Why create language packs?
Language packs can be created or edited to help with the branding, cultural adoption, and the delivery of information for specific Institutions, courses, users, and roles.
Language packs are made up of three components:
- User Interface (UI)
- Themes and Images
- Help links
Creating a custom language pack may involve editing any or all of these components. The following table lists some typical objectives when creating a language pack as well which components can be used to best fulfill the objective.
|Teach Language Through Immersion||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Display Cultural Norms||Yes||Yes||No|
|Provide Specific Instructions||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Reinforce Cultural Adoption||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Support Institutional Branding||Yes||Yes||No|
The language pack editor provides access to the locale bundles used throughout the system. Because the UI is the component of the language pack that Blackboard Learn users are most familiar with, editing these locale bundles offers the most impact on the user community for the least amount of work.
Language immersion and cultural adoption are obvious benefits, but the locale bundles can be edited to include information that enforces institutional rules and best practices. For example, suppose an institution wants to reinforce its policies regarding the downloading of Grade Center data. The instructor.exportDownloadGrades.instructions field, located in the gradebook.properties locale bundles, can be edited to provide specific download instructions that Instructors must follow.
The Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) that accompany Themes can be edited to support an institution's branding campaign. Many institutions customize Themes to foster community and give Blackboard Learn a more welcoming look and feel. Themes can also be used to change design elements of Blackboard Learn such as fonts, color schemes, and background images to display cultural norms.
The documentation.properties locale Bundles contain the URL links to documentation provided by Blackboard. You can edit the fields in this locale bundle to point to your own documentation.
Editing all three components of a language pack produces a customized experience for the Blackboard Learn users in a specific locale. Using a language in the UI appropriate to the locale encourages language immersion and adoption; culturally relevant design elements can reinforce cultural norms as well the brand identity of an institution; and editing the documentation provided with Blackboard Learn allows an institution to provide relevant information in the appropriate format.
Maintain edited language packs
Each time you upgrade Blackboard Learn, all language pack customizations must be made again in the upgraded Language Packs.
To ensure consistency across releases, the Blackboard Learn Updater compares the existing en_US language pack to the version that is being installed. The differences are noted and output to the following file:
For example: //blackboard/backups/20090101-10479/bundle_diff.txt
The following is an example of the bundle_diff.txt file.