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chrome-i18n - Chrome/Chromium i18n database builder

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chrome-i18n is a command line tool for your Chrome/Chromium apps and extensions. It aims to help you in easily build a complete database of locales starting from some project files.

How to install

It's possible to install chrome-i18n using Node and npm. (Remember to execute the command as root when install globally.)

$ npm install -g chrome-i18n


To show the help, just type

$ chrome-i18n --help


$ man chrome-i18n

To build a project

$ chrome-i18n [-f|--file <your-dictionary-json>]

If --file option is omitted, the default project file will be set to ./dictionary.json. The only supported file format is JSON. Not well-formed JSON files will be ignored.

Defining a project

Currently are supported three different ways in defining a project:

Mode Description
monolith the project file is a unique JSON file. It contains both the meta and database descriptors. Further informations in doc/
category the project is divided into a meta descriptor file describing the project structure, and one or more definition files. Further informations in doc/
language the project is divided into a meta descriptor file describing the project structure and database definitions, and as many files as the supported languages. Further informations in doc/


In this example we want to build a database from an unique file (the monolith mode). To achieve this, we create a project file:

    "meta": {
        "format": "monolith",
        "dest": "./_locales/",
        "locales": [ "it", "en" ]
    "database": {
        "helloWorld": {
            "description": "a greetings message",
            "locales": {
                "it": "Salve Mondo!",
                "en": "Hello World!"

and save giving name dictionary.json, then run our CLI tool:

$ chrome-i18n

The program will looks for a file named dictionary.json into the current directory, and builds the classic _locales directory structure for all the languages defined in our project file.


Internationalization files in Chrome/Chromium are JSON files composed by an object with tenths or hundreds (sometimes thousands) keys which describe how a string has to be translated in a particular language.

People usually code these gigantic files by hand, one for each language they want to give support. Each language with its own directory and definition file. Same structure, same keys, same rules, but the translated message.

It's a lot of useless redundancy to manage by hand. This sucks and the goal is to make it easier to manage.

chrome-i18n is a specific tool which will build a complete database for your Chrome extensions and web apps starting from some project files, easier to maintain and manage.


Any contribution to improve the project and/or expand it is welcome.

If you're interested in contributing to this project, take care to maintain the existing coding style.

The project follows these standard, so please you do it too:

To contribute:

  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create new Pull Request

Add unit tests for any new or changed functionality. Lint and test your code using grunt.

Release History

See the CHANGELOG file distributed with the project.


Copyright (c) 2012-2013 Marco Trulla - Licensed under the MIT license.

See the LICENSE file distributed with the project.