Home > Uncategorized > Binding to Server based Resx Files in Silverlight 3

Binding to Server based Resx Files in Silverlight 3


In Silverlight you can easily bind to compiled resx files, and the translations are baked into your xap as resourse dlls. In the majority of cases this is fine, as translations don’t change very often unless the UI changes which mean re-translation and redeploying anyway.

Editorial Content

If you have content, that needs to be changed frequently, you should use RIA Services or WCF that binds some editorial section that is not locked in your regular UI strings. Examples of this would be : Special Offers, promotions etc…. The translator would update your Content Management System and translate a default English text or promote something specific to that market. Eg: NFL tickets for US and Rugby Tickets for France. Then your RIA or WCF would poll this content from your CMS system each time your Silverlight application page loads for that market. This way the core translations are still baked into app but you have flexibility, to update certain parts of the UI dynamically. Code for this is pretty standard RIA services and is out of scope for this article. I may post a sample if people are interested.

Server based Resx

Under some circumstances a mixture of core UI and editorial content is not flexible enough. You may not want all your translation compiled into one mega xap or use MEF for dynamic resource loading, but keep them uncompiled on the server side until user requests a different language. In the example project below, I use a English resx with no code generation and stored as static resource. When the page loads it reads the local resx in the xap and creates strongly typed dynamic object of the dictionary using reflection. We wrap this in the LocStrings class that implements inotifypropertychanged interface to allow dynamic loc string binding.

When the user selects a different culture in the dropdown the we make a request to the server get the resx. We then set the contents to LocStrings and update the thread culture.

Possible uses include:

        Reuse translations from your aspx site

        Add new languages dynamically

ViewBox in Localization

In reading a SVG localization article I noticed developers sometime need some way to update fontsize based on the character length of a translation in some . Part of the Silverlight Toolkit contains a control called viewbox. A viewbox in WPF or Silverlight is a layout control that scale transforms it contents to fit the dimensions of it container. This should be used sparing and instead you grid that expands to the size on the content and translations using Textwrapping and scrollviewers.


Code: http://cid-289eaf995528b9fd.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Public/ServerResx.zip

Demo: http://silverlight.services.live.com/invoke/6655/ServerResX/iframe.html

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