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 1.2 I18n, L10n, and Such
 Two long words appear all the time when we discuss support of native
 language in programs, and these words have a precise meaning, worth
 being explained here, once and for all in this document.  The words are
 _internationalization_ and _localization_.  Many people, tired of
 writing these long words over and over again, took the habit of writing
 "i18n" and "l10n" instead, quoting the first and last letter of each
 word, and replacing the run of intermediate letters by a number merely
 telling how many such letters there are.  But in this manual, in the
 sake of clarity, we will patiently write the names in full, each time...
    By "internationalization", one refers to the operation by which a
 program, or a set of programs turned into a package, is made aware of
 and able to support multiple languages.  This is a generalization
 process, by which the programs are untied from calling only English
 strings or other English specific habits, and connected to generic ways
 of doing the same, instead.  Program developers may use various
 techniques to internationalize their programs.  Some of these have been
 standardized.  GNU `gettext' offers one of these standards.  
    By "localization", one means the operation by which, in a set of
 programs already internationalized, one gives the program all needed
 information so that it can adapt itself to handle its input and output
 in a fashion which is correct for some native language and cultural
 habits.  This is a particularisation process, by which generic methods
 already implemented in an internationalized program are used in
 specific ways.  The programming environment puts several functions to
 the programmers disposal which allow this runtime configuration.  The
 formal description of specific set of cultural habits for some country,
 together with all associated translations targeted to the same native
 language, is called the "locale" for this language or country.  Users
 achieve localization of programs by setting proper values to special
 environment variables, prior to executing those programs, identifying
 which locale should be used.
    In fact, locale message support is only one component of the cultural
 data that makes up a particular locale.  There are a whole host of
 routines and functions provided to aid programmers in developing
 internationalized software and which allow them to access the data
 stored in a particular locale.  When someone presently refers to a
 particular locale, they are obviously referring to the data stored
 within that particular locale.  Similarly, if a programmer is referring
 to "accessing the locale routines", they are referring to the complete
 suite of routines that access all of the locale's information.
    One uses the expression "Native Language Support", or merely NLS,
 for speaking of the overall activity or feature encompassing both
 internationalization and localization, allowing for multi-lingual
 interactions in a program.  In a nutshell, one could say that
 internationalization is the operation by which further localizations
 are made possible.
    Also, very roughly said, when it comes to multi-lingual messages,
 internationalization is usually taken care of by programmers, and
 localization is usually taken care of by translators.
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