Part VI: Tools and Technologies
When a house is being constructed, it would be inconceivable for those involved in the project not to gather and utilize a wide assembly of tools that enable, accelerate, and ease the entire process. Without such things as drills, nail guns, hammers, chisels, saws, jigs, and sometimes scaffolds, certain construction tasks will be more difficult if not impossible to complete, and they will be less cost-effective. Likewise, designers and developers of world-ready software should be thoroughly equipped to handle all the various aspects related to making software usable in the international arena.
Because Microsoft realizes the significance of internationalized products, it has made available all the parts needed to create world-ready solutions at all levels of deployment. In addition to the invaluable resources, techniques, and technologies discussed throughout this bookincluding Unicode, numerous application programming interfaces (APIs), and Microsoft Windows globalization servicesthere is yet another assortment of resources at your disposal, which is the focus of Part VI, "Tools and Technologies." Part VI contains a sampling of tools and technologies that can expedite and simplify the process of developing world-ready software. Although the discussion of each resource could easily be expanded into a book in itself, the primary purpose of these chapters is to present a high-level glimpse of the role these tools and technologies play, and to point you to further information regarding their usage.
In general, each chapter is divided into similar components: "Overview of the Technology," (or "Overview of the Tool"), "Availability," "International Features" (when applicable), "International Best Practices" (when applicable), and "Additional Resources." Some of these tools and technologies, such as Microsoft Layer for Unicode (MSLU), are inherently world-ready and, consequently, each feature is regarded as international in nature. For this reason, these features are not specifically mentioned as separate international components. Similarly, the mere act of using other tools and technologies such as the Microsoft Windows Text Services Framework (TSF), Uniscribe, or Microsoft Visual Studio .NET represents an international best practice in itself. When there are issues or alternatives involved with using a particular resource, as in the case of OpenType fonts, these topics are also presented. As a final note, although the .NET Framework platform is discussed throughout the book, it is included in Part VI to underscore its vital role in the development of world-ready applications and to provide a more general look at the platform as a whole.