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6.10.6 Help Text

Help text multilingual support has a special issue because it contains keywords that the IBM i must recognize so that the help text can be displayed correctly. These include $$HI=, $$TECH and the attribute flags such as '{' and '}'.

The IBM i program must recognize these keywords and attributes in the help text as the code point of these characters in CCSID 037. This is because the IBM i program has been written in CCSID 037.

The help text also contains the actual text that the end-user sees. This text will be in the specific language.

For example the help text for a field can contain English text in English, Japanese text in Japanese and French text in French. But the same IBM i program must understand the keywords and attributes in all these three languages.

For check Out, the special formatting characters (%{@~}|) and the directive prefix ($$) are first converted to the CCSID of the help text. The complete help text including directives and formatting can then be converted to UTF-8 by the IBM i check out processing.

For check in, the complete help text for a language is first converted from UTF-8 to the CCSID of the language. This text is then scanned and the formatting characters and directives replaced by the CCSID 37 equivalents. This text can then be written to the IBM i help files. This text will contain the directives and formatting that can be interpreted by the IBM i program which displays help text.

Where specific formatting characters are defined, for example, $$HI= , the standard replacement is not done.

The replacement characters for the formatting and directive are held on IBM i file DC@FHR. The information is held by target CCSID. It contains the CCSID 37 character and the equivalent in the target CCSID. Characters held are "$%{@~}\".