int17

Internationalization JavaScript library

npm install int17
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int17 is a pure JavaScript library providing internationalization and localization.

Build Status

It can be used normally in any browser as well as in the node.js environment (especially with Express).

Install

Install using the package manager for your desired environment(s):

# for node.js:
$ npm install int17
# OR; for the browser:
$ bower install int17

Examples

In the browser:

<html>
  <head>
    <script src="/path/to/int17.js"></script>
    <script>
      (function () {
        var i18n = int17.create();
        i18n.init({ locale: 'en-GB' }, function (err) {
          if (err) throw err;
          i18n.traverse();
        });
      }());
    </script>
  </head>
  <body>
    <h1 i18n-subs="2013" i18n-content="date_header"></h1>
    <div>
      <p i18n-values=".style.direction:dir;.innerHTML:main_body"></p>
      <span i18n-content="my_label"></span>
      <select i18n-options="default_option:-1;option1;option2"></select>
    </div>
  </body>
</html>

In node.js:

var i18n = require('int17').create();
i18n.initSync({ locale: 'en-GB' });

console.log(i18n.get('welcome'));

Both using the same JSON structure, inspired by that used by Google Chrome extensions:

{
  "date_header": {
    "message": "The date is $DATE$!",
    "placeholders": {
      "date": {
        "content": "$1",
        "example": "2012"
      }
    }
  },
  "default_option": {
    "message": "All"
  },
  "main_body": {
    "message": "This is an example of $name$'s greatness!",
    "placeholders": {
      "name": {
        "content": "int17"
      }
    }
  },
  "my_label": {
    "message": "Options example:"
  },
  "option1": {
    "message": "1st option"
  },
  "option2": {
    "message": "2nd option"
  },
  "welcome": {
    "message": "Hello, World!",
    "description": "Simple welcome message"
  }
}

API

Int17

The global int17 variable in the browser or the return value of require('int17') in node.js is an instance of Int17. This is used to expose factory functionality required to get started with globalizing your application.

Instances

create([name])

Returns a new instance of Internationalization. Optionally, if a name is specified, a shared instance can be retrieved/created which is most useful within node.js as it saves passing an object reference between modules.

var i18n1 = int17.create();
var i18n2 = int17.create('i18n');
var i18n3 = int17.create('i18n');
console.log(i18n1 == i18n2); // "false"
console.log(i18n2 == i18n3); // "true"
clearCache()

Removes all internal references to shared instances which are created by create([name]).

var i18n1 = int17.create('i18n');
var i18n2 = int17.create('i18n');
int17.clearCache();
var i18n3 = int17.create('i18n');
var i18n4 = int17.create('i18n');
console.log(i18n1 == i18n2); // "true"
console.log(i18n1 == i18n3); // "false"
console.log(i18n3 == i18n4); // "true"

Message Bundles

optimize(messages)

Removes all meta data (i.e. message descriptions and placeholder examples) from the specified messages, which can either be message bundle (Object) or resource contents (String).

This can be really useful for build systems trying to optimize/minify message bundle resources to improve load times and/or reduce bandwidth in their production environments.

var messages = {
  greet: {
    message: 'Welcome, $name$',
    description: 'Greeting message for logged in users',
    placeholders: {
      name: {
        content: '$1',
        example: 'Alasdair'
      }
    }
  }
};
console.log(int17.optimize(messages));
/*
{
  greet: {
    message: 'Welcome, $name$',
    placeholders: {
      name: {
        content: '$1'
      }
    }
  }
}
*/
parse(contents)

Builds a message bundle from the specified resource contents.

console.log(int17.parse(fs.readFile('./path/to/file', 'utf8')));
/*
{
  greet: {
    message: 'Welcome, $1'
  }
}
*/

Miscellaneous

noConflict()

Returns int17 in a no-conflict state, reallocating the int17 global variable name to its previous owner, where possible.

This is really just intended for use within a browser.

