Friday, 23 December 2011

US Culture is more pervasive than you might expect

While getting an application ready to ship, I switched the locale of my WP7 device to Danish.  Fingers crossed, my app will magically display Pi as 3,14159

Alas, that’s not what happens.  When I put up a text box, and enter 3,14159, my software actually gets a value of 314159 instead.

Posting a query on Culture to the WP7 Forums got no result, so I dug into Laurent Bugnion’s excellent Silverlight 4 Unleashed book, and found that he suggests in Listing 6.10 that you set the Language on the Page.  I didn’t really want to build a page for every language, as I’ll never hit them all, so instead modified the constructor of my FrameworkElement classes as follows:

this.Language = System.Windows.Markup.XmlLanguage.GetLanguage(Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentUICulture.Name);

Eventually I tracked down several sources for why this is the case:


imageimageI also attempted to make it easier for the user to enter numbers into my window, using the InputScope attribute of my TextBoxes, I assumed that InputScope=”Number” would be what I wanted. How Naive.  The image on the left shows how unsuitable this is.

In the Danish Locale, we really want a comma on the keyboard, not a decimal point.  In addition, there is no negative sign.

The best compromise I could find (after randomly trying many of the InputScope values that looked appropriate was Time, which gives the keyboard on the right.

Now I just need to come up with a strategy for translating the Validation Exceptions that I’m currently displaying in the UI.

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