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Easier handling of Java i18n resource bundles
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Kilt - <strong>K</strong>ilt <strong>I</strong>18n Kilt I18n L10n and T9n

Easier handling of Java i18n resource bundles.

What is Kilt

Kilt is a set of small tools to ease the handling of Java i18n resource bundles.

It can help by

  • Converting i18n resource bundles to and from XLS(X) sheets for easier translation by a small translation team.

  • Providing a facade to access the entries in a i18n resource bundle statically in a type safe way.

  • Reformat and reorder entries in resource bundles to maintain a constant style and order.

Kilt is available as

  • a standalone CLI application

  • an ant task to be integrated with an ant-based application

  • a maven plugin to be integrated with a maven-based application

Why to use Kilt

The localizations of Java i18n resource bundles are cluttered among serveral files. That’s no problem for software engineers, but not very helpful to translators without the help of additional professional translation tools. Therefore this tool allows to convert the Java i18n resource bundles to a single XLS(X) sheet to be transmitted to the translators. The translators can make their changes directly in the XLS(X) sheet and send it back to the software engineers who incorporate the changes back into the actual Java i18n resource bundles.

Also using Java i18n resource bundles usually involves accessing them by string which is not type safe and requires the knowledge of the exact name of the key to use. Kilt can create a facade to access the resource bundle keys in a type-safe manner. This allows for using code completion in an IDE to find the available keys. It even lists the available translations in the generated Javadoc!

The benefits of Kilt are in short form:

  • Support of a fast and easy translation workflow

  • Minimal invasive changes on import and export of translations (comments, blank lines and order remain intact)

  • Good integration into ant and maven build tools

  • Standalone CLI tool to be used without a build tool

  • Type safe access to translation resources via facade

Usage example

The functionality described above can best be demonstrated by a concrete example. See the Example application for a commented minimal application using Kilts functionality.


Basic prerequisites

  • Java 8 or higher

To be integrated into an ant build script

When using Java 8 to 10:

  • Apache ant 1.8.1 or higher

When using Java 11+:

  • Apache ant 1.10.6 or higher [1]

To be integrated into a maven build

  • Apache maven 3.0.3 or higher


Maven plugin

To use the maven plugin of Kilt include the following plugin section in the pom or your project:


See the Kilt User Guide for a detailled description of the available goals and configuration parameters.

Ant task

To use the ant task of Kilt download the kilt-ant package from the Download section and either use the integrated build.xml file or use it as a sample to include it in your own ant build script.

You will need the accompanied properties file and lib directory as well.

As standalone tool

To use Kilt as a standalone tool download the kilt-cli package from the Download section and unpack it to a directory of your choice.


See the main user guide for a detailled usage description of Kilt.


Kilt is licensed under the terms of the Apache license 2.0.


Kilt is based on i18n-binder which is apparently orphaned. It started as bugfixes for i18n-binder, but soon involved such massive changes that it was forked into a new project with the new name Kilt.

The current state of Kilt doesn’t share much code with the original anymore.

It provides the following major improvements:

  • The facade generation was recreated from the ground up. The resulting facade is now much simpler, much more concise and easier to use.

  • The commands and parameters are partly renamed (and now extended) to be more concise.

  • XLS(X) files are now updated instead of recreated each time. This allows manual changes to the document (like cell formatting) without losing them after a new export.

  • Empty cells and default resource bundles (without a country code) in the XLS(X) are now supported.

  • An additional command line application was added that does not depend on ant.

  • Another runtime jar was added for using the generated facade in other projects or even have a saner access to resource bundles without any generated facade at all.

1. Older version of ant can be used by exporting the environment variable ANT_OPTS="-Djdk.util.jar.enableMultiRelease=force"
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