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Globalization and Localization of Silverlight Applications
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Implementation of globalization and localization plays a critical role in the success of any enterpriselevel global line-of-business applications. Silverlight has supported the globalization and localization of applications since Silverlight 2. Silverlight 4 extends the capabilities by supporting bi-directional text and adding support to many more languages, including right-to-left languages. During the design, development, and deployment of Silverlight applications, enterprises must consider the localization factor.
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Globalization
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Any global application must support requirements of global and diversified user groups with different culture and requirements. Globalization is the application design and development process that incorporates local culture-specific requirements, such as local language support, in the user interface design and support for local numbers, currency, and date formats in the data representation.
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CHAPTER 7 EXTENDING USER EXPERIENCE OF LOB APPLICATIONS
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Note This section will cover the key essence of the globalization. You may want to refer to the Microsoft MSDN
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website, http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc853414(VS.96).aspx, to get more details on how to create globally-aware Silverlight applications.
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CultureInfo Class
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Silverlight supports globalization features using traditional .NET Framework techniques. We can use the CultureInfo class of the System.Globalization namespace to retrieve information about the specific culture. The CultureInfo class provides culture-specific information such as languageCode-regionCode (e.g., en-US for English language and US region), character set, currency symbol, and number and date (calendar) format. Table 7-6 details key properties of the CultureInfo class. Table 7-6. Key Properties of the System.Globalization.CultureInfo Class
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Calendar
Type
System.Globalization .Calendar System.Globalization .CultureInfo
Description
Gets the default calendar used by the culture.
CurrentCulture
Gets the CultureInfo object representing the culture used by the current thread. Gets the CultureInfo object that represents the current culture used by the Resource Manager to look up culturespecific resources at runtime.
CurrentUICulture System.Globalization .CultureInfo
DateTimeFormat
System.Globalization Defines the DateTimeFormatInfo object detailing the .DateTimeFormatInfo culturally appropriate format for converting dates and times to strings. string Gets the culture name in the format language (country/region) in the language of the localized version of .NET Framework. Gets the culture name in the format language (country/region) in English. As an example, culture enUS displays English (United States) as EnglishName. Gets the CultureInfo that is culture-independent (invariant). Gets the culture name in the format languagecodecountry/regioncode . As an example, culture en-US represents en-US as Name.
DisplayName
EnglishName
string
InvariantCulture System.Globalization .CultureInfo Name string
CHAPTER 7 EXTENDING USER EXPERIENCE OF LOB APPLICATIONS
NativeName
string
Gets the culture s native name, which consists of the language, the country/region, and the optional script, that the culture is set to display. Defines a NumberFormatInfo object that defines the culturally appropriate format for converting numbers, currency values, and percentages to strings. Gets the CultureInfo that represents the parent culture of the current CultureInfo. As an example, zh-Hant culture (Chinese culture) is the parent culture of zh-HK (Chinese Hong Kong S.A.R.), zh-MO (Chinese Macao S.A.R.), and zhTW (Chinese Taiwan) cultures.
NumberFormat
System.Globalization .NumberFormatInfo
Parent
System.Globalization .CultureInfo
Developing an Example
I created a new user control name CultureInfoDemo in the existing project to retrieve and display the current culture, UI culture, and Invariant culture information of the local machine. In the XAML code I have added one TextBlock control to display the retrieved culture information. The code-behind is also very simple, as shown here. public CultureInfoDemo() { InitializeComponent(); GetCultureInfo(); } private void GetCultureInfo() { string s; CultureInfo cul = CultureInfo.CurrentCulture; = "Current Culture Information " + cul.Name + "\n"; += String.Format(" Name: {0}\n", cul.Name); += String.Format(" Display Name: {0}\n", cul.DisplayName); += String.Format(" Native Name: {0}\n", cul.NativeName); += String.Format(" English Name: {0}\n", cul.EnglishName); += String.Format(" Parent Culture Name: {0}\n", cul.Parent.Name); s += String.Format(" Calendar: {0}\n", cul.Calendar.ToString()); s += String.Format(" Is read-only: {0}\n", cul.Calendar.IsReadOnly); CultureInfo culUI = CultureInfo.CurrentUICulture; s += "\nCurrent UI Culture Information " + culUI.Name + "\n"; s += String.Format(" Name: {0}\n", culUI.Name); s += String.Format(" Display Name: {0}\n", culUI.DisplayName); s s s s s s
CHAPTER 7 EXTENDING USER EXPERIENCE OF LOB APPLICATIONS
s += String.Format(" Native Name: {0}\n", culUI.NativeName); s += String.Format(" English Name: {0}\n", culUI.EnglishName); s += String.Format(" Parent Culture Name: {0}\n", culUI.Parent.Name); s += String.Format(" Calendar: {0}\n", culUI.Calendar.ToString()); s += String.Format(" Is read-only: {0}\n", culUI.Calendar.IsReadOnly); CultureInfo culInvariant = CultureInfo.CurrentUICulture; s += "\nCurrent Invariant Culture Information " + culInvariant.Name + "\n"; s += String.Format(" Name: {0}\n", culInvariant.Name); s += String.Format(" Display Name: {0}\n", culInvariant.DisplayName); s += String.Format(" Native Name: {0}\n", culInvariant.NativeName); s += String.Format(" English Name: {0}\n", culInvariant.EnglishName); s += String.Format(" Parent Culture Name: {0}\n", culInvariant.Parent.Name); s += String.Format(" Calendar: {0}\n", culInvariant.Calendar.ToString()); s += String.Format(" Is read-only: {0}\n", culInvariant.Calendar.IsReadOnly); current.Text = s; } Note that you need to add a reference to System.Globalization, as shown here. using System.Globalization; I ran the project and retrieved the results shown in Figure 7-12, which can be further used to determine the user machine s culture information and adjust the application accordingly based on the localization capabilities of the application.
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