IBM Contributes Technology for Developing Multilingual Applications

New licensing, a collaboration with the open source community

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SOMERS, NY - 18 Jun 1999: ... IBM today made it easier for developers to create multilingual applications by offering free and public access to the source code for software that enables applications to work in different languages and countries.

The IBM Classes for Unicode**, based on the Unicode industry standard, is the first software package available under a new IBM Public Source License. The license, a direct result of collaboration with the open-source community, allows source code -- software's DNA equivalent -- to be downloaded freely off the Web. Developers can use the software, change it and share their improvements with others.

Using the Unicode classes, developers using a range of operating systems, including Linux**, the open-source system, can write applications that support a wide variety of global languages. Applications can be easily localized by changing simple data files to automatically adapt dates, currencies, numbering schemes and characters to fit an individual country's language format. The Unicode classes will automatically format currencies into yen for Japanese usage, for example, or change date fields to correspond to German formats.

"The growth of e-business has increased the need for global software that transcends language barriers," said Robert LeBlanc, vice president of software strategy, IBM Software Solutions. "We're happy to share this technology, which has enabled IBM to deliver worldwide solutions to our international customers, with the open-source community."

The IBM Classes for Unicode support AIX*, Linux, Solaris**, and Windows NT** operating systems, and principal written languages used on every continent. In addition to number, currency and date formatters, instruction sets are included to handle time zones, daylight savings adjustments, calendar calculations, and other conversions.

In recent months, IBM has made the source code for a number of technologies available as open source software. Licenses for these offerings will be updated to reflect the new IBM Public Source License. The technologies include IBM Visualization Data Explorer*, which analyzes and creates 3-D visual representations of data; Secure Mailer*, which is designed to improve the security, reliability and performance of e-mail delivery services; and the Jikes* compiler, which helps developers quickly create Java applications by converting Java source code into machine-readable byte code.

The IBM Classes for Unicode and source code are available for download from the Web site.
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** Indicates trademark or registered trademark of respective companies, individuals or organizations.

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