Objective 3: Localization and Internationalization

In computing, internationalization and localization are means of adapting computer software to different languages and regional differences. Internationalization is the process of designing a software application so that it can be adapted to various languages and regions without engineering changes. Localization is the process of adapting internationalized software for a specific region or language by adding locale-specific components and translating text.

The terms are frequently abbreviated to the numeronyms i18n (where 18 stands for the number of letters between the first “i” and last “n” in internationalization, a usage coined at Digital Equipment Corporation in the 1970s or 1980s) and L10n respectively, due to the length of the words. The capital “L” in L10n helps to distinguish it from the lowercase “i” in i18n.

Since open source software can generally be freely modified and redistributed, it is more amenable to internationalization. The KDE project, for example, has been translated into over 100 languages.

The time zone under Linux is set by a symbolic link from /etc/localtime to a file in the /usr/share/zoneinfo directory that corresponds to your specific time zone. Generally this is defined during the installation process in order to provide the correct information to the system. However, manually running the command tzconfig can also do the job, and you won’t have to remember the path to the time zones.

The tzselect program ...

Get LPI Linux Certification in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.