Which internationalization (i18n) mechanisms and caveats do different programming languages offer? In a new blog series with tutorials on internationalization programming (developing applications in preparation for localization) we want to highlight important steps in internationalization with most of the common programming languages.

Internationalization Programming

When you develop software, cross-platform strategy is not always a standard procedure, but making sure it is ready to be adapted for different cultures and languages (localization) is more standard, this process is called internationalization. It describes setting the technical foundations for making later localization work even possible. It has also been called making your application "world-ready". It includes such basic things as properly structuring and documenting your code, adhering to encoding standards, representing character sets appropriately, and so on. Internationalization programming is thus no witchcraft, it is not a new technique, it is nothing magical, it's not something you have not done previously. Look at it as a checklist and a set of rules and tools that you employ each time you deliver a piece of software - the kind of steps you do each time, but only once, to make future work easier for everyone involved, including yourself.

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Introducing our tutorial series

In the next few weeks (similar to our blog series on localization file formats) we will highlight how to go about internationalizing your app, website or stationary software in different programming languages and frameworks. We'll start off with PHP and then move into others such as Ruby, Java, etc. The tutorials will be for beginners, and those with advanced knowledge in these frameworks but interested in taking another thorough look at best practices.

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