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Android: Accessing String resource without Context

Posted on 2013-02-07
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Last Modified: 2014-04-01
I have a class (CFunctions.java) that supplies my app with config info taken from strings.xml.  Until now, I have taken the splash page's Context as a basis for finding string resources.  However, I'm now implementing GCM to launch directly from a notification to a screen that's normally 2 or 3 activities deep in the stack.  As such, there is no splash page context to hijack, and I need a way to read strings.xml without context.  I fear I might need to copy the file out of the package and read it back in as an inputstream, substringing what I need.  Please tell me that there's a better way to get string values without a Context.

An SO user says I should use Resources.getSystem().getString(R.string.[string_name]); but this is also breaking (I believe that Resources invisibly requires a Context).

I've also tried this, and no dice.
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Question by:StarbucksDrinker
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Expert Comment

by:PCableGuy
ID: 38866640
You should be able to access the strings.xml file in any Activity using the this statement. So try using this.getString(R.string.[string_name])

In an area of the program in which you have access to a Context or Application, such as a ListAdapter, you can try these:
context.getString(R.string.[string_name])
application.getString(R.string.[string_name])
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by:StarbucksDrinker
ID: 38868392
I'm afraid I wasn't communicating clearly;  there is no Context available in this situation, and no way that I can find to access a context.  Every method I find to access string resources requires a context either visibly (this.getString()) or invisibly (application.getString()).  I need t o access these resources in a non-Activity class which has no Context of its own.
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Accepted Solution

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PCableGuy earned 500 total points
ID: 38870414
You can try making a global class that extends the Application class which can store all the string variables that you want. Example is here: http://androidresearch.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/defining-global-variables-in-android/

Along those lines, you might even be able to do something like this too, so you always have the ability to get a Context. If you do something like this, be aware of Android Application Lifecycle.

import android.app.Application;
import android.content.Context;

public class Global extends Application {

	@Override
    public void onCreate() {
        super.onCreate();    
		//initialize variables
    }
	
	public Context getContext(){
		
		Context C = this.getApplicationContext();
		return C;
	}
	
	
}

// some other class utilizing the Global class
import android.content.Context;


public class SomeClass {

	Context c;
	
	SomeClass(){
			
			Global g = new Global();
			c = g.getContext();
			c.getString(R.string.app_name);
	}
		
}

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Eclipse also warned about this:
public Context getApplicationContext ()
Added in API level 1
Return the context of the single, global Application object of the current process. This generally should only be used if you need a Context whose lifecycle is separate from the current context, that is tied to the lifetime of the process rather than the current component.

Consider for example how this interacts with registerReceiver(BroadcastReceiver, IntentFilter):

If used from an Activity context, the receiver is being registered within that activity. This means that you are expected to unregister before the activity is done being destroyed; in fact if you do not do so, the framework will clean up your leaked registration as it removes the activity and log an error. Thus, if you use the Activity context to register a receiver that is static (global to the process, not associated with an Activity instance) then that registration will be removed on you at whatever point the activity you used is destroyed.

If used from the Context returned here, the receiver is being registered with the global state associated with your application. Thus it will never be unregistered for you. This is necessary if the receiver is associated with static data, not a particular component. However using the ApplicationContext elsewhere can easily lead to serious leaks if you forget to unregister, unbind, etc.
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