Chapter 37. Localizing Programs

Many programmers write applications that are used only in their countries. It's easy enough to find plenty of customers for a small application without looking for long-distance customers.

However, the world has grown smaller in the past few decades, and it's common for software to spread far beyond its country of origin. Customers can download your software over the web and pay for it using online payment systems in a matter of minutes. Web applications that run in a browser are even more likely to be used by people all over the world.

With such a potentially enormous market, it makes sense in some cases to make programs accessible to people in different countries, particularly since Visual Basic and Visual Studio make it relatively easy.

In this lesson, you learn how to make a program accessible to customers in other countries with different cultures. You learn how to make multiple interfaces for a program so users can work in their own languages. You also learn how to work with values such as currency and dates that have different formats in different locales.


Localization is a huge topic so there isn't room to cover everything there is to know about it here. In particular, you should always get a native of a particular locale to help in localizing your application whenever possible. Unless you are extremely well-versed in a locale's language, customs, and idioms, it's very easy to make mistakes.

Note that I am not fluent in all of the locales ...

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