The internationalization enhancements in the J2SE 1.3.0 release give developers even more flexibility in localizing their applications for international users. Two new features are described here.
Input methods are software components that interpret user operations such as typing keys or speaking to generate text input for applications, and they play an important role in enabling entry of text in international locales. Unlike English text which can be entered by directly typing it in from the keyboard, entering text in languages such as Japanese or Chinese requires a more sophisticated input method framework, and J2SE 1.3.0 provides a powerful set of the tools that developers need to handle the job.
Modern text-editing components permit the display of entered text inside the context of the document in which the text will finally appear. This is called the on-the-spot input, and it has always been supported by the Java 2 Platform.
J2SE 1.3.0 adds support for a second style of input, called below-the-spot, that is popular is such countries such as China. In below-the-spot text editing, composed text is shown in a separate composition window that is automatically positioned close to the insertion point where text will be inserted.
It might be that a developer would want to change and customize the windows that appear as part of his or her input method framework. J2SE 1.3.0 gives developers full flexibility to do so by providing a new API for an input method engine Service Provider Interface (SPI). The SPI enables developers to construct their own custom input method engines to meet the needs their software.
A further example of new international locale support is that J2SE 1.3.0 can render application frames and dialog boxes to have toolbars and menu bars with a right-to-left orientation for locales such as Arabic and Hebrew.