<programming> (i18n, globalisation, enabling, software enabling) The
process and philosophy of making software portable to other locales.
For successful localisation, products must be technically and culturally
neutral. Effective internationalisation reduces the time and resources required
for localisation, improving time-to-market abroad and allowing simultaneous
shipment. In orther words, internationalisation abstracts out local details,
localisation specifies those details for a particular locale.
Technically this may include allowing double-byte character sets such as unicode
or Japanese, local numbering, date and currency formats, and other local format
It also includes the separation of user interface text e.g. in dialog boxes and
menus. All the text used by an application may be kept in a separate file or
directory, so that it can be translated all at once. User interfaces may require
more screen space for text in other languages.
The simplest form of internationalisation may be to make use of operating system
calls that format time, date and currency values according to the operating
The abbreviation i18n means "I - eighteen letters - N".
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International Multimedia Teleconferencing Consortium
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