I18N - Internationalization

If you use displaytag in a multi-language application, you will probably need to translate html generated by displaytag as well. Displaytag supports i18n for html snippets used in the paging and export banner and for the title of column headers.

i18n for displaytag resources

Using the displaytag.properties file you can set all the messages handled by displaytag.

Configuring: paging.banner.one_item_found=One item found

Will make displaytag output One item found when only a row is displayed.

In order to support other languages you can add any number of additional files named displaytag_LANGUAGE.properties . For example, you can add a displaytag_IT.properties for italian users with the following content:

paging.banner.one_item_found=Un solo elemento trovato

You don't need to copy all the properties in any internationalized file (some of them are also configuration properties which don't need to be translated at all). Configure displaytag properly in the main displaytag.properties file and then replicate only the strings you want to translate.

i18n for column title

There are a few different ways to define the content for a column header in the column tag:

  1. specifying a title attribute: the content of the title attribute will be used as is for the column header
  2. specifying a titlekKey attribute: the content of the titlekey will be used to lookup a resource in a resource bundle and the value will be used in the column header. If the specified key can't be found the ???key??? title will be displayed.
  3. leaving both title and titleKey properties out, while using a property attribute: the content of the property attribute will be used to lookup a resource in the resource bundle. If not found, the same (capitalized) value is used for the column header. By default, displaytag will use JSTL to lookup the value in the titleKey attribute, miming the behaviour of the fmt:message tag. This means that you need a container which supports jstl and standard.jar in your classpath: if you don't wish to use JSTL for i18n you will have a few other options (read the "advanced" chapter below).


Displaytag will probably be used in an application where content is already internationalized using a specific framework, which should provide a way to resolve the current locale and to lookup properties in a resource bundle.

Displaytag provides a way to plug-in different adapters to use the same i18n support you are using in your application.

Locale resolution

By default displaytag will use the locale specified in the request (i.e. the locale set in the user browser). This can be fine for a basic use, but you could need a way to override this selection and to force a different locale.

Here comes the problem: if you already use Jstl, Struts or other frameworks you will know that there is no standard way to specify the locale to use: each framework works in a different way.

Displaytag provides an interface LocaleResolver with a few ready to use implementations which match the behaviour of common frameworks. The locale resolver is specified in the displaytag.properties file using the locale.resolver key.

If nothing is specified the locale from the request is used, as specified above. However, you are free to configure here any custom implementation of the org.displaytag.localization.LocaleResolver interface with a simple method resolveLocale(HttpServletRequest)

Displaytag provides by default these ready to use implementations: class name behaviour org.displaytag.localization.I18nJstlAdapter Mimic JSTL, looking for a locale specified in session with the Config.FMT_LOCALE key. org.displaytag.localization.I18nStrutsAdapter Struts adapter, will look for the locale specified by Globals.LOCALE_KEY org.displaytag.localization.I18nWebworkAdapter Webwork2 adapter, will look for the locale specified by the fist LocaleProvider action in the stack org.displaytag.localization.I18nSpringAdapter Spring adapter, will use RequestContextUtils.getLocale() for locale resolution (which will in turn delegate to the Spring locale resolver)

Resources lookup

Other than resolving the currently used locale, your framework will probably provide a standard way to store i18n resources. Just like for the locale resolution, displaytag will allow you to plug in different implementations.

Displaytag provides an interface I18nResourceProvider with a few ready to use implementations which match the behaviour of common frameworks. This is configured in displaytag.properties using the locale.provider key. By default the JSTL implementation is used.

The ready to use locale resolvers are (yes, these are the same classes used for locale resolution, since they implement both interfaces): class name behaviour org.displaytag.localization.I18nJstlAdapter JSTL implementation, works in the same way as fmt:message. Note that this depends from the jakarta jstl implementation: it will also work with Resin jstl support, but you will still need standard.jar in the classpath. org.displaytag.localization.I18nStrutsAdapter Struts adapter, will use TagUtils.message() org.displaytag.localization.I18nWebworkAdapter Webwork2 adapter, will look for the first TextProvider action in the stack and will obtain a message for the given key. org.displaytag.localization.I18nSpringAdapter Spring adapter, will look for the configured messageSource and use it to obtain a value for the given key.