[Unicode] Press

Unicode Sponsors Locale Data Project

Mountain View, CA, April 21, 2004 - The Unicode® Consortium announced today that it will be hosting the Common Locale Data Repository project, providing key building blocks for software to support the world's languages.

To support users in different languages, programs must not only use translated text, but must also be adapted to local conventions. These conventions differ by language or region and include the formatting of numbers, dates, times, and currency values, as well as support for differences in measurement units or text sorting order. Most operating systems and many application programs currently maintain their own repositories of locale data to support these conventions. But such data are often incomplete, idiosyncratic, or gratuitously different from program to program. In the age of the internet, software components must work together seamlessly, without the problems caused by these discrepancies.

The Common Locale Data Repository (CLDR) provides a general XML format for the exchange of locale information for use in application and system software development, combined with a public repository for a common set of locale data generated in that format. "The consortium's goal is to enable people around the globe to use computers in their own languages," said Mark Davis, president of the Unicode Consortium. "The past ten years have seen great progress towards that goal: all modern software, and all standards based on XML, have adopted Unicode as the underlying representation of text on computers. We are now taking another major step by hosting the Common Locale Data Repository."

The Common Locale Data Repository was initially developed under the sponsorship of the Linux Application Development Environment (aka LADE) Workgroup of the Free Standards Group's OpenI18N team, with a 1.0 version released in January 2004. The founding members of the workgroup were IBM, Sun, and OpenOffice.org, later joined by Apple Computer. CLDR will be managed by a dedicated technical committee of the Unicode Consortium. Work continues to proceed apace during the transition: CLDR version 1.1 is expected in mid-May 2004, and a beta 1.1 version is available now.

For more information about the project, see http://www.unicode.org/cldr/.

About the Unicode Consortium

The Unicode Consortium is a non-profit organization founded to develop, extend and promote use of the Unicode Standard and related globalization standards. The consortium works very closely with the INCITS L2 committee and with ISO/IEC JTC 1 SC2.

The membership of the consortium represents a broad spectrum of corporations and organizations in the computer and information processing industry. Full members (the highest level) are: Adobe Systems, Apple Computer, Basis Technology, Government of India - Ministry of Information Technology, Government of Pakistan - National Language Authority, HP, IBM, Justsystem, Microsoft, Oracle, PeopleSoft, RLG, SAP, Sun Microsystems, and Sybase.

Membership in the Unicode Consortium is open to organizations and individuals anywhere in the world who support the Unicode Standard and wish to assist in its extension and implementation. For additional information on Unicode, please contact the Unicode Consortium (http://www.unicode.org/).