Week Five

Internationalisation & Software Development

Many things need to be taken into account when developing software in terms of how that software needs to interact with differing locales.

– Defining a locale. A locale is tricky to define as it could be defined as by country or by language. Countries may be multi-lingual or langauges may be spoken in many countries. Locale specific items might be language, currency, LTR/RTL, date formatting, am/pm/24 hour clock and decimal places vs commas interchanged. These are changes to how things are displayed.

– Localisation. Changes to content specific to locale might be taxes, measurement units, legalities, banned goods, deadlines differing by timezone.

– Software. Three key types of software are impacted by internalisation. Operating systems, client applications e.g. WinZIP, and Web applications. Operating systems can be installed or changed at the Control Panel. Word allows language to be chosen for keyboard layout. Character map available on Windows hass access to UNICODE – the 16 bit code for characters. Therefore in programming 16 bit must be allowed for character strings if UNICODE is required. Stand-alone apps are often configured during configuration so if software has international market then langauges should be considered. Web applications identify the source locale by IP address. Normally international websites will use this information to determine which language is presented to the user. It is possible to change Internet Options to have web pages display using particular languages. Sometimes these approaches are troublesome so the user may need to be asked which langauge they would  like. However it needs to be considered which language asks the question! If many langauges are used to ask a question then have rendered as image not text to make sure it show on any PC.

UTF – UNICODE Transformation Format

Which types of businesses would benefit most from internationalisation?
– Businesses with a global presence where their business is sourced from across many locales and who’s revenue is directly sourced from e-commerce. For example airlines who take bookings online from customers in many different palces speaking many different languages.

Which kind of countries would benefit most from internationalism?
– Countries in which more than language were spoken e.g. Switzerland where German, Italian and French are all spoken

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