It makes sense that software should move easily between international markets in today's global economy. Java Internationalization is first and foremost a guide to the issues surrounding writing software for different languages. The first sections examine a truly fascinating sample of the world's character sets and salient features for outputting characters in software. (Besides European languages, the book delves into Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Arabic, and Indian character sets, among others.) Of course, you might browse an encyclopedia to look up all of these languages, but the book does a fine job of giving a concise history and description of each system of writing.
Next, there is a thorough description of the techniques and issues that surround creating software in different languages. Screen shots in languages like Arabic (which read right to left) provide a thought-provoking cross-cultural glimpse into software produced internationally. Issues in user interface design come next. (Even if you've designed software for years, chances are that this section will make you rethink the way you create user interfaces for international markets.) For instance, scripts in Thai have no line breaks, so detecting words requires using a dictionary programmatically.
Java's built-in support for locales (best described as geographical and language communities) comes later in the book. The authors show how to format text (and dates) for different markets, again using built-in Java APIs and features (like resource bundles). Properly designed Java software does not need reworking--only new translations of text and images to make it accessible to new languages. Short sections on internationalizing Web sites powered by Java (whether with Servlets or JSP) offer some valuable insight. The book concludes with a road map for the future evolution of Java 3.0 internationalization, plus a really handy listing of all Java APIs that have been designed with international support in mind.
All in all, Java Internationalization does justice to an intriguing area of Java development, one that is sure to be increasingly important as more and more software is extended to new global markets. Suitable for anyone who designs or manages Java software, this admirably concise volume cuts to the chase and is a worthwhile and very timely guide to how to get Java applications to new markets fast. --Richard Dragan
- Internationalization and localization issues with Java
- Survey of the world's writing systems (including Far East, Greek, Latin, Cyrillic, Indic, and Thai scripts, with brief history and character sets described)
- Locale support in Java
- Using resource bundles for text and images
- Formatting messages (APIs and tips for different writing systems)
- Introduction to Unicode and character sets: searching, sorting, and text-boundary detection
- Fonts and text rendering for internationalized applications
- Guidelines and samples of user interfaces for internationalized software
- Input methods (and the Java Input Method Framework)
- Internationalizing Web applications--Servlets and JavaServer Pages (JSP)
- Future enhancements for internationalization in Java 3.0
- Reference for language
- Country codes and Unicode character blocks
- Reference for all internationalized APIs in Java