For your application to enjoy widespread use around the world, it’s important that it work regardless of what language your users speak. It’s vital that their language is supported—that is, that your program knows how to represent text in the appropriate language. You now have a firm understanding of character encodings and Unicode, which will allow you to ensure proper language support. It’s also important that users see an interface in their own language. You now know how to use the gettext system, allowing you to translate your application into an infinite number of languages.

In the next chapter, I’ll address another important issue in ensuring your potential audience is as large as possible. I will discuss portability, which is the art of ensuring your program will work regardless of what hardware or software is used. Plenty of tools exist to aid the developer in writing portable code. I will overview them and point out some of the potential pitfalls to look out for.


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© Sean Egan 2005

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