Locale::Maketext::Lexicon - Use other catalog formats in Maketext


Locale::Maketext::Lexicon - Use other catalog formats in Maketext


This document describes version 0.32 of Locale::Maketext::Lexicon, released October 14, 2003.


As part of a localization class, automatically glob for available lexicons:

    package Hello::L10N;
    use base 'Locale::Maketext';
    use Locale::Maketext::Lexicon {
        '*' => [Gettext => '/usr/local/share/locale/*/LC_MESSAGES/hello.mo'],
        _decode => 1,   # decode lexicon entries into utf8-strings

Explicitly specify languages, during compile- or run-time:

    package Hello::L10N;
    use base 'Locale::Maketext';
    use Locale::Maketext::Lexicon {
        de => [Gettext => 'hello_de.po'],
        fr => [
            Gettext => 'hello_fr.po',
            Gettext => 'local/hello/fr.po',
    # ... incrementally add new lexicons
        de => [Gettext => 'local/hello/de.po'],

Alternatively, as part of a localization subclass:

    package Hello::L10N::de;
    use base 'Hello::L10N';
    use Locale::Maketext::Lexicon (Gettext => \*DATA);
    # Some sample data
    msgid ""
    msgstr ""
    "Project-Id-Version: Hello\n"
    "MIME-Version: 1.0\n"
    "Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso8859-1\n"
    "Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit\n"
    #: Hello.pm:10
    msgid "Hello, World!"
    msgstr "Hallo, Welt!"
    #: Hello.pm:11
    msgid "You have %quant(%1,piece) of mail."
    msgstr "Sie haben %quant(%1,Poststueck,Poststuecken)."


This module provides lexicon-handling modules to read from other localization formats, such as Gettext, Msgcat, and so on.

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of lexicon modules, please consult the Locale::Maketext manpage and http://www.autrijus.org/webl10n/ first.

A command-line utility xgettext.pl is also installed with this module, for extracting translatable strings from source files.

The import function

The import() function accepts two forms of arguments:

(format => source ... )
This form takes any number of argument pairs (usually one); source may be a file name, a filehandle, or an array reference.

For each such pair, it pass the contents specified by the second argument to Locale::Maketext::Lexicon::format->parse as a plain list, and export its return value as the %Lexicon hash in the calling package.

In the case that there are multiple such pairs, the lexicon defined by latter ones overrides earlier ones.

{ language => [ format, source ... ] ... }
This form accepts a hash reference. It will export a %Lexicon into the subclasses specified by each language, using the process described above. It is designed to alleviate the need to set up a separate subclass for each localized language, and just use the catalog files.

Starting from version 0.20, language arguments are converted into lowercase and have all - replaced by _, so zh_TW and zh-tw will both produce a zh_tw subclass.

If language begins with _, it is taken as an option that controls how lexicons are parsed. See Options for a list of available options.

The * is a special language; it must be used in conjunction with a filename that also contains *; all matched files with a valid language code in the place of * will be automatically prepared as a lexicon subclass. If there is multiple * in the filename, the last one is used as the language name.


If set to a true value, source entries will be converted into utf8-strings (available in Perl 5.6.1 or later). This feature needs the Encode or Encode::compat module.

Currently, only the Gettext backend supports this option.

This option only has effect when _decode is set to true. It specifies an encoding to store lexicon entries, instead of utf8-strings.

Subclassing format handlers

If you wish to override how sources specified in different data types are handled, please use a subclass that overrides lexicon_get_TYPE.

XXX: not documented well enough yet. Patches welcome.


If you want to implement a new Lexicon::* backend module, please note that parse() takes an array containing the source strings from the specified filehandle or filename, which are not chomped. Although if the source is an array reference, its elements will probably not contain any newline characters anyway.

The parse() function should return a hash reference, which will be assigned to the typeglob (*Lexicon) of the language module. All it amounts to is that if the returned reference points to a tied hash, the %Lexicon will be aliased to the same tied hash if it was not initialized previously.


Thanks to Jesse Vincent for suggesting this module to be written.

Thanks also to Sean M. Burke for coming up with Locale::Maketext in the first place, and encouraging me to experiment with alternative Lexicon syntaxes.

Thanks also to Yi Ma Mao for providing the MO file parsing subroutine, as well as inspiring me to implement file globbing and transcoding support.

See the AUTHORS file in the distribution for a list of people who have sent helpful patches, ideas or comments.


xgettext.pl for extracting translatable strings from common template systems and perl source files.

the Locale::Maketext manpage, the Locale::Maketext::Lexicon::Auto manpage, the Locale::Maketext::Lexicon::Gettext manpage, the Locale::Maketext::Lexicon::Msgcat manpage, the Locale::Maketext::Lexicon::Tie manpage


Autrijus Tang <autrijus@autrijus.org>


Copyright 2002, 2003 by Autrijus Tang <autrijus@autrijus.org>.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.

See http://www.perl.com/perl/misc/Artistic.html

 Locale::Maketext::Lexicon - Use other catalog formats in Maketext