by Rