Internationalization is a software design methodology that allows a programmer to create a single version of software that operates according to the rules and customs of the user, and interacts with the user in his/her native language. The method for creating internationalized software depends on the platform on which the software runs and the programming language used to create the software.

Java is a programming language allowing developers to create either stand-alone applications or applets - applications that run in the context of a web page. Release 1.1 of the Java Developer's Toolkit (JDK 1.1) provides most of the tools developers need to create internationalized software with Java. Release 1.2 of the Java Developer's Toolkit adds to the set of internationalization tools provided in JDK 1.1, and fixes some of the bugs in the existing JDK 1.1 tools.

This tutorial describes the architecture and benefits of internationalized software. It describes the key problems that must be addressed in the design of internationalized software. It then shows, through slides and sample software, how a software developer uses the tools of JDK 1.1 and JDK 1.2 to create internationalized software, describing the differences between the two releases to aid the developer who may be constrained to one release or the other. The tutorial also shows how a programmer deals with the internationalization issues not yet solved by JDK 1.2. Finally, the tutorial discusses briefly the future directions for Java's internationalization tools.

The tutorial will finish with a short panel discussion, answering questions from the audience.

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23 January 1999, Webmaster