PRESENTATION: Internationalization in Cincom® VisualWorks® – Les Kooyman
Software internationalization has steadily grown in importance over the years from a relatively obscure specialty (only bothered with by “large multinational corporations” that knew what $NLS$ meant) to a central role in software today, with computers connecting users from all over the world. In the few years since 1990, internationalization features and functions have gone from rare (in software and software development tools) to ubiquitous and expected.
Cincom VisualWorks engineer, Les Kooyman’s presentation will not only revisit the current and past state of internationalization support in VisualWorks (from the two locales supported in VisualWorks 5i to the hundreds supported in VisualWorks 7.10 today), but also what’s been going on at the same time in internationalization standards in the industry as a whole. Whether it’s ISO standards for language names, territory names and locale names; locale settings standards available from GNU; the Common Locale Data Repository (CLDR) project at the Unicode Consortium; the Internet Components for Unicode (ICU), which were derived from the CLDR (and are also the basis of the libraries providing these functions in Java) or Unicode itself, it’s now clear that the industry has undergone a rapid convergence to a consensus on standard terminologies and practices in this area that in retrospect has been stunning in its swiftness. Against this backdrop, the presentation will discuss features in the new VisualWorks 7.10 release related to internationalization. This work has been in many areas of the product and includes (but isn’t limited to):
- Hundreds of CLDR-based locales support for locale-specific formatting for numbers, dates, times, timestamps, currencies and more.
- Unicode support Cincom Smalltalk™ now uses Unicode internally between itself and the operating system.
- The Text2 text editor that provides support for industry-standard character and layout handling, including BIDI (bidirectional) support.
- The Internationalizer software contributed by G.K. Heeg—a modern rewrite of the I18N software, supporting more of the process of translating character strings for message catalog handling than ever before.
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