Elements of Globalization
The process of globalization takes into account the number of target markets that the software or application will be entered and also covers some specified elements which includes;
— Character set. Usually different languages use different sets of symbols with each language having a specific set. Character set therefore is the encoding of one or more symbol sets into recognizable numbers which can be used and manipulated by a programmer/developer using computer software. examples of character set includes ASCII or EBCDIC.
— Code page. This is a set of character which is ordered using a numeric index (code point value) for each character. E.g. code page 437 (CP 437)
— SBCS (single byte character). This is an 8- bit character encoding usually enough to effectively represent ASCII character set.
— MBCS /DBCS (multiple/double byte character) — This is a character encoding which is variable i.e. each character set can be either a one byte or two byte. In the character set there usually is a lead byte which sets some range of byte whereby the lead byte is supposed to be followed by a single two byte character.
— UNICODE. This is a 16-bit character encoding.
— Locale. This is a set of rules and data which are specific to a specific language and geographical location.
The rules and data carry information on :
- Character classification e.g. font type
- Data and time formatting such as time zones, calendars
- Numeric, currency, weight and measure rules
- Sorting rules
Process of Globalization
The process of developing and designing a software / application that can automatically adapt to different geographical regions and countries used to be challenging but today there are several platforms which can help you develop such software.
The software should not contain any hard-coded region’s specific element such as graphics, audio, text (GUI labels), currency, numeric or data and time formatting or any other information specific to a region. Instead, these elements should be stored in a database outside the software or application hence, the software / application doesn’t need to be recompiled each time a new region or country requires its use or support.
1. JAVA Platform. This is a popular platform for software/application globalization because it uses java.util.Locale objects and elements. This enables easier identification of a specific language and region. The elements will therefore customize and present data to a user in a specific format which has been identified according to the region and language.
2. NET Platforms. The .NET framework from Microsoft uses different approaches to ease globalization process.
They include :
- Net windows forms
- Silver light
- ASP net
Other pre-coded platforms includes :
- C and C++ platform.
- Visual basics platform.
- Windows platform.
- Unix platform.
- Scripting language platform.
- HTML platform.