August 09, 2007

icu4j 3.8 draft released

a draft of icu4j version 3.8 has just been released. what's so hot about this release? well a lot actually:
  • it uses the latest and greatest cldr 1.5 locale data
  • the long discussed rule based timezone changes which gives us the ability to read and write timezone data in RFC2445 VTIMEZONE format as well as also providing access to Olson timezone transitions! this is stuff many people have been looking for, this is going to be very useful
  • tawainese calendar (which i never knew existed, looks like a flavor of gregorian calendar that numbers years since 1912AD)
  • the Indian National Calendar (ditto though looks like a more complicated flavor of the gregorian calendar, eg it's synched up with the gregorian calendar's leap years but the extra day is added to the first month, Chaitra which starts march 22 on gregorian calendar--so, yup, it's complicated)
  • charset conversion bugs were fixed and CESU-8, UTF-7 and ISCII converters have been added. also some conversion speed improvements. i think the UTF-7 one looks pretty useful
  • a new MessageFormat type for plurals was added, looks like some eastern european languages have complicated rules for plurals
  • a new DurationFormat class so you can format messages over a duration in time such as "2 days from now" or "3 hours ago" (this one looks useful)
  • also the MessageFormat class will now take named arguments instead of just arrays (too bad now that coldfusion 8's javacast got a shot of steroids)
  • bunch of new BIDI stuff (which need some investigating)
i'll be adding the new calendars as CFCs to the usual bits as soon as i do enough background research on them to understand any "quirks". i'll also be doing some significant changes to most of the i18n formatting methods to take better advantage of the calendar, etc. keywords (en_GB@calendar=indian,currency=EUR) on the ULocale class (icu4j's super cool locale class).

looks like a persian calendar was also added but appears to be only in icu4c (C/C++) only for the time being.

wow, fun times in the old town tonite (it's actually in the AM in bangkok but you get the idea).

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