Doing your own LIPs is not as easy for Windows as for a lady

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2010/02/09, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2010/02/09/9959464.aspx


Guillaume asked me via the Contact link:

Hi,

I'm from Quebec City and I read you paper named "WritingMultilanguageApplicationsUsingVistaMUITechnology.pdf". Very good work. It taught me a lot about MUI for applications.

A question still remains. I would like to know if it is possible for a developper to create a MUI for the Operating Windows Vista. Not only for an application running Vista but for the OS itself. Maybe Microsoft does not allow us create a new MUI for a language not yet supported.

Well, it would be nice if you have an answer for me. And if it's possible, an URL to a tutorial.

Thanks,
Have a good week end and keep up the good work!

An interesting question, that.

I wish the answer was as interesting as the question, but unfortunately it isn't. :-(

In Vista, you can't even set the session level UI language information due to the bug I pointed out in Thinking about MUI is making me bipolar (though that bug is fixed in Windows 7 as I pointed out a few weeks ago in Culture: don't have none, won't be none!).

But even with that bug fixed, ending up in the fancy, official UI language list is still not something you can do - and there is definitely no mechanism to localize parts or all of Windows in any language one wants to. Once upon a time this was possible by just modifying resources in binaries (and I remember an Iranian colleague of mine who had a copy of the pirated Farsi Windows 2000, which was "released" just before Windows 2000 was officially released!).

But Windows is not a lot more protective of its resources such that even wrong versions of the same files can fail to load.

Let alone customized versions of those resources....

Now with that said, many of the LIP projects were done in partnership with universities and other experts in various languages, and from their point of view it is obviously possible. So even if any random developer does not have this option, people working through Microsoft subsidiary contacts who have established expertise/interest can certainly get the job done....


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