Book Review - .NET Internationalization by Guy Smith-Ferrier
So what's an IBM Lotus Notes/Domino developer looking at a .NET book? Hey, solid fundamentals and learning can come from anywhere! :) And Guy Smith-Ferrier's book .NET Internationalization: The Developer's Guide to Building Global Windows and Web Applications has given me a greater appreciation for what it takes to make a multi-language application that actually works...
Contents: A Roadmap for the Internationalization Process; Unicode, Windows, and the .NET Framework; An Introduction to Internationalization; Windows Forms Specifics; ASP.NET Specifics; Globalization; Middle East and East Asian Cultures; Best Practices; Machine Translation; Resource Administration; Custom Cultures; Custom Resource Managers; Testing Internationalization Using FxCop; The Translator; New Internationalization Features in the .NET Framework 2.0 and Visual Studio 2005; Information Resources; Index
Make no mistake... This is primarily a book on how to use Visual Studio 2003/2005 to make your .NET programs functional in more than one language and culture. The information is very detailed in how Microsoft has structured the environment to allow for the use of items such as "resource managers" and "cultures" in development. These features can make it possible to have a single code base but differing text and behavior based on the user's application or browser settings for language. If I were a .NET developer tasked with building an application for use in multiple countries, I'm pretty sure I'd want this book close beside me.
But even without being a .NET developer, I still came away with some valuable concepts. Since I *haven't* had to internationalize an application, I pretty much just thought "translate the words and you're done". But it's much more extensive than that. What about languages where the character set is completely different (and not found on your "normal" keyboard?) What about languages that read right-to-left? It was a bit strange to see examples of dialog boxes where input box labels were right justified with the input boxes themselves placed to the left... I mean, it made sense once I thought about it, but I had really never done so. So much for my "open, global" mindset... :)
While there are likely better books for someone looking for internationalization concepts on a general basis, this book *does* deliver in that area to a large extent. And if you're focused on .NET, I don't think there would be much question that this would be a prime resource for you...
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