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ECMAScript Internationalization API Specification approved in December

March 5, 2013

We omitted to mention, back in December, that ECMAScript announced a new standard that better supports a user’s language and culture for applications written in JavaScript (standardized as ECMAScript).

Until now, it has been very difficult for web application designers to do something as simple as sort names correctly according to the user’s language. The new standard ECMA-402 changes this. It provides:

  • string comparison for sorting (such as for Swedish, where “ö” is a separate letter that sorts after “z”),
  • number and currency formatting (such as “1.234,56 €” for a German language euro presentation, or the following choices for a Serbian language USD presentation: 12.345,12 US$, 12.345,12 USD or 12.345,12 америчких долара),
  • date and time formatting capabilities (such as 2012年12月12日 for a Japanese language date, or for a French date: mercredi 12 décembre 2012).

For the first time, applications can choose the language and tailor the functionality to their needs. The standard complements the ECMAScript Language Specification, also published by Ecma as ECMA-262, which defines the core of JavaScript in web browsers, servers, and other software systems.

ECMA-402, ECMAScript Internationalization API Specification, is available free of charge from the Ecma International website. See also An introduction to the standard.

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