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Designing Global Applications for Wireless Devices with Java and XML

Karl Kurbel, Andrzej Dabkowski & Anna Maria Jankowska - European University Viadrina

Intended Audience: Managers, Software Engineers, Systems Analysts, Marketers, Content Developers, Technical Writers
Session Level: Intermediate

In the era of the Internet and worldwide communication, global applications have become very common. Globally used software must correctly handle different encodings of character data. It must be able to format and interpret data (dates, currencies, messages, etc.) according to rules specific to the user's locale (country and language). This paper discusses two possible techniques for developing global applications. The applications we are targeting are for clients reached via wireless devices. Depending on the device type and language settings, the same data will be presented in the user's language and on different wireless devices.

First, the paper shows how data retrieved from a database in an XML format are transformed to the appropriate markup language (e.g. WML or XHTML) with XSL stylesheets and Jakarta's XTags library. This method has the advantage of separating the content from the presentation layer and enables displaying the same information on different devices.

Next, the process of software globalization is introduced. Globalization is performed with Jakarta's I18N tag library or XSL with the possibility of instantiating and invoking methods on Java objects within an XSL stylesheet. The I18N tag library encapsulates most Java internationalization and localization features in a reusable component, facilitating the development of global applications. Invoking Java objects and methods from within an XSL stylesheet enhances the globalization possibilities for XML formatted data, since the internationalization and localization work is performed as the data are processed. With both internationalization techniques, together with the transformation of XML data into various markup languages, multi-language content can be created effectively for different mobile devices.

Assumptions about attendees' prior knowledge:

Java, JSP, WML, XHTML, XML and XML related technologies (XSLT, XPath etc.), XML parsers.

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