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Day: April 20, 2004

Unicode Sponsors Locale Data Project

The Unicode Consortium announced that it will be hosting the Common Locale Data Repository project to support the world’s languages. To support users in different languages, programs must not only use translated text, but must also be adapted to local conventions. These conventions differ by language or region and include the formatting of numbers, dates, times, and currency values, as well as support for differences in measurement units or text sorting order. Most operating systems and many application programs currently maintain their own repositories of locale data to support these conventions. But such data are often incomplete, idiosyncratic, or gratuitously different from program to program. The Common Locale Data Repository (CLDR) provides a general XML format for the exchange of locale information for use in application and system software development, combined with a public repository for a common set of locale data generated in that format. The Common Locale Data Repository was initially developed under the sponsorship of the Linux Application Development Environment (aka LADE) Workgroup of the Free Standards Group’s OpenI18N team, with a 1.0 version released in January 2004. The founding members of the workgroup were IBM, Sun, and OpenOffice.org, later joined by Apple Computer. CLDR will be managed by a dedicated technical committee of the Unicode Consortium. CLDR version 1.1 is expected in mid-May 2004, and a beta 1.1 version is available now. www.unicode.org

Sybase to Acquire Dejima Assets

Sybase, Inc. announced it has signed an agreement to acquire the assets of privately held Dejima, a provider of mobile access solutions using natural language interface technology. Sybase intends to integrate the assets of Dejima into its iAnywhere Solutions subsidiary, and expects to complete the cash transaction in the second quarter of 2004. The Dejima product uses natural language processing and adaptive agent technologies to allow end users to interact with information sources using common, colloquial language. Inquiries can be made using nearly any communications method (email, SMS, voice, instant messaging, etc.) or device (landline or mobile phone, PDA, laptop, PC, etc.). Sybase plans to leverage the Dejima technology to add natural spoken and text access through common messaging interfaces to backend systems such as databases and enterprise applications. www.dejima.com, www.sybase.com