Summary

  • Globalized programs need to support a variety of cultural and linguistic conventions. The Win32 NLSAPI provides generic support for date, time, calendar, number, and currency formats, as well as for sorting, character typing, and character mapping.
  • The NLSAPI exists in two forms: ––A and ––W. Windows NT supports both sets of API entry points. Win32s and Windows 95 support the ––A versions.
  • The NLSAPI allows you to write generic code that will correctly display international data carried by the system, even if that information is added to the system after your application is complete.
  • The system carries default formatting information for date, time, currency, and numbers. The user can change some of the default settings using Control Panel.
  • Applications can customize date and time formats with picture strings. They can create custom number and currency formats using the system-defined NUMBERFMT and CURRENCYFMT structures.
  • You can tag document text streams with locale IDs, just as you would store font information. Your application can use these locale IDs when calling NLSAPI functions and when determining which algorithms to use for spelling and other text analysis.
  • Creating sort keys with LCMapString is a fast way to sort large sets of strings. Sort keys automatically handle locale-related idiosyncrasies.
  • When developing a single binary to run on Win32s, Windows 95, and Windows NT, be aware that there are slight variations in the national language support available on each platform.
  • The NLSAPI calls will help you write global code, but your application will probably require language-related adjustments that the NLSAPI does not address.
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