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How OS X Chooses a Language

As I mentioned in a previous post, beginning with Xojo 2013r4 we will no longer be localizing the IDE into any European languages. Some of our German users on OS X were surprised this morning when they launched today’s release (2013r4) expecting to get the English version of the IDE only to discover it in Japanese instead. Is this a bug?

No, it’s not a bug. It has to do with how OS X chooses which localization to use. When you launch an app, OS X goes down its list of languages looking for a matching localization in the app. When it finds one, it uses that one. If you are a German user (for example), you probably have German as your primary language on OS X. When you launch Xojo, OS X looks for a German localization and not finding one, continues down the list of languages looking for a match. Since, starting with r4, Xojo is localized only into Japanese, Chinese and English, OS X is finding a match to Japanese before it gets to English.

If you are experiencing this problem, there’s a simple solution. Go to the Language control panel in System Preferences and add English to your list of Preferred Languages. Make sure that English is above Japanese or Chinese (if you have either of those as Preferred Languages), then relaunch Xojo.

At that point, OS X will look for your primary language localization and not finding it, will look for English next. If you do not want to make changes to your Preferred Language list, the alternative is to use a Terminal command to permanently tell the OS to use English for Xojo. The command is:

defaults write com.xojo.xojo AppleLanguages -array en