanish language option will see.
But you'll notice that many pages are delivered in only an English (.ENG) version. Why do some pages
have a full complement of language versions, while others have only ENG or a few languages?
Pages that have only an English version can also appear in other languages. When a user is logged
in under, for example, Spanish, the system will first search for the .ESP version of a page.
If it's found, it's displayed. Otherwise, the system will look for the base language version of
that page. Since the base language is almost always English (as recommended by PeopleSoft), the
.ENG version will be displayed. But it will still appear in Spanish if it was developed with
multi-language support in mind. Field labels and message catalog entries contained on the page
will be displayed in the correct language.
There are two main things for us as developers to remember. First, it is usually not necessary
to develop a version of our custom pages for each language—ENG only is generally sufficient.
Second, in order to support the translation of a page, we should use message catalog entries for
any static text instead of using static text (label) fields.
Of course, we always have the option of creating a version for each language and using
static text fields instead of dealing with message catalog entries. But this means we will have
multiple versions of the page to maintain. It is generally easier to make a small wording
change using the Message Catalog utility than to open and modify every page.
Then why does PeopleSoft support multiple versions of pages? The main reason is that phrases
and sentences in different languages tend to have very different lengths. Spanish and German
text, for example, tends to be longer than the corresponding English text, while Japanese
would be much shorter on the page. This can affect alignment. If your page includes
adequate space for each field label, you probably won't need to be concerned about this.
Of course, if there are no plans to support multiple languages in your applications, you could
make the decision to skip the message catalog and use static text labels on your pages. Before
doing this, be sure that there is little chance of needing multiple languages in the future.
Check your installation's development standards.
When possible, save time and create only one version of your custom page.