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Encoding and Localization
When developing world-ready applications, you must focus attention on a variety of issues throughout the application design and development process. The three key issues are globalization, localizability, and localization.
Globalization is the first step in the process. A globalized application supports localized user interfaces and regional data for all users. Truly global applications should be culture-neutral and language-neutral. An intermediate step prior to localization is testing for localizability. In this step, you ensure that you have separated the application's resources that require translation from the rest of the application's code. If you correctly test for localizability before proceeding to the localization step, you should not have to modify your application's source code during localization. Localization is the last step in the process of developing a world-ready application. In this step, you customize your application for the specific cultures or regions to be supported. This step should consist primarily of translating the user interface into the target languages.
If you address globalization, localizability, and localization requirements from early on in the design phase, you will minimize the amount of time and money required to produce quality localized applications for the languages that you intend to support. The .NET Framework provides extensive support for developing world-ready applications. This topic provides information to help you design and develop world-ready applications.
For additional information, see Globalizing and Localizing Applications in the Visual Studio 2005 documentation, International Support in Microsoft Windows 2000 (www.msdn.microsoft.com/library/backgrnd/html/intl_sup_nt5.htm), and the Microsoft Global Software Development Site (www.microsoft.com/globaldev).