NLS concepts and definitions
This chapter assumes familiarity with the following terms.
Coded character set
Characters that define how integer code points are interpreted and displayed. A code point is simply a numeric value--its semantic interpretation (for example, a vowel, whitespace, or punctuation) and graphical interpretations (that is, associated glyph) are defined by the coded character set associated with the code point.
A coded character set is sometimes referred to as a code page or code set. For the purposes of this chapter these terms are synonymous.
Composite message
A localized message composed of several smaller localized strings and assembled at run time (typically using message templates).
The process of separating language- and culture-dependent information from the processing of an application. For example, messages displayed to users are often hard-coded into applications and limit the usefulness of the application outside of the language and culture for which it was designed. The process of externalization enables the application to be easily adapted for use in numerous locales.
External message dictionary
A dictionary (usually a pool dictionary) that contains localized messages for a particular locale and character set, stored in a disk file.
Indexed external message
A localized message that is further identified and accessed by an integer key and is stored in a disk file.
The process of designing an application in a manner that is independent of the local customs and culture in which it was developed. In practice, this means ensuring that the application makes no assumptions about language, local customs, or character set, thus creating an application that is location-neutral.
Internationalization is referred to as NL-enablement or NLS-enablement. An internationalized application is often termed NLS-enabled.
The whole body of written words and system of combining words used by a particular group of people; for example, English or French.
A language/territory combination that dictates conventions for the presentation of information, such as collation order, character classification, monetary and numeric formats, and date and time formats. Both language and territory are necessary to identify a locale because the same language might be spoken in many geographic areas, each of which has distinct cultural conventions.
A country might, but does not necessarily, identify a particular locale. For example, Canada supports two distinct locales: French Canada and English Canada. Simply knowing that an application is destined for Canada is insufficient.
Refers to the process of adapting software to a particular locale (language, territory, and character set). An internationalized application contains no code that is dependent on the end user's language, the characters needed to represent the language, or any formats such as time, date, and currency that the user expects to see and interact with. Because the language- and culture-dependent information is separate from the application source code, the application does not need to be rewritten or recompiled to be marketed in different countries. Instead, the only requirement is for the externalized information to be localized by translation experts.
Localized message
A message string that has been designed for a specific locale and character set combination. Localized messages are referenced in application code through identifiers that are independent of locale and character set.
Message catalog
A file that resides in secondary storage that can contain indexed external messages and external message dictionaries. A single message catalog might contain indexed external messages and external message dictionaries for multiple locale and character set combinations.
Message template
A string template containing field identifiers that are replaced with string arguments to form a composite message. For example, binding the message template "This is a %1 message template" with the string "useful" produces the composite message "This is a useful message template."
A linguistic or cultural entity that might or might not correspond to a geographic area; for example, Arabic, Canadian, Japanese, Mexican, and YugoCroatian.
Last modified date: 01/29/2015