// Get the <stringbundle> element in the XUL documentThe variable theString will then contain the localized string defined in the XUL document.
var strBundle = document.getElementsByTagName("stringbundle").item(0);
// Get the UI string
var theString = strBundle.getString("foobar");
A problem for which I've discovered a solution only recently is how to embed another string within a localized string. This typically happens when the UI string contains one or more substrings that are only determined at run-time, such as file I/O error messages that gives the name of the file or folder.
Somehow I overlooked a method of the <stringbundle> object that can accomplish what I needed: getFormattedString(). The idea is that the UI string contains placeholders that will be substituted at run-time with another string that is provided in an array parameter. Each nth element in the array parameter corresponds to the nth placeholder in the string -- basically, the same idea in the C library function printf().
After reading the documentation on XULPlanet, I tried it out. I modified the UI string that defines the error message that appears if the user attempts to import an invalid Clippings file:
alertImportFailed = Cannot read file: \"%s\"\nThe selected file may not be a valid Clippings file.Then in clippings.js, which contains Clippings Manager's UI logic, I modified the code that gets the error message as follows:
// gStrBundle is a global variable referencing the <stringbundle> element defined in clippings.xulBut it didn't work: only the first character in
// path contains the full path of the file the user attempted to import
var err = gStrBundle.getFormattedString("alertImportFailed", [path]);
pathwas returned. So I did some searching on Google and came across the documentation on Devmo that indicated that an uppercase "S" is needed in the placeholder.
alertImportFailed = Cannot read file: \"%S\"\nThe selected file may not be a valid Clippings file.Now it works. Armed with this knowledge, I even made the effort to point this out to a developer who had written a "bug fix" to work around the lowercase "s" problem.
And one other hint on the subject of localizing strings: to embed a non-breaking space in a UI string in a .properties file, use the hexadecimal Unicode escape character