Internationalization summary 1/19 (TC39 meeting)

Alex Sexton alexsexton at
Mon Jan 23 16:59:00 PST 2012

Hi all,

I'm the author of said "Jed" library. I'd be happy to update the info on
the Jed site with the correct terminology, but I was wondering why the term
"internationalization" is incorrect? It's an implementation of the Gettext
spec (with a few wrappers) which GNU defines as an _internationalization_
tool (and so does wikipedia, etc, etc):

The easiest to read summary being:

"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."

Jed specifically _doesn't handle_ the loading or setting of locales, it is
rather the mechanism for implementing applications in a
non-language-specific manner. Gettext has proved to be useful in other
languages, as it handles pluralization and positional interpolation (with
sprintf's help), and it seems to work well in JavaScript.

The APIs that Jed offers on top of Gettext are just sugar (they call
directly into the dcnpgettext function but they're pretty because omg

I'd love to learn more about the internationalization specs that you are
working on. Is there a link to them somewhere? I'd love to bridge the gap
between what you're talking about and what I've put into Jed.

Alex Sexton

Nebojša Ćirić cira at
Mon Jan 23 14:19:05 PST 2012

> He is unfortunately using term "internationalization" for "localization".
> This library only lets you handle resource loading - i.e. translated
> messages.
> Our library deals with proper formatting and sorting (and possibly many
> more in the future). The actual sorting (collation) is the hard part where
> no native JavaScript implementation exists and with a good reason - data
> size and algorithm complexity would be hard to overcome.
> I don't feel we are rushing anything, it's been 1.5 yrs since we started,
> but this is my first standard so I may be too optimistic :).

---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Brendan Eich <brendan at>
> To: "Nebojša Ćirić" <cira at>
> Cc: es-discuss at
> Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2012 13:26:24 -0800
> Subject: Re: Internationalization summary 1/19 (TC39 meeting)
> Just saw this tweeted:
>**Jed/ <>
> Wondered if anyone has any reactions. We have a Globalization API rushing
> to standardization while libraries to do some of what it does exist on
> It seems to me we ought to look at the latter while
> finalizing the former -- if not actually interact with developers using the
> latter more.
> /be
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