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Each HTML page is limited to a single charset. The CGI script has no knowledge of the client ... Writing the HTML. Create the configuration of pages, frames, ...

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Internationalization of html client server applications l.jpg

Internationalization of HTML client-server applications

Andrea Vine

iPlanet Internationalization Architect


Designing the functional interface l.jpg
Designing the functional interface

  • Plan for i18n when you create your specifications

  • Consider the nature of the data your application is processing

  • How will the majority of customers access the application?

  • Will users be working with one language at a time or with multiple languages?


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Some concepts and limitations

  • Each HTML page is limited to a single charset

  • The CGI script has no knowledge of the client

  • Provide customers ways to access the interface by language

  • Create a single home page displaying a choice of languages on it

  • Allow for customization of the initial access point


Choosing the cgi language l.jpg
Choosing the CGI language

  • Any programming language is internationalizable

  • The classic CGI script has no persistence in server memory

  • There are server utilities that provide an API for CGI scripts

  • Java servlets are persistent as well, but they require Web servers with servlet support


Writing the html l.jpg
Writing the HTML

  • Create the configuration of pages, frames, and browser windows

  • META tag or comment with proper charset

  • Use fixed text as images to solve some charset incompatibility

  • Alternate text for images may not always work


Managing html forms l.jpg
Managing HTML FORMs

  • FORM data is submitted in the charset of the page/frame

  • Input text and textareas are handled by the native system

  • Pre-filled text may not always look right

  • Charset conversions and defaults in browsers


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More HTML quirks

  • <SELECT> and <OPTION> tags - value parameter, dynamic filling

  • Local file access and other browser-controlled elements

  • Testing environment may not work like actual environment


Coding the cgi script program l.jpg
Coding the CGI script/program

  • Writing internationalized CGI is like writing any internationalized programs

  • Parse FORM fields, gathering charset and locale values first

  • Code workarounds for mismatched client and server charsets, locales

  • Inspect for other data, such as HTML inside input text


Test your application l.jpg
Test your application

  • Set up machines in various locales as clients

  • Run server in various locales

  • Use different browsers and versions

  • Invite customers to beta test


Where to find out more l.jpg
Where to find out more

  • Discussion lists – [email protected]

  • Book – Global Solutions for Multilingual Applications, by Chris Ott

Experimentation!


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