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ASP.NET / DotNetNuke Localization – How to Spell Check your applications resource files.

Hi everyone!

I thought I would post my next blog regarding localization and spell / grammar checking within ASP.NET applications and DNN modules.  First, let me just briefly mention that I will never again start my blog post from a web site… argh… I just spent an hour typing up the details only to have my system crash with a blue screen and reboot (yes, I know Windows 7 is more stable… I have just not yet made the switch.) Wouldn’t you think Microsoft would at least change the screen to green or something with all of their bad publicity with the blue screen?

Anyway… I won’t spend this post going into details on why spelling and grammar errors are important within web applications and web sites (that’s an entirely different post or possibly a series of posts) but I do think it’s important to understand the background and history of the ASP.NET localization and resource files, along with some of the difficulties that developers have when spell checking their applications.

Some history on ASP.NET / DNN RESX localization files

Localization files built within ASP.NET applications are created with a .resx extension; and created based on an XML format which includes name/value nodes for specific localized versions of properties. These localization files built within ASP.NET applications, including components such as SharePoint Web Parts and DotNetNuke Modules, allow for the same interface and functionality/features , while allowing for specific resource files to be utilized and created to offer unique text per language or modify specific areas of text and messages through the application.

Which areas of a web application utilize localization?
1.    Internal labels throughout the application or module
2.    Help text
3.    Pop up help
4.    System messages
5.    Literal
6.    Email Messages
7.    Control Panels & Dashboards

To find more information on resource files (RESX) and their definition you can visit this link for RESX File Definition.

Do you want to localize your DotNetNuke web application? You can download full language packs to localize the DNN application for many formats by visiting this site for DotNetNuke Language Packs.

Spell checking? That’s easy, right?

Yes… Over the years spell checking and grammar checking has greatly improved. We all know how easy it is to check for spelling errors within any word processing or email application. In fact, if you were texting on your phone it’s almost difficult to spell something wrong as many phones will auto correct your text for you. I also (sadly and admittedly) will continue typing a search term into Google knowing that I am probably spelling it wrong but that there will be a friendly ‘Did you mean: Word or Phrase’  for me to find the results I am looking for. 

Although spelling has gotten much better within word processing tools and applications themselves, the ability for spell checking resources within applications is not up to speed. Typically code related to labels, help text, system alert messages, and emails will simply go unchecked for spelling errors, often representing a very negative review for an application that would have hundreds of development hours invested. There are many reasons why spelling and grammatical errors exist in web applications. First, keep in mind that these are localization files that are unique per language, so you would need to spell check each file with a separate language spell checking dictionary. Additionally, code often has unique programming standards for variables and logic, so checking the spelling isn’t as direct as it would be for an article or formatted text that you would type within a word processor. For these reasons and many others you will very rarely find any spelling and grammar checking tools for Visual Studio or ASP.NET applications.
Now I am scared!! What will I ever do with my applications now?  How will I sleep?

Calm down. Take three deep breaths and think of happy spelling and grammar free applications. Now, visit a new website and service we are offering called  RESX Spell Check.  The RESX spell checking tool is currently a free service that you can take advantage of to upload your resource files or web project. You can install a zip file of RESX files, or include full applications such as ASP.NET applications or DNN Modules. The service will filter your file(s) for resource and localization files and check each property within the XML file for spelling issues. You will be emailed a full HTML report with each file and every spelling issue identified within the file, along with the suggestions to fix the issue. In the future we plan to offer the ability to also post an exclusion list. Reports currently support up to 30 languages, a number of features such as the ability ignore text with HTML, emails, filenames, internet addresses, compound words, mixed cased words, etc…  

Ready to get started? Spell Check your ASP.NET and DNN web applications now!

We are happy to hear your feedback and suggestions for this useful tool. We might also offer a localization convertor in the future to automatically generate localization files for different languages. Please let us know if these services are of interest for you!

And yes… I did spell check this blog post before posting it! :)


Type at you soon!




Comments are closed.
Showing 1 Comment
Avatar  Air Horn 14 years ago

I am learning & hope to master it soon. Articles like this make me more confident. Thanks.

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