Constructing and using message catalogs
In an effort to better internationalize application software,
message catalogs are used in place of hard-coded messages
within the actual code.
All input, output, and error messages
are precompiled and stored in message catalogs
that are outside of the code.
Using message catalogs, the user need not change
an application's hard-coded messages
and be forced to recompile when a language change is required.
Instead, the program will present all
messages in a specified language according to
the values of certain environment variables.
A language change would involve a simple
change to an environment variable at runtime.
Needless to say, message catalogs allow greater
flexibility to users as well as provide an
alternative to the often difficult task of
modifying hard-coded applications
written for another language.
A message catalog is created by a message source file using
They can be accessed and used within software using the
For more background about message catalogs or
internationalizing code in general,
see the Open Software Foundation's
Internationalization Made Easy
The following example code gives
an example of how to construct a simple
message catalog and then how to incorporate
it into a program.
To understand the example code, you should
understand the role of environment variables;
particularly the variables
The precise meanings of these variables are defined in
Creating a message catalog
© 2003 Caldera International, Inc. All rights reserved.
SCO OpenServer Release 5.0.7 -- 11 February 2003