Even in its first version, Java made solid design decision: all text was to be Unicode. However, there are a whole range of features involved in providing support for different languages that must be supplied on top of a Unicode base. In 1997, IBM agreed to supply API and implementation for international Unicode support into the JDK. This work was shipped in JDK 1.1.

This talk looks back at these i18n APIs in JDK 1.1, and discuss the merits and deficiency of the international APIs in JDK 1.1 as well as the missing features in JDK 1.1. Of these, some are addressed by additions in JDK 1.2. Some of the remainder are available on the IBM AlphaWorks website here . The code can be freely used in your applications as long as the legal conditions on the website are met. The rest are neither in JDK 1.2 nor on AlphaWorks respresent possible future improvements.

When the world wants to talk, it speaks Unicode
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26 January 1999, Webmaster