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Translating ALSong Skins


Translating ALSong Skins: Script

Hello and welcome to the ALSong skin translation tutorial.

My name is Ryan, and today I'm going to show you how to most easily and quickly translate an ALSong skin into another language.

If you're familiar with how to translate ALShow and ALShow skins, then you'll already know most of this. But do keep watching as I'm going to show you a few little tricks that should help you do things in about a quarter of the time it would otherwise.

There are two basic elements that need to be translated in a skin: text and graphics. The text is the easiest to do, so we'll start there. Later on, I'll show you how you can send us the proper text for the graphical part of the skins so that one of our designers can use your translation.

Since the text for the skins is all the same, it's easier and faster to translate all of the skins at once. This doesn't take any extra time, and in fact it takes less time using the little tricks that I mentioned before.

So to get started, browse to the ALSong skin directory. Select all of the skins, then right-click and choose the ALZip "Extract to respective folders" option. This will extract the skins so that you can translate them.

Next, browse into each folder, select all of the XML files, and drag and drop them into a text editor. I'm using EditPlus, but there are others that you can use with the same functionality that I'll be showing you in this video. For some recommendations, check out the "Free Text Editors" page in the "Translating ALTools" section at the ALTools web site.

I'll just continue opening all of the skin XML files. Now that I've got all of them open for all 3 skins, I'm ready to get started. But before I go on, I should mention that when you save the files, you should save them in UTF-8 encoding. You can do that by choosing "Save As" then selecting UTF-8 from the encoding drop down menu. If you're not sure why this is, don't worry too much. I don't want to get into an explanation of why this is a good idea, but if you do want to find out more, there's an excellent article at http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/Unicode.html entitled:

"The Absolute Minimum Every Software Developer Absolutely, Positively Must Know About Unicode and Character Sets (No Excuses!)"

Anyways, back to our skin XML files...

Once you've got them all loaded, use the "Find in Files" function to find all of the "tooltips". Make sure that you've got "All open files" selected. Now you've got about 364 of them... But don't fret. I'm going to show you how to translate them all at once.

I'll just scroll up here to the top, scroll right, and we can now see some of the tooltips. Just double-click on one of these to go right to it. Now, instead of translating the text in the file here, select that entire little phrase 'tooltip="Song Changed"', copy it, then click the "Replace" toolbar button. Now in this replace dialog, paste the text in the "Replace with" input, and then carry on with your translation there. I'll just type in "something".

Make sure that you include the entire thing with "tooltip" as that will make sure that the right things get changed. If you don't do this, you run the risk of replacing text that you really don't want to change, and that creates a lot of extra work that isn't necessary.

Next, and this is THE most important thing, check the "All open files" radio checkbox. This will make sure that each and every occurance of 'tooltip="Song Changed"' in every file is replaced with your new translation.

So, now just click the "Replace All" button. And down here in the status bar I can see that 3 occurances were changed.

Next, in the search pane here, go to the next tooltip and double-click on it and do the same thing for that. I'll type in "something else", check "All open files" and click the "Replace All" button. This time I've replaced 6 occurances! Now that's really saving me a lot of time because I don't need to do any extra typing, and I don't need to make sure that my translations are the same in different places.

I'll just do 1 more... 17! I just replaced 17 of the same thing.

There aren't that many unique things to translate, so by repeating this little proceedure, you can get everything done in record time.

To update the search pane, save your files, then use the "Find in Files" function again. To quickly edit or proof your work, use the search pane. You'll need to scroll sideways, but it's much faster and easier than looking through the files individually.

So that's about it for the XML files.

Now, for the graphics, there are only a few bits of text. They are:

File, Play, View, Options, Help, All or A, Equalizer, Min, Max, L, R, Balance, Playlist, Find, Lyrics.

Graphic elements to be translated

There are some other bits of text in some other skins though.

In the Jewels skin you'll see:

My Album

Graphic elements to be translated

That could also read "Create Album". You can choose what you feel is best.

Some other text can be found in the Modern skin:

On, Master, Stereo, Mono.

Graphic elements to be translated

Space is very limited in the skin, so if possible, try to use short words, and if necessary, use an easily understandable abbreviation like "min", "max", "L", "R", etc.

And don't be afraid to give more than 1. This makes things much easier for the designer who can then try your first choice, and if it doesn't fit, then use your second choice, or an abbreviation.

Once you're finished, you can just send that as a plain text file and one of our designers will use that to create a new translated skin. Make sure to label things like "File=something" and "Play=Something else" so that the designer knows what's what.

Well, I hope you found this little video informative and useful.

Thank-you for watching, and happy translating!

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