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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary (also found in English - English (Wordnet), French - Vietnamese)
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programming (i18n, globalisation, enabling, software
enabling) The process and philosophy of making software
portable to other locales.
For successful localisation, products must be technically
and culturally neutral. Effective internationalisation
reduces the time and resources required for localisation,
improving time-to-market abroad and allowing simultaneousshipment. In orther words, internationalisation abstracts
out local details, localisation specifies those details for a
particular locale.
Technically this may include allowing double-byte charactersets such as unicode or Japanese, local numbering, date and
currency formats, and other local format conventions.
It also includes the separation of user interface text
e.g. in dialog boxes and menus. All the text used by an
application may be kept in a separate file or directory, so
that it can be translated all at once. User interfaces may
require more screen space for text in other languages.
The simplest form of internationalisation may be to make use
of operating system calls that format time, date and
currency values according to the operating system's