Using a resource for an unsupported culture in Windows Phone

I was talking to a fellow dev about why the Resource Manager cannot support languages that the phone platform itself does not support. However, I thought that there probably would be a workaround…and here it is.

Step 1 – Create your basic project

Create phone project, by default this will create;


Step 2 – Add a test resource

Open the AppResources and add a new string called ‘ColourLabel’. I’m making the horrible assumption that you have defaulted to en-US so please enter the value of ‘Color’.

Step 3 – Add a new resource culture

Project->Add->Resource, e.g. AppResources.en-GB.resx

This should have copied our resource string from the master resource, so please change ‘ColourLabel’ to the correct spelling of ‘Colour’ Winking smile

Step 4 – Add a new unknown resource culture

Copy AppResource.en-GB.resx over to AppResources.en-XX.resx

Change ‘ColourLabel’ value from ‘Colour’ to our alien value of ‘ColourXX’

Step 5 – Change Build Action

If you try to use the ResourceManager to access en-XX it will fail because the culture is alien to the platform. So starts the workaround, change the BuildAction of en-XX to ‘Content’

Step 6 – Execute the resource manager

Running the following code…

AlienResourceManager britishResourceManager = new AlienResourceManager("en-GB");  
System.Diagnostics.Debug.WriteLine("en-GB: " + britishResourceManager.GetString("ColourLabel")); 
AlienResourceManager alienResourceManager = new AlienResourceManager("en-XX");  
System.Diagnostics.Debug.WriteLine("en-XX: " + alienResourceManager.GetString("ColourLabel"));  

results in the following output;

en-GB: Colour  
en-XX: ColourXX  

all done?

It’s fairly obvious that isn’t standard code, but it’s actually just a little over-riding of the standard ResourceManager. Here is my quick version, hope you find it useful.

public class AlienResourceManager : ResourceManager     
  private string alienCultureName;         
  private Dictionary alienStrings = null;         
  private CultureInfo currentCulture;         
  public AlienResourceManager(string alienCultureName) :  base("MyPhoneApp.Resources.AppResources", typeof(AppResources).Assembly)         
    this.alienCultureName = alienCultureName;              
      CultureInfo ci = new CultureInfo(alienCultureName);                 
      this.currentCulture = ci;             
    catch (Exception)             
      this.IsAlienCulture = true;             

  private void LoadAlienStrings(string alienCultureName)         
    var localisation = Application.GetResourceStream(new Uri("Resources/AppResources." + alienCultureName + ".resx", UriKind.Relative));             
    StreamReader resx = new StreamReader(localisation.Stream);             
    string resXml = resx.ReadToEnd();             
    XElement resourceFile = XElement.Parse(resXml);             
    this.alienStrings = new Dictionary();             
    var resourceStrings =              
      (from r in resourceFile.Descendants("data")              
      select new  { Name= r.Attribute("name").Value, Value = r.Element("value").Value}).ToList();              

    resourceStrings.ForEach(r => this.alienStrings.Add(r.Name, r.Value));          

  public bool IsAlienCulture { get; set; }          
  public override string GetString(string name)         
    if (this.IsAlienCulture)             
      return this.alienStrings[name];             
      return base.GetString(name, currentCulture);             

Windows Phone 7 LongListSelector Sample with Accents and Culture support

Recently I’ve made a few posts about how to support different cultures and accents when using the Windows Phone 7 Long List Selector from the Windows Phone Toolkit. So rather than try and explain each bit I decided to finally publish the code showing how the MSDN sample can be altered to support both accented groupings and cultures;

The sample is provided as-is, the code is mostly from MSDN with a few tweaks. You should not accept this as production ready code, please carry out your own tests.

Accented grouping


Japanese grouping


Japanese Jump List