<head>
  <script src="/path/to/conflict-lib.js"></script>
  <script src="/path/to/int17.js"></script>
  <script>
    var int17nc = int17.noConflict();
    // Conflicting lib works again and use int17nc for this library onwards...
  </script>
</head>
version

The current version of int17.

console.log(int17.version); // "0.3.0"

Internationalization

An instance of Internationalization is returned by create([name]) and is your new best friend when it comes to all your internationalization needs.

Setup

init([options], [callback(err)])

Initializes the instance with any options provided before asynchronously loading the localalized messages from their resource file/URL.

i18n.init(options, function (err) {
  if (err) throw err;
  // Do anything...
});
initSync([options])

Initializes the instance with any options provided before synchronously (thread-blocking) loading the localized messages from their resource file/URL.

i18n.init(options);
// Do anything...
Options

The following options are recognised by these methods (all of which are optional):

Option Description Default Value
clean Remove all recognized int17 attributes are removed from each processed element when traverse([element]) is called. false
defaultLocale Default locale to be used if one is not specified or could not be derived. 'en'
encoding Encoding to be used when reading locale files. 'UTF-8'
extension File extension used by your locale files. '.json'
fallback If there is a problem reading the file for the current locale, retry using the parent of the current locale (if applicable) or, in node.js only, one of its child locales (again, if applicable).
The fallback process may only retry once and then the appropriate error is thrown but may impact performance when used in production.
false
fileName Base file name used by your locale files.
This is only relevant when the folders option is enabled.
See the Locale Files section for more information and examples.
'messages'
folders Use a folder-based file structure for your locale files.
See the Locale Files section for more information and examples.
false
ignoreCase Ignore the case of placeholders when looking up their contents to be substituted. Disabling this will improve performance but means that the case of placeholders in messages must exactly match. true
messages Specify a pre-defined message bundle.
If a non-empty bundle is provided, no additional messages are loaded during initialization. This can be useful if you want to pre-render your message bundles on the page.
{}
languages Specify a pre-defined list of available languages.
See the Languages section for more information on the benefits of this option.
[]
locale Specify the locale whose messages are to be retrieved.
By default, int17 attempts to derive the best locale based on your environment before falling back to the defaultLocale option.
Derived
path Absolute/relative file path pointing at the root directory containing the locale files/folders. './locales'
separator File separator to be used when building file paths. Browser: '/'
node.js: path.sep

Browser Only

attribute(selector, attr, name, [...])

Sets the value of the specified attribute on all of the selected elements with the message for the specified name. All remaining arguments are used to replace indexed placeholders within the message before it is returned.

i18n.attribute('a', 'title', 'link_title');
i18n.attribute('a.download', 'title', 'open_file');
content(selector, name, [...])

Replaces the contents of all of the selected elements with the message for the specified name. All remaining arguments are used to replace indexed placeholders within the message before it is returned.

i18n.content('h1', 'page_header');
i18n.content('p', 'welcome', 'World');
node

The element whose children are within scope of all browser only methods. By default this references window.document but this can be changed to reduce the scope of internationalization and improve performance of some of these methods.

console.log(i18n.node); // "HTMLDocument"
options(selector, names, [...])

Creates option elements containing the messages for the specified names and appends them to all of the selected elements. All remaining arguments are used to replace indexed placeholders within the message before it is returned.

names can consist of a mix of strings and objects containing a name string and, optionally, a subs list as well as a value. When used, the optional subs property of a name object overrides any replacement arguments passed to the method when that particular message is processed while the value property is transfered to that option.

i18n.options('select', [
  { name: 'default_option', value: '-1' },
  'option1',
  { name: 'option2' },
  { name: 'option2', subs: ['2'] }
], 'Two');
property(selector, prop, name, [...])

Sets the value of the specified property on all of the selected elements with the message for the specified name. All remaining arguments are used to replace indexed placeholders within the message before it is returned.

prop can be identified using paths to change the values of deep properties. If the property is innerHTML, the contents of each element are traversed once being processed to ensure any newly inserted attributes are processed.

i18n.property('p', 'style.direction', 'dir');
i18n.property('p', 'innerHTML', 'welcome', 'World');
traverse([element])

Searches the children of the specified element (defaulting to node) for elements with any of the recognized HTML attributes and then processes each child accordingly.

element can either be an HTML element node or a query selector string which, when used, will be used to query the children of node for the actual element to be traversed.

