Very nice of cause,

but i would like to add something

first: when handling multilanguage support you will of cause have
an array of supported languages like $languages=array("en_GB","de_DE"...)
and a default language $def_language="en_GB" thean you may have an
array for each language used for the translations
$language_en_GB=array(animal=>"cobra",...), $language_de_DE=array(...)
or just an array of translation arrays:
$translations = array( en_GB => array( "animal=>"cobra",...),
so now to translate $text to $translated_text you could write:
if ( !in_array($user_language,$languages)) $user_language=$defualt_language;
$translated_text = saprintf( $text, $translations[$user_language]);

perhaps this is a good addition like
(s)tprintf are any other name for translation with the following parameters
(s)tprintf( text, dictonary_arrays[, language])
where the language with index 0 is used when language is omitted.

second: when handling translatione the MESSAGE should come out of
the translation mechanism so one had to use:
$text = "%(animal does something)s";
if ($lang == "it")
  $translations = array( "animal does something"=>.....)
  $translations = array("animal does something"=>"the %(color)s %(animal)s
is %(action)s",animal=>"cobra",color=>"green",action=>"eating",target
$translated_text = saprintf( saprintf( $text, $translations),

third: a mechanism for loading translations from files would be very
we use files that have a name appended with the locale (en_GB, de_DE,...)
so we have filenames like:
settings_en_GB.txt, settings_de_DE.txt,...
values_en_GB.txt, settings_de_DE.txt,...
so we have another implementation
(s)tfprintf( text, dictionary_files[, language][, seperator])
where dictionary_files have there names with a special sign like '#'
replaced by the locale
or with dictionary_files being an array of files array( locale=>filename)
at last seperator is the used to divide the lines of the translation files
into input and output
what makes a file like en_GB.txt:
animal does something:the %(color)s %(animal)s is %(action)s
the example code would now be:
$text = "%(animal does something)s";
$translated_text = stfprintf( stfprintf( $text, "#.txt", $lang), "#.txt",

forth: obvious is that handling translations by a database is also useful.
In this scenario we may have a table structure like
create table ( id int, locale char(5), input text, output text)
but that would require an implementation in dbx as every database is
different in
handling text.....

- marcus


<---> wrote in message [EMAIL PROTECTED]">news:[EMAIL PROTECTED]...
> I have seen that in php there isn't nothing similar to dictionary
> substitution in python.
> (a dictionary is an array with string keys, like hash in perl)
> This change consist in adding two functions ("a" stay for "array"):
> aprintf(string format, array dict) -- like printf, print the result
> saprintf(string format, array dict) -- like sprintf, return the result
> It works like this (written in php-like language):
> format -> "my name is %(name)s and i'm %(age)s"
> dict -> array( name=>"tom", age=> "eighteen" );
> (in php, unlike python, is possible to make an array with both string and
> number indices, so the format can be also %(2)s,...)
> aprintf(format,dict) -- print "my name is tom and i'm eighteen"
> saprintf(format,dict) -- return "my name is tom and i'm eighteen"
> in python, these substitutions are very useful, especially in cgi
> programming, for making templates from text files, in php could be
> useful in, for example, language customisation, or message formatting,
> etc...
> An example:
> if ($lang == "it")
>   define("MESSAGE","il %(animal)s %(color)s sta %(action)s %(target)s");
> else
>   define("MESSAGE","the %(color)s %(animal)s is %(action)s");
> =>"mouse"));
> // if the %(target)s isn't found, is ignored.
> (the "s" terminator could be substituted with other letters, like d for
> numbers, etc...)
> This approach has several advantages over something like this:
> "the $color $animal is $action"
> because in this phrase, variables are substituted when the parser execute
> it, and in this case:
> "the %(color)s %(animal)s is %(action)s"
> parameters are substituted only when the phrase is parsed with a
> function like aprintf
> I think that this is a good idea and could save a lot of time when the
> program need to be as modular as possible.
> ----------------
> Federico Marani
> ----------------

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