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).

Labels: ,

August 08, 2007

wow, that was fast

i submitted a bug to sun about australian and new zealand time formats being wrong compared to the CLDR on 18-may (CLDR & some common experience says it should be "h:mm:ss a", ie 12 hour AM/PM format, while core java thinks it should be "H:mm:ss", ie 24hr format). according to this (might require login) it was fixed on 21-may--funny thing is that i was only informed via the bug parade just "now" (7-aug). also funny was that it attracted only 1 vote--what you guys down there all asleep?

i guess we can expect to see this in JDK 1.6 update 4 (latest update is 2). i wonder if i should just pile all the CLDR vs core java locale differences (there's a lot) into a single java bug report?

August 02, 2007

PHP i18n

normally i would say that PHP's unicode/i18n support is fairly lame compared to coldfusion (actually i'd call it a joke but i'm not trying to be controversial here). well i stumbled on an interesting line on the ICU site concerning how PHP 6 would be using the ICU library (icu4j's sister C/C++ library). i was sort of shocked that PHP was considering this (hey PHP is lame after all), so thinking maybe this was market-speak or just plain wishful thinking, i googled it and turned up plenty of references including this article.

first this article confirms that PHP's unicode/i18n support really is lame (also see this article for a bit older take on PHP's unicode/i18n support, i especially liked the Unicode should have been in PHP five years ago quote). but more importantly, and what's surprising to me, is that they're actually doing something about it by adopting ICU. going from being an i18n joke to fully supporting unicode/i18n via the ICU project. i know next to nothing about the PHP world so i have no idea if this is really happening (or has already happened) or is just hot air but it looks like they're on the right track with ICU.

wonder if there's a lesson here?


August 01, 2007

cf8 javacast

another interesting coldfusion 8 upgrade that i've kind of glossed over before are the new data types that javacast supports:
  • bigdecimal
  • byte
  • char
  • short
as well as the nifty new ability to cast Arrays (which has been something i'd actually requested a while back):


very cool.