THANKS RE: internationalize and localize

Subject: THANKS RE: internationalize and localize
From: Jennifer Itatani <jitatani -at- esri -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2003 09:29:48 -0700


Thank you for your responses both online and offline. It appears that the
software is indeed localized.

Jennifer Itatani
Technical Writer
Database Services, ESRI
909-793-2853, 1-2900

-----Original Message-----
From: Dick Margulis [mailto:margulis -at- fiam -dot- net]
Sent: Wednesday, August 20, 2003 9:15 AM
To: Jennifer Itatani
Subject: Re: internationalize and localize

Jennifer Itatani wrote:

>Have these become synonyms, or are there subtle differences between the

They are not synonyms, at least as far as software is concerned.

Internationalization is creating or modifying the software architecture
so that the software can work in multiple languages. For example, all
the text strings that show up in the user interface should be stored
somewhere other than the code that draws the interface--in a database
table, a .dll, a text file, or some other structure. And the space
available for writing those text strings to the interface has to
accommodate different-length strings. And there has to be a mechanism
for selecting the language to use--either at installation or preferably
through user selection on the fly. And there has to be a mechanism for
accommodating different character sets, including double-byte sets.

Localization is, as I understand it, providing the dataset (the strings,
date formats, currency types, other constants) for one or more specific
locales. How narrowly specified those locales are may vary from
implementation to implementation. For example, it may be sufficient for
some freeware tool to offer "Spanish," "French," and "English" as the
choices, without regard for what hemisphere the language is spoken in,
let alone what country. For a major product, though, you'd want to offer
a lot more choices.


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