Column heading width on screens and reports in multilingual partitions

Date:Archived
Product/Release:LANSA for the AS/400 and LANSA for Windows
Abstract:When adding a field to the screen or a report, the column headings are wider than necessary. This could be caused by the column heading widths in other languages
Submitted By:LANSA Technical Support

When reports and screen panels are designed in a multilingual partition, "width" details for the column headings, labels descriptions, etc are based on the widest available multilingual definition.

The need to make space for the "widest" language on screen panels and reports can have a bearing on how multilingual details such as column headings are recorded into the dictionary.

In bi-directional languages such as Hebrew, the headings etc are positioned from the right. In all other languages they are positioned from the left (including shift-out/shift-in characters for IGC/DBCS languages).

Consider an alphanumeric field of length 3 that has a multilingual column heading that is 20 characters wide (for example in German). Ignoring the fact that using a 20 character wide column heading for a 3 character wide field is fairly silly and violates the guidelines in the Tips, Techniques and Guidelines manual, let's see what would happen in a multilingual application.

If the column was placed on a report, the space used would be like this (where GG..GG is the German column heading and XXX the printable field value):

             GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG
                             XX

Now, if the system also allowed English and Hebrew, and both of these column headings only used 5 characters, the run time change to either of these languages would produce a result like this:

English ....     EEEEE
                             XXX

Hebrew .....                     HHHHH
                            XXX

Both of these results would look rather silly on the report.

The solution is to remember that column headings should generally be centered, using spaces, within the width of the "widest" language entry.

The use of a scaling or testcard language can aid in doing this.

If these column headings were all centered in the 20 characters, the results would be like this (which are far more acceptable):

German .....          GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG
                                                       XXX
English ....                                 EEEEE
                                                       XXX
Hebrew .....                                 HHHHH
                                                      XXX

This, and other information about multilingual applications, can be found in the LANSA for the AS/400 Multilingual Application Design Guide.