Now, Michael has produced a text that has the same power as Nadine Kano's book on International C++ development, only in VB. It discusses all the concepts you need to understand. in plain english. Then it takes you through important international issues:
*Formats for numbers, dates, and currency values
*Fonts on VB forms
*Calling Unicode APIs
*SQL Server 2000
He takes you through Unicode and the confusion of multiple code pages. He is the only person who has ever documented using MLang and Uniscribe; Microsoft support claims you cannot do it! He even dabbles in VBScript and its SetLocale function. The book includes important issues on content and how to make sure it will be acceptable in other countries. Perhaps most importantly, he includes information on testing international applications I have not seen in any book, ever. Most VB books do not even mention testing at all. The woman he credits with helping him with the chapter on testing gets my thanks, too!
Best of all, he provides the international keyboard layouts! Just like Nadine's book, only he has a lot more of them. I guess that is the advantage of a book that is released later?
I have seen Michael actively answering questions in the newsgroups. He fulfills an important need for people who have questions on international issues. It is obvious that there is no one who has the same breadth of knowledge as he does. To quote Microsoft's Chris Pratley from his foreword: "If you do globalization work, you'll find just a single page of this book worth the price."
Like Thomas Anderson and Yves Savourel, I am a bit confused about the negative reviews he has gotten. There is nothing in the book that justifies any of the harsh criticisms being levied on it. But maybe I know the reason, after seeing him in action in the newsgroups. Maybe some of the people who he has made mad in newsgroups with his harsh style are getting their revenge? Everyone is entitled to their opinion though, even when they are wrong. I would advise that you ignore them, because they are wrong.
This book is the definitive work on making VB an international product. By the end of the book, I felt like I could take over the world with a VB app or something. It was quite simply that good!
If your organization has any thought of developing its product for an international market, it would be very foolish to move forward without having this book on hand.
Frankly, I can't decipher where some of these other reviews are coming from. I suppose if you have never thought about the subject-matter, a single-session straight-through read might be grueling; myself, I found myself laughing at some things that I had suffered over which Mr Kaplan explained clearly in a few paragraphs, and more than once I was delighted to have anticipated accurately the next section or paragraph - in other words, I felt 'communicated with'.
This book is not didactic (except in the original positive sense), self-aggrandizing, millenial (despite its pub. date), or 'cute' - it's a handbook for current and future reference, a programmer-to-programmer communication. Finally, I am very appreciative of the author's attitude that the direction of the communication is as it is not because he is such a clever fellow but because he cares about the subject, had the resources, and did the hard work to assemble accurate (definitive, I believe) information. I wish more programming books were like this.
i18N = Internationalization (or Globalization): mainly a program able to manage in any locale the locale language and settings.
M18N = Multinationalization: mainly a program able to manage (display and input) several languages in any locale.
L10N = Localization: mainly a program able to display its translated and adapted version to several locales.
That is not as easy as it should be because of a Code Page Barrier and other problems. The book fully explains everything and gives the right techniques to solve all the problems! Valid techniques for present and future VB releases. It also includes samples and utilities in its CDROM. You can also find up to date information on the book'sWebpage ... Not all the books have its own one!!
But that's not all: it also explains how to manage multilingual databases, how to create internationalized webpages and components, gives particular information about languages (Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Russian,...), and lots of reference material! I haven't found another as complete as this is.