VS 11 Beta: language packs

One new “feature” of Visual Studio 11 is that it will support language packs to provide multiple languages for the user interface (UI). You can download them for VS 11 Beta here:

Microsoft Visual Studio 11 Beta Language Pack

This is something I wanted to have since long time ago (I wish Visual Studio had Multilingual User Interface (MUI) implemented as on Windows Vista). And finally Microsoft has provided this. While multiple languages for the UI is not important for most developers (they will use only one), it is a very important feature for developers of add-ins and other extensions. Why? Because chances are that you will develop your extension in Visual Studio in English and it will fail when some user uses Visual Studio in Spanish, German, French, etc. In the following post I explained things to be aware of:

MZ-Tools Articles Series: HOWTO: Testing add-ins in localized versions of Visual Studio

(In a next post I will talk about another area to take into account: the language of the satellite dlls used by add-ins to provide custom pictures for commands and buttons, which depend on the language of Visual Studio, but I found a workaround to use only one satellite dll.)

Until now, you had to install the full Visual Studio in some language on top of the Visual Studio in some other language (and the service packs) to get the two languages in the “Tools”, “Options” window, “Environment”, “International Settings” section. Now, you can just install a language pack on top of the Visual Studio in some language, which supposedly will take less time.

But Visual Studio is half of the environment. The other half is the Windows operating system, which also varies from one language to another, and some folders are localized (for example, “Application Data” in Windows XP), which can cause bugs if you are not careful as the bug of Visual Studio described in the post mentioned above. To catch these problems since I have two computers in one of them I have Windows and Visual Studio in Spanish (my native language) and in other in English. Of course you can use virtual machines for foreign languages if English is your native language.