Author: Gez Lemon
Like accessibility, internationalisation is an important aspect of universality, and like accessibility, it can pose significant challenges to developers if it isn't considered from the start. As an example, a common practice by developers who do consider internationalisation is to use resource files containing translation strings so that the appropriate translation can be selected depending on some setting, such as the locale in a desktop environment, or the
Accept-Language in HTTP headers. Separating text from the program code simplifies tasks such as translations, which is made much more difficult if it isn't considered from the start. There are many other important aspects of internationalisation, such as character encoding.
Like other important areas of universality, internationalisation often tends to be overlooked. Hopefully, that is about to change with the launch of the WaSP's International Liaison Group (ILG), led by Glenda Sims and Steph Troeth.
Category: Web Standards.