An Overview to ICU
Helena Shih Chapman & Doug Felt- IBM Corporation
Open source development has proven to be an effective way to develop software projects. The idea is very simple. Programmers world-wide can read, redistribute and modify software source code to improve the quality and speed of development of the software product. This presentation looks at ICU, an open-source project for globalization enablement. The ICU development effort enables open-source community to enhance their globalization capabilities in their products. ICU is available with a non-viral licensing agreement. We discuss what is ICU, why IBM decided to open-source ICU, and how the different versions of ICU are developed.
In the presentation, we first explore the features in the current release of ICU, and discuss upcoming new features as well as differences between the different versions of ICU. We then cover the relationship between ICU and the Unicode standard, e.g. the ICU components that provide implementation for the Unicode technical reports. ICU provides API support for C, C++, Java and JNI. These are all separate client modes that require careful design and trade-offs both at the architectural and implementation level. Finally, we look at the issues that arise while synchronizing the APIs for these programming languages during the development cycle.
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