// Traverses the children of i18n.node
i18n.traverse();
// Both of these do the same thing: traverses the children of <body> element
i18n.traverse(document.body);
i18n.traverse('body');

Locales

languages([parent], [callback(err, languages)])

Retrieves a list of available languages for the current environment. Optionally, this can be filtered to only include languages that extend from a specific parent locale, excluding the parent itself.

The languages are initially fetched asynchronously so a callback function must be provided in order to use the results. However, this does not really happen in the browser where languagesSync([parent]) is called while still supporting the callback pattern.

// Fetch all available languages
i18n.languages(function (err, languages) {
  if (err) throw err;
  console.log(languages); // e.g. "en", "en-GB", "en-US", "fr"
});
// Fetch available languages that extend from "en"
i18n.languages('en', function (err, languages) {
  if (err) throw err;
  console.log(languages); // e.g. "en-GB", "en-US"
});
languagesSync([parent])

Returns a list of available languages for the current environment. Optionally, this can be filtered to only include languages that extend from a specific parent locale, excluding the parent itself.

The languages are initially fetched synchronously (thread-blocking).

// Return all available languages
console.log(i18n.languagesSync());     // e.g. "en", "en-GB", "en-US", "fr"
// Return available languages that extend from "en"
console.log(i18n.languagesSync('en')); // e.g. "en-GB", "en-US"
Languages

The list of available languages is populated only with the current locale in the browser but, in node.js, the locale root directory is scanned and detects locales from the children file/folder names.

Alternatively, the languages option can be used to pre-populate the list. This is extremely beneficial in a browser as there's no other way of int17 knowing what languages are available in your configuration.

Regardless, the list is only populated when no languages have previously been fetched (or provided

  • in the previous statement's case) and results are cached to improve the performance of subsequent requests.
locale()

Returns the current locale.

console.log(i18n.locale()); // e.g. "en", "en-GB"

Messages

all(names, [...])

Returns a list of messages for each of the specified names. All remaining arguments are used to replace indexed placeholders within each message before they are returned.

names can consist of a mix of strings and objects containing a name string and, optionally, a subs list as well. When used, the optional subs property of a name object overrides any replacement arguments passed to the method when that particular message is processed.

console.log(i18n.all([
  'my_message',
  { name: 'welcome' },
  { name: 'welcome', subs: [] },
  { name: 'welcome', subs: ['Universe'] }
], 'World'));
/*
[
  'Lorem ipsum',
  'Hello, World!',
  'Hello, $1!',
  'Hello, Universe!'
]
*/
get(name, [...])

Returns the message for the specified name. All remaining arguments are used to replace indexed placeholders within the message before it is returned.

console.log(i18n.get('welcome'));          // "Hello, $1!"
console.log(i18n.get('welcome', 'World')); // "Hello, World!"
map(names, [...])

Maps each of the specified names to their corresponding message. All remaining arguments are used to replace indexed placeholders within each message before they are returned.

names can consist of a mix of strings and objects containing a name string and, optionally, a subs list as well. When used, the optional subs property of a name object overrides any replacement arguments passed to the method when that particular message is processed.

console.log(i18n.map([
  'my_message',
  { name: 'welcome' },
  { name: 'welcome', subs: ['Universe'] }
], 'World'));
/*
{
  my_message: 'Lorem ipsum',
  welcome:    'Hello, Universe!'
}
*/
Escape HTML

You can also access each of these methods on the escape namespace, where their results have already been escaped so that it is safe for HTML interpolation.

console.log(i18n.escape.all(['north_south']));
// [ 'North &amp; South' ]
console.log(i18n.escape.get('breadcrumb'));
// "Home &gt; News"
console.log(i18n.escape.map([
  'north_south',
  'breadcrumb'
]));
/*
{
  north_south: 'North &amp; South',
  breadcrumb:  'Home &gt; News'
}
*/

Miscellaneous

express(app, [namespace])

Extends the app provided to expose the instance to Express. Optionally, a namespace can be specified to customize what property name is used to access the int17 functionality via requests and responses.

See the Express section for more information and examples.

Locale Files

int17 can be configured to use one of two different file structures using options:

Flat

  • locales
    • en.json
    • en_GB.json
    • en_US.json
    • fr_BE.json

Folders

  • locales
    • en
      • messages.json
    • en_GB
      • messages.json
    • en_US
      • messages.json
    • fr_BE
      • messages.json

Regardless of which file structure is used, the contents of each files should be in a JSON format while adhering to the following structure:

{
  "<message_name>": {
    "message": "<message_content>",
    "description": "<optional_description>",
    "placeholders": {
      "<placeholder_name>": {
        "content": "<example_content>",
        "example": "<optional_example>"
      }
    }
  }
}

Attributes

The traverse([element]) method automatically recognizes int17-specific HTML attributes and handles each element they're attached to accordingly.

Altenatively, you can use HTML5 data attribute names if you want your pages to contain only strictly valid HTML5 (e.g. data-i18n-content).

Note: Attributes using the int17 prefix have been deprecrated as of v0.3.0 in favour of the more generic i18n prefix and will be removed completely in a future release

i18n-content

Replaces the HTML contents of the element with message for the attribute's value.

<h1 i18n-content="page_header"></h1>
i18n-options

Creates option elements containg the message for each name in the attribute's value.

The attribute value contains semi-colon separated names which can themselves be separated by colons to specify values.

<select i18n-options="default_value:-1;option1;option2;option3"></select>
i18n-values

Sets the attribute/property values to their corresponding messages as definied in the attribute's value.

The attribute value contains semi-colon separated names which are themselves separated by colons to specify their message names. To identify property paths (useful for changing deep properties) it must begin with a decimal point (.). If the property is .innerHTML, the contents of each element are traversed once being processed to ensure any newly inserted attributes are processed.

<p i18n-values=".innerHTML:page_content;.style.direction:dir;title:main_title"></p>
i18n-subs

Specifies replacements for indexed placeholders within the messages looked up while processing the other attributes.

The attribute value contains semi-colon separated values.

<p i18n-subs="World" i18n-content="welcome"></p>

jQuery

Due to the huge popularity of jQuery it deserves our full support, especially it can really simplify common usage. Take the JavaScript in the original browser example:

$.int17({ locale: 'en-GB' }).done(function () {
  $(document).int17();
});

As you may have noticed, we're using jQuery.Deferred here, but you can also use simple callback functions as well. For convenience, the Internationalization instance that is created by the call to $.int17 is passed as an argument to whatever callback mechanism is used.

$.int17 accepts the same options as the core initialization methods, but it also supports an additional int17 option which, when specified, will result in the plugin reusing that instance. However, you must ensure that the value of int17 is initialized before calling $.fn.int17.

Express

If you love Express as much as I do, you'll be happy to know that you don't have to do any fancy hacking to get it to work well with int17.

Just configure it:

var express = require('express'),
    i18n    = require('int17').create();

// ...

// During app's configuration...
app.configure(function () {
  // ...

  // Binds the int17 instance to requests and responses handled by app
  i18n.express(app);

  // ...
});

That's it! Now you can use it in your view:

app.get('/', function (req, res) {
  res.render('index', {
      header: req.int17.get('page_header'),
      intro:  req.int17.get('welcome_message')
  });
});

And just as easily in your templates:

<% include header %>
<h1><%- int17.get('page_header_prefix') %> <%- header %></h1>
<p><%- intro %></p>
<% include footer %>

Note: This example is using the ejs template engine.

Bugs

If you have any problems with this library or would like to see the changes currently in development you can do so here;

https://github.com/neocotic/int17/issues

Questions?

Take a look at docs/* to get a better understanding of what the code is doing.

If that doesn't help, feel free to follow me on Twitter, @neocotic.

However, if you want more information or examples of using this library please visit the project's homepage;

http://neocotic.com/int17

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