Internationalization and Localization Using Microsoft .NET

Internationalization and Localization Using Microsoft .NET
Authors
Nick Symmonds
ISBN
1590590023
Published
27 Jan 2002
Purchase online
amazon.com

Written for the IT manager or developer planning to bring software to today's global markets, Internationalization and Localization Using Microsoft .NET provides a solid blueprint for success with the new and improved support for multilingual software available in .NET. As a veteran of building software for multiple languages (with considerable experience with Visual Basic 6), author Nick Symmonds shares his insight about techniques that work best for internationalizing software.

Editorial Reviews

Internationalization and Localization Using Microsoft .NET is intended to be a comprehensive discussion of how to localize code using Visual Studio .NET. Author Nick Symmonds knows the advantages of preparing for localization in the design stage and the disadvantages of localizing a project after the fact, and he discusses both methods of localizing code in this book. All aspects of localization are examined, from handling date, time, and currency and text data, to developing multilingual user interfaces and help files. He also covers Visual Studio's localization features and tools in depth and presents the pros and cons of each to the reader.

Internationalization and Localization Using Microsoft .NET is unique in that it covers both C# and VB .NETall examples are presented in both languages. This language-independent approach is essential given that large systems may use both languages, and the principals discussed can be applied to other .NET languages as well. Some of the core topics covered are as follows:

 

  • The Globalization and Resources namespaces, which relate directly to localization
  • Resource files and how they are used in .NET
  • Visual and command-line tools that aid in localization
  • In depth discussion of design and implementation of world-ready programs

 

Also included is a comprehensive example of a resource editor, with code provided in both C# and VB .NET. This project is not only useful as product in itself, but also instructive in how to write fairly complicated code in both .NET languages.

Written for the IT manager or developer planning to bring software to today's global markets, Internationalization and Localization Using Microsoft .NET provides a solid blueprint for success with the new and improved support for multilingual software available in .NET.

As a veteran of building software for multiple languages (with considerable experience with Visual Basic 6), author Nick Symmonds shares his insight about techniques that work best for internationalizing software. Early sections establish guiding principles on how to use "resource bundles" for all graphics and strings in your software. In an interesting early section, the author glances at the very different meanings of certain colors in Western and Eastern cultures, showing the dangers of making easy assumptions about how the visual elements of your software will travel.

Subsequent chapters look at how these string and graphics resources worked in the old Visual Basic 6. Here the author shows off a way to extend the support for multiple resource files in VB6. (Normally, VB6 supports only a single bundle.)

The text then zeros in on the new support for multilingual software in Microsoft's .NET platform, including default support for over a half-dozen calendars and tracking virtually all the world's languages (and dialects) with support for enumerating cultural regions. Most importantly, with .NET you can use XML-based resource files for storing culturally dependent strings and graphics separately. (Of course, based on this infrastructure, it's still up to you to translate your software into multiple languages.)

Techniques are illustrated here with two more substantial projects (in both VB .NET and C#). There's a useful custom resource editor and a hotel-booking application (with support for both English and German users). Final sections round out the discussion with the author's advice for localizing software and some hints for translating program text effectively across cultures, including advice for project management.

The .NET platform works with some 20 computer languages and is sure to be used on even more human languages as software is written for today's global markets. With good reference sections on the relevant .NET classes and APIs that will be needed to develop multilingual software, some effective sample code, and an expert's perspective on doing the job right, this appealingly concise volume will certainly fill a worthwhile niche. --Richard Dragan

Topics covered: Guidelines for internationalizing software (hints for choosing graphics and colors), overview of resource files, GUI design for multinational applications; introduction to Unicode, Visual Basic 6 resource files (including how to use multiple resource bundles), built-in .NET classes for localizing software (calendars, the CultureInfo class, region, and String classes), .NET reflection and threading for internationalization, tutorial to .NET XML-based resource files; resource editing in the Visual Studio .NET IDE, sample code for a custom resource editor with multilingual support, internationalizing GUIs, case study for a hotel-booking application, security issues with .NET resource files (plus .NET versioning, hints for project management, and outsourcing translation for multilingual software), considerations for installation utilities, and VB .NET and C# code examples.

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