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i18n Resource File Formats: RESJSON files

In our last blog posts on localization resource file formats, we outlined RESW and RESX formats. Since then, the newer Microsoft products are using JSON-powered formats, especially in their mobile frameworks. Here is a look at this format, and some of its characteristics for app localization.

RESJSON files are used by Windows “Metro” style applications developed for Windows 8. They are saved in a JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) format and contain strings that are often used for localizing the application’s user interface. LingoHub supports this format since earlier this year, see our news article. If you’re developing apps for Windows Mobile, Windows RT or Windows 8, you most likely will be working with these file types.

Developers often create different RESJSON files (e.g., resources.resjson) in locale folders named /en-US/, /fr-FR/, /ja-JP/, etc. Each resources.resjson file has strings localized for the particular language folder.

The RESJSON resource file formats follow the standard JSON syntax:

  • the whole content is enclosed in braces ( { } ) with no new lines
  • key-value pairs are delimited with colons ( : )
  • keys and values are surrounded by quotes ( ” )
  • key-value pairs are comma separated
  • place-holders syntax: {name}, where “name” can be a combination of non white space characters
  • key-value pairs with key syntax like: “_somekey.comment” where “somekey” is an existing key, are treated as comments belonging to key-value pair with “somekey” key. The location of the comment in the file is not important.
  • we use UTF-8 encoding for RESJSON resource files exports by default, but we also support other encodings our users might prefer.

RESJSON resource file formats example:

[gist: id=5344166]

We’re curious to find out what your experiences are localizing apps for Microsoft’s new platforms. I hope this overview is helpful and we’re continuing our blog series on resource file formats, also check out some of the previous blog posts on localizing for other platforms.