Generic Text Processing
Hussam Eid - IBM Corporation
As the Internet becomes more available all over the world, and the software delivery module is changing rapidly to benefit from the Internet expansion and availability, the amount of new people who started to use software is expanding at a rapid face. And they don't all speak English.
In the not far past, making an application support English, Western European and Japanese languages was looked at as truly global application, even though it does ignore more than half the world. But now companies competing for market share and fast growth started to realize that the big opportunities for growth exist outside the US, Europe and Japan. But to build a truly global application, a new mentality in development should be used, the applications has to be designed from the inside out with different assumptions, and things that were considered the norm are no longer correct.
Developing a global application means that from the moment designers think of the product, they have to think of all languages and cultures they plan to ship this product to, and better than this, what if they can design an application that is capable of expanding to other languages in the future, even if they don't have plans to support these languages in the present.
During the following discussion, I'll be concentrating on the text processing part of developing a global application, this is only a part of the support in any application, but it's a central part, and usually the most difficult one to get right. There are other issues in developing a global application but I'll only concentrate on text processing.
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