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Java Internationalization (Java Series) 1st Edition

12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 063-6920000198
ISBN-10: 0596000197
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Editorial Reviews Review

For any Java programmer or manager creating software for global markets, Java Internationalization is an essential guide to the dos and don'ts of writing software that's usable all around the world. Besides being a general guide to internationalization (and its flip side, localization), this book provides in-depth coverage of support for globalized software on the Java platform.

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

Topics covered:

  • 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


'As a reader I have walked away from the book feeling that I have met two masters and had the pleasure of being taught by them.' - Dotan Dvir, Java User Group, Israel

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Product Details

  • Series: Java Series
  • Paperback: 445 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1st edition (March 25, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596000197
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596000196
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,546,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Violette on April 22, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is very dated. It covers the basics pretty well: ResourceBundles, DateFormatter, Locales, etc. However, there are several things I find disappointing about this book:

1) All the examples are mostly client side Java. Even the topic of internationalizing websites spends more time on Java applets. While this is Ok, I'm guessing most i18n work in Java these days is done for web applications.

2) There are better libraries/frameworks for dealing with Internationalization than the ones that come with Java: ICU4J and JodaTime to name a few. Since this book was written in 2001, these are not covered.

3) This book does not cover anything related to Java 1.5.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 7, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book does a good job of handling localization issues with respect to java applications through the use of resource bundles, and native language UIs.
In my current project we are doing some very intensive XML processing with web content. Web content can be in any number of encodings and character sets, and we've had a decent number of problems when converting content from one encoding to another or from one character set to another.
I was hoping that this book would give very practical hints about how to handle/avoid/rectify character set conversion issues in java. However, the only mention of converting encodings/character sets claims that if you use the proper class with the proper constructor arguments, java will wave it's magic wand and all is right with the world. I can tell you for a fact this isn't true. This was a big disappointment of this book.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Paul VINE VOICE on December 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
There are three ways to handle internationalization of your Java applications. First, ignore it and give up all your non-English speaking customers. Second, write customized versions of your programs for each language you wish to support and live with a maintenance nightmare. Or third, take advantage of the many internationalization features built into Java. Fortunately, the internationalization features of Java are fairly simple to use and this book clearly explains how to apply them to your applications. The authors start with a description of the many writing systems in use through the world and discuss the many problems that these writing systems can cause for developers. The book then covers a wide range of topics:
* how to use resource bundles to isolate locale specific data
* formatting dates, numbers, and currency
* handling searching and sorting issues for non-Latin alphabets (Japanese, Chinese, Hindi, etc.) as well as special cases within the Latin alphabet (an "a" with an umlaut is sorted with "a" in German but after "z" in Swedish)
* handling languages such as Arabic and Hebrew that write from right to left
* designing graphical interfaces to handle any writing system
* building internationalized web sites
If you plan on using the internationalization features of Java then you will definitely want to start with this book. The book is written for the intermediate to advanced Java programmer who needs to develop internationalized applications. The authors assume that the reader is unfamiliar with the issues involved with developing internationalized applications. (...)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Enrique Pineda on August 16, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The authors do a very good job of clearly describing the challenges of writing a multi-lingual capable applications. They do so for both client-based and web-based applications. I learned more than I thought I would about non-English languages and how vastly they can differ from our own. The real find is in their coverage of Unicode, explaining what it hopes to achieve and how it impacts your Java programming.
I would say the next revision (if there's going to be one) would benefit by expanding font installation in other operating systems. Not too surprisingly, they cover only Windows, as it has the best unicode support today. However, TrueType support is possible on the Unixes, if you know how. I'd be curious to know how it would be possible on Mac OS X. The book would also benefit from expanded discussion on internationalizing web applications. It only covers display issues. The authors cite not wanting to cover issues surrounding web-based data entry and database operations because other authors discuss them, but those are relevant topics, IMO. After all, they discussed Swing-based data entry, so why not web forms? I was hoping for more complete coverage, as I am working on a I18N project now. But I'll have to hunt around for other books for the topics I could not read about here.
Overall, this book is a great buy. Modern software developers would be foolish to not familiarize themselves with the I18N APIs in today's global economy.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mick McAllister [Lagniappes] on December 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
It's true that Deitsch's book offers little more subject matter than Sun's excellent Internationalization chapter of the Java tutorial at their web site. But it has the virues of being a book, which you can curl up with, thumb around in, and mark up. And it covers the Sun topics in more depth, with a wealth of examples.
Java is the programming language that built in language support from the ground up, and *Java Internationalization* tells you how to take advantage of this feature. If you are writing Java code for international markets, this is your one-stop shop for a complete textbook on the subject.
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