"All the world's a stage," wrote William Shakespeare. But not all the players upon that great and turbulent stage speak the great Bard's native tongue. To be usable on a global scale, your software needs to communicate in many different languages. The menu labels, button strings, dialog messages, titlebar titles, and even command-line error messages must be settable to the user's choice of language. This is the topic of internationalization and localization. Because these words take a long time to say and write, they are often abbreviated by their first and last letters and the count of omitted letters, that is, I18N and L10N.

Java provides a Locale class to discover/control the internationalization settings. A default Locale is inherited from operating system runtime settings when Java starts up and can be used most of the time!

Ian's Basic Steps: Internationalization

Internationalization and localization consist of:

  • Sensitivity training (Internationalization or I18N): making your software sensitive to these issues

  • Language lessons (Localization or L10N): writing configuration files for each language

  • Culture lessons (optional): customizing the presentation of numbers, fractions, dates, and message-formatting

See also Java Internationalization by Andy Deitsch and David Czarnecki (O'Reilly).

Java Cookbook
Java Cookbook, Second Edition
ISBN: 0596007019
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 409
Authors: Ian F Darwin

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