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International Changes in Visual Basic .NET

In Visual Basic 6.0, international versions of an application were created by putting all localizable information such as strings into a separate resource file (.res) for each language. At run time, locale-specific resources were loaded from the resource file by calling the LoadResString, LoadResPicture, and LoadResData functions.

In Visual Basic .NET, international versions of an application are created by changing the Language property of a form at design time. A separate .NET resource file (.resx) is automatically created for each locale selected. You no longer need to explicitly load resources from code; resources are automatically loaded based on the user's locale. For more information, see Globalizing Windows Forms.

Note   Visual Basic 6.0 resource files could be edited using the Resource Editor add-in or the Visual C++ resource editors. Visual Basic .NET resource files cannot be edited directly; instead, you must edit the properties in the IDE.

In Visual Basic 6.0, strings were represented internally as Unicode characters but were displayed using Windows code pages. The StrConv function along with Binary and Unicode versions of string manipulation functions (for example, ChrB and ChrW) were necessary to convert between ANSI and DBCS code pages.

In Visual Basic .NET, forms are entirely Unicode-enabled; conversion between code pages is no longer required. For more information, see Encoding and Windows Forms Globalization.

In Visual Basic 6.0, the formatting of dates and currency in code required special consideration; values entered as text could be incorrectly interpreted when converted to dates or currency in localized applications.

In Visual Basic .NET, dates and currency are automatically formatted according to the user's culture. You can override the settings if necessary through functions in the System.Globalization namespace. For more information, see Culture-Specific Classes for Global Windows Forms and Web Forms.

See Also

Globalizing and Localizing Applications | Planning World-Ready Applications | Deployment and Localization | Globalization and Localization Namespaces in Visual Studio

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