Chapter 10. Internationalization

There are several good reasons to internationalize your applications, including sales to foreign markets and simple courtesy to users who would prefer to run those applications in different languages. Because internationalization involves some confusing concepts, the topic is divided into two chapters. If there is any chance, however, that you will someday have to port your applications to run in a different country or language, you should at least be familiar with the concepts and techniques introduced in these chapters. If you know what is involved in internationalization, you can avoid writing applications that will be difficult to internationalize later on.

An internationalized application is one that runs, without changes to the binary, in any given “locale.” Among other things, this means that a program must display all text in the user’s language, accept input of all text in that same language, and display times, dates, and numbers in the user’s accustomed format.

The internationalization of terminal-based programs is a problem that has been satisfactorily solved where terminals exist that can display and accept input for a particular language. The ANSI-C library contains mechanisms for this terminal-based internationalization, and R5 internationalization is based on these mechanisms. This chapter begins with a detailed overview of the goals, concepts, and techniques of internationalization, starting with ANSI-C internationalization and progressing ...

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