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