Multilingual Notes Client

For those of us who have to work in a large environment who’s offices span multiple countries and languages the issue of deploying the notes client in native language has always been an issue.

With the 6.x release of Notes this issue was partially solved on the server side with the advent of Language Packs. These packs when installed onto the server would provide you with templates that contained multiple languages but what about the client side…

Well it’s possible to download a, for example, german client and install it and all the menus would be in German. For support purposes you could switch it back to English if required but this meant that you needed an install package for each language that you support across your organisation.

Having a closer look at the German installation of the notes client and you will notice that there is a MUI directory in the program directory. MUI stands for Multilingual User Interface. This directory also exists on the global english version of the client install.

Inside this directory there is a file called MUI.DAT and, on the German client, a directory called DE. This directory contains DLL and EXE files that have the same names as the one in the main program directory.  the MUI.DAT on the German client is slightly different then on the English client.

it looks a little like this :

[Versions]
Coreversion=Release 6.5.3
NotesWorkswith=Release 6.5.3
[MUI]
Languages=1
Language1=de

Installing the French version changes this to a director called FR and the MUI is changed to match this.

Now, lets try a little experiment, install the german client, copy the MUI files somewhere, install the French client and copy the MUI files somewhere, install the Spanish client and copy the files off somewhere. Now lets add the DE, FR and ES directories to a standard Englich client install and rewrite the MUI.DAT file as follows :

[Versions]
Coreversion=Release 6.5.3
NotesWorkswith=Release 6.5.3
[MUI]
Languages=3
Language1=de
Language2=fr
Language3=es

Loading up the notes client I now have the option to select any of the languages that exist in the MUI.DAT file. Selecting a language and restarting notes changes the UI accordingly. If your windows regional settings are in a language that is available on the notes client then this is the language that will be used for the first time startup.

Ok, this method does have one problem, the templates on the local machine will only exist in the language that you apply the MUI directories to, probably best if you leave that at the english client.

So if a language can be added to the UI so easily why don’t IBM issue language packs for the client, preferably in MSI format so they can be rolled out via AD or SMS. Maybe a MUI directory in the data directory for the multi language templates also would be nice.

So if your deploying multilingual notes clients I hope this helps.

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3 comments on “Multilingual Notes Client
  1. Great job! What a cool experiment! My students will love hearing about this…

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  2. Henning Kunz says:

    hi declan,somewhat funny, i posted a blogentry (http://www.domblog.de/domblog.nsf/d6plinks/HKUZ-69VMGV) a few days ago, talking about helpfile issues in a multilangual client installation. my customer does this trick since about 9 month in a productive 6000 seats environment. and it works well.but there are some issues left, perhaps you would like to share your thoughts about these…. (http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/nd6forum.nsf/ShowMyTopicsAllThreadedweb/407d5fd48ef4f51e85256fb2004298bb?OpenDocument)

    Like

  3. ruud.heerschop@alcan.com says:

    Hi, do you know where i can find the MUI for Notes (download) ??

    Thanks,
    Ruud

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