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The Best Language for I18n

Posted by joconner on March 8, 2005 at 2:40 PM PST

You'd pick LISP for an AI app, maybe COBOL for a banking app, and possibly FORTRAN for intensive numeric, scientific apps. OK, maybe your choices would be different. However, we've all been told to pick a programming language that fits the problem domain. All languages have strengths and weaknesses. If you pick a language that is strong in your problem domain, you simplify development. If you pick a language that is weak, you may get the job done, but you will have done more work than necessary.

It never happens this way, but imagine that internationalization and localization are one of the top priorities of your new development project. Can a specific programming language and platform make it easy to solve i18n problems such as user interface translation, date and number formatting, and character set conversions? If so, what would that platform be?

The Java platform has a rich set of internationalization APIs. How would Java compare to say...C# and .NET? I think the APIs are surprisingly similar, but does Java outperform in any area? Does it fall behind somewhere? Your comments are appreciated.

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