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CodeFluent Entities and the Localization Aspect: how to show localizable properties in the design surface


Using CodeFluent Entities, you can use “Member Format Expressions” (a.k.a “MFEX”) to customize the way names of entities and properties are formatted. We already have blogged about that feature here:

https://blog.codefluententities.com/2012/01/12/codefluent-entities-member-format-expressions-part-1/
https://blog.codefluententities.com/2012/01/13/member-format-expressions-part-2/

In this post, we’re going to explain how to create an MFEX that will display this on the surface when selected:

As you clearly see, I have defined two localized properties on my model (on the Name property of the Campaign entity, and on the Name property of the Space entity). But wait! A red ‘Localizable’ text is appended to the right of the property name. How do I do this?

Let start with this expression, demonstrated in the previous blog post:

<font condition=IsKey color=’red’>{#Name}<else/><font color=’blue’>{#Name}</font></font>

With this expression, key properties will be shown in red and other properties will be shown in blue. The condition syntax is in fact a .NET expression. IsKey is a property (of Boolean type) of the CodeFluent.Model.Property class. If I was writing C# code, I could do this ‘if (myProperty.IsKey)’ etc… But MFEX conditions also support “dot navigation”, so you could write this:

<font condition=Rules.Count color=’red’>{#Name}<else/><font color=’blue’>{#Name}</font></font>

In this case, we are navigating on the Rules property of the CodeFluent.Model.Property class, and on the Count property of the CodeFluent.Model.RuleCollection class. Count is of type Int32 and the condition evaluator needs a Boolean, so it just tests the resulting Int32 against 0, so the condition is equivalent to “Rules.Count > 0”. So this expression will show in red all the properties that have CodeFluent Entities rules defined on it.

Well, it turns out MFEX also supports (partially) methods in conditions. So, here is how to display localized properties:

{Name} <font color="red" condition="'true'=Element.GetAttribute('localizable','http://www.softfluent.com/codefluent/patterns/localization/2008/1')">Localizable</font>

Note : it’s important to respect the difference between the single quote and the double quote characters here.

So, the condition is an expression with an operation. = is the ‘equality insensitive’ operator. It means it uses equality but is case insensitive in the case of string comparison. Here is the list of available operators:

  • == or = : Equal
  • != or <> : NotEqual
  • [=CS] : EqualCaseSensitive
  • [!=CS] : NotEqualCaseSensitive
  • >= : GreaterThanEqual
  • <= : LesserThanEqual
  • > : GreaterThan
  • < : LesserThan
  • [StartsWith] : StartsWith
  • [StartsWithCS] StartsWithCaseSensitive
  • [EndsWith] : EndsWith
  • [EndsWithCS] : EndsWithCaseSensitive
  • [Contains] : Contains
  • [ContainsCS] : ContainsCaseSensitive

The condition will compare the literal string ‘true’ with the result of a method call that starts on the Element property of the CodeFluent.Model.Property class, which is of System.Xml.XmlElement type. XmlElement has a method called GetAttribute that simply gets an XML attribute given it’s local name (without a prefix if it’s in a specific XML namespace) and the XML namespace.

So, with this condition, we are accessing the XML element underlying the CodeFluent Entities Property concept. When a property is marked as localized, the corresponding XML text (in memory) is just modified like this:

  <Campaign namespace="SoftFluent.Advertising1" >
    <Id />
    <Name _loc:localizable="true" />
  </Campaign>

Happy MFEXing!

The CodeFluent R&D Team.

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