Target Audience: Software Engineer, Other: Researchers, students

Level of Session: Intermediate, Advanced

The internationalization of Web documents is one of the major recommendations of the W3C. So the latest version of HTML as well as XML contains the full support of internationalization with Unicode. Amaya is a Web client developed by the W3C and used to demonstrate and to test many of the new developments in Web protocols and data formats and in the World Wide perspective Amaya has to be a globalized software. Amaya is at the same time a browser and an authoring tool based on a structured internal representation of Web documents with a WYSIWYG user interface. Amaya has been designed specifically to support hypertext and Web documents, with all their specificities. Furthermore, Amaya allows users to edit multilingual documents based on Unicode.

This paper presents the evolution of Amaya and the different stages that lead it to be a globalized software. After a short presentation of Amaya, we present the globalization process of this application. Constraints that we have considered while making Amaya a globalized software are mainly: same source code for all platforms and single binary for "all languages". This involves independent user interface resources and a dynamic configuration. Indeed, the string resources used in dialogs, menus and messages are stored in text files named LANG-amayadialogue where LANG is the ISO 639 prefix indicating the language (en, fr, de, tr, etc). Each text file corresponds to a given language. The language of the user interface (localization) is dynamically configurable with an environment variable LANG. According to the value of the LANG environment variable, Amaya loads the appropriate text file and use it for menus dialogs and messages. In addition to dialogs and messages specific to the Amaya user interface,there are other dialogs and messages which are dependent on the namespaces used (such as MathML, Graphics, etc). These dialogs and messages are automatically handled by Amaya in the language that the user has chosen.

Localization aspects of Amaya allows us to have a single binary for all languages and there no need to modify the source code nor to rebuild Amaya.

In this paper we also present the internal representation of characters and how they are converted from input or into output formats.

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14 Jun 1999, Webmaster