8. BSCW Help

The BSCW help is available for from your BSCW server instance:

Alternatively you may access the help on our web page:

The BSCW help files are provided as HTML pages for on-line browsing as well as PDF files for printing.


To view PDF files you need the Acrobat Reader. You can download the Acrobat Reader for different platforms directly from the Adobe Web site at https://www.adobe.com free of charge.

8.1. Languages

8.1.1. Existing translations

English, French, German and Spanish interface languages are included in the standard distribution of BSCW. A number of people have already prepared translations into additional languages and made them publicly available. Please check the BSCW homepage at https://www.bscw.de/en/classic/#languages for available languages.


To select a specific language version you’ve got to instruct your browser to set your default language to the respective language. Alternatively you may define your language in your BSCW personal preferences settings [Options ‣ Preferences][General][Basic Preferences].

8.1.2. Translation instructions

You can add support for new languages by creating a sub directory in your BSCW instance <bscw-runtime-path>/conf/msg folder with the ISO language code of the language, these codes are the lower-case two-letter codes as defined by ISO-639 (you can find a full list of these codes at a number of sites, such as: http://www.ics.uci.edu/pub/ietf/http/related/iso639.txt).

Beside your instance specific modifications in <bscw-runtime-path>/conf/msg/* the distributed translations are located in the <bscw-path>/lib/bscw-5.2.6-<rev>-py27/bscw/msg/* directories. The distributed directories bscw/msg/en/* contain all relevant language dependent strings for the English version (default).

Relevant for translation are *.py, *_help.html, *.txt, *.mail, *.mail.txt and *.mail.html files:

  • *.py: Python source code, containing variables which in turn contain natural language strings. Each *.py, except lg_msgconfig.py, corresponds to a *.xhtml file stored in bscw/templates which contains content and layout information, but is language independent. At runtime both files are merged to produce a language dependent HTML output file.
  • *_help.html: Help files for context sensitive help
  • *.txt: Text templates, usually containing system messages
  • *.mail: Mail templates
  • *.mail.txt: Mail templates, containing mail messages, text only
  • *.mail.html: Mail templates, containing mail messages, HTML formatted

Other files need not, cannot and must not be translated!

Please contact support@orbiteam.de if you want to translate BSCW to a certain language or if you update an existing language. We can provide you with an Excel data sheet where you can enter your translations.

Alternatively you can provide a new translation BSCW as follows:

First create a new directory <bscw-runtime-path>/conf/msg/<your-language-two-letter-code> and copy each relevant file from <bscw-path>/lib/bscw-5.2.6-<rev>-py27/bscw/msg/en/* into this directory. Next translate the English strings, but make sure to leave HTML/Python syntax intact. Files which do not contain language dependent strings must not be copied.

Special attention should be paid to the central language dependent file lg_msgconfig.py. Please read the instructions in the file; it contains a large set of Python variables used all over the code. Make sure to leave the Python syntax structure intact.

It makes upgrading to later versions a lot easier, if for each line in msg/en/lg_msgconfig.py there is a corresponding line in msg/<your-language>/lg_msgconfig.py, even if it is commented out. Also, the variables should appear in exactly the same order in all languages. It is recommended that you start your translation with lg_msgconfig.py.

Next translate the additional BSCW packages are stored under msg/<your-language>/<package-name>. Follow the translation procedure outlined above.

Please send us an email support@orbiteam.de and include either the translation or a link to it. Also, please send us the names and institutions of the people who should be credited with the translation. We would like to include them in our hall of translators. Thank you very much for your work!


  • Some strings should not be translated at all, e.g., server error messages determined for system administrators - this is up to your discretion. A variable in lg_msgconfig.py that is not translated into <your-message> should be commented out, but left in that file to preserve the order of variables.
  • Make sure that you do not add white space to HTML templates – just replace the English strings. Also make sure that you do not remove quotes from Python variables. This will result in syntactically incorrect Python code. Use simple quotes (' / ") for single-line strings, and triple quotes (""") for multiple-line strings.
  • Please do not translate the mail headers (To:, From:, Subject:, etc.) in *.mail* template files.
  • Certain resources (e.g. AIR Widgets, Java Applets) are not included in the above mentioned files – contact OrbiTeam support@orbiteam.de to translate these resources.

8.2. BSCW Updates

New BSCW versions will be announced on the BSCW mailing lists. The versions can be found on the download page (https://www.bscw.de/en/classic/#download). Before upgrading to a new version please see section 2.4 Upgrading to BSCW 5.2.6.