Chapter 13. Internationalization

Taking the term World Wide Web literally means that your web site needs to respect the local languages and customs of all visitors, no matter where they come from. More and more, large web sites provide content in several different languages. Just look at sites like Yahoo!, which provide directory services in the local language of more than 20 countries in Europe, Asia Pacific, and North and South America. Other good examples are CNN, with local news for 3 continents in 7 different languages, and Vitaminic (http://www.vitaminic.com/), a site with MP3 music and artist information customized for different countries. If the site contains only static content, it’s fairly easy to support multiple languages: just make a static version of the site for each language. But this approach is not practical for a site with dynamic content. If you develop a separate site for each language, you will have to duplicate the code that generates the dynamic content as well, leading to maintenance problems when errors are discovered or when it’s time to add new features. Luckily, Java and JSP provide a number of tools to make it easier to develop one version of a site that can handle multiple languages.

The process of developing an application that caters to the needs of users from different parts of the world includes two phases: internationalization and localization.

Internationalization means preparing the application by identifying everything that will be different ...

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