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Internationalize Your ASP.NET Applications (Part 3 of 3) : Page 2

Learn to localize dates, numbers, and currencies and get a wrap-up of the entire process for ASP.NET internationalization.


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The Internet was originally an English-speaking world, but the percentage of English speakers is retreating as the breadth and variety of languages increases. With huge populations in Asian countries coming online and European countries needing to work more closely together, the need for Web sites that cater to visitors from different cultures is growing. This is clearly a good thing, but it creates new challenges for Web site developers. The .NET Framework includes a variety of features to help you create truly international Web sites, many of which apply to all types of application whether they're Windows Forms, console or ASP.NET applications.

Language and Culture Considerations
In analyzing the features that must look and function differently for each culture and language in a localized Web site, a few core areas appear:

  • Database and File Content. Larger pieces of information such as news stories, articles, product descriptions, etc. This type of data is often located in a database, although many Web sites store it in HTML files.
  • Graphics. Virtually every site uses graphic images. Although many won't be affected by changes in language, some will, specifically mages that contains text or that contain symbols that have meanings which differ across cultures.
  • Text resources. These are those little bits of text that appear with a site, and include such things as the corporate switchboard number, fax number, single-line copyright statement and the front page welcome message. The majority of Web sites will store this type of information in the page files itself, whether it's an aspx file or a flat HTML file, but you will need to identify them and move them to resource files or database tables.
  • Dates, Numbers, and Currencies. Different cultures display their dates, numbers, and currencies differently. Displaying information in a format optimized for the viewer is crucial if you want the reader to be comfortable with the site and have access to accurate information.
In addition to these four areas, there are a few more that I haven't discussed in this article, including string sorting and casing, and measurement systems (such as whether the culture uses Imperial (pounds and ounces) or metric (kilograms and grams) measurements.



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