ResourceBundle Class in Java

Resource bundles contain locale-specific objects. When your program needs a locale-specific resource, a String for example, your program can load it from the resource bundle that is appropriate for the current user's locale. In this way, you can write program code that is largely independent of the user's locale isolating most, if not all, of the locale-specific information in resource bundles.

This allows you to write programs that can:

➯ Be easily localized, or translated, into different languages

➯ Handle multiple locales at once

➯ Be easily modified later to support even more locales

Resource bundles belong to families whose members share a common base name, but whose names also have additional components that identify their locales. For example, the base name of a family of resource bundles might be "MyResources". The family should have a default resource bundle which simply has the same name as its family - "MyResources" - and will be used as the bundle of last resort if a specific locale is not supported. The family can then provide as many locale-specific members as needed, for example a German one named "MyResources_de".

Each resource bundle in a family contains the same items, but the items have been translated for the locale represented by that resource bundle. For example, both "MyResources" and "MyResources_de" may have a String that's used on a button for canceling operations. In "MyResources" the String may contain "Cancel" and in "MyResources_de" it may contain "Abbrechen".

If there are different resources for different countries, you can make specializations: for example, "MyResources_de_CH" contains objects for the German language (de) in Switzerland (CH). If you want to only modify some of the resources in the specialization, you can do so.

When your program needs a locale-specific object, it loads the ResourceBundle class using the getBundle method:

 ResourceBundle myResources =
      ResourceBundle.getBundle("MyResources", currentLocale);
Resource bundles contain key/value pairs. The keys uniquely identify a locale-specific object in the bundle. Here's an example of a ListResourceBundle that contains two key/value pairs:

 public class MyResources extends ListResourceBundle {
     protected Object[][] getContents() {
         return new Object[][] {
             {"OkKey", "OK"},
             {"CancelKey", "Cancel"},

Keys are always Strings. In this example, the keys are "OkKey" and "CancelKey". In the above example, the values are also Strings--"OK" and "Cancel"--but they don't have to be. The values can be any type of object.

You retrieve an object from resource bundle using the appropriate getter method. Because "OkKey" and "CancelKey" are both strings, you would use getString to retrieve them:

     button1 = new Button(myResources.getString("OkKey"));
 button2 = new Button(myResources.getString("CancelKey"));

The getter methods all require the key as an argument and return the object if found. If the object is not found, the getter method throws a MissingResourceException.

Besides getString, ResourceBundle also provides a method for getting string arrays, getStringArray, as well as a generic getObject method for any other type of object. When using getObject, you'll have to cast the result to the appropriate type. For example:

int[] myIntegers = (int[]) myResources.getObject("intList");

The Java Platform provides two subclasses of ResourceBundle, ListResourceBundle and PropertyResourceBundle, that provide a fairly simple way to create resources. As you saw briefly in a previous example, ListResourceBundle manages its resource as a list of key/value pairs. PropertyResourceBundle uses a properties file to manage its resources.

If ListResourceBundle or PropertyResourceBundle do not suit your needs, you can write your own ResourceBundle subclass. Your subclasses must override two methods: handleGetObject and getKeys()


The ResourceBundle.Control class provides information necessary to perform the bundle loading process by the getBundle factory methods that take a ResourceBundle.Control instance. You can implement your own subclass in order to enable non-standard resource bundle formats, change the search strategy, or define caching parameters. Refer to the descriptions of the class and the getBundle factory method for details.

Cache Management

Resource bundle instances created by the getBundle factory methods are cached by default, and the factory methods return the same resource bundle instance multiple times if it has been cached. getBundle clients may clear the cache, manage the lifetime of cached resource bundle instances using time-to-live values, or specify not to cache resource bundle instances.

References : Oracle share on :        :  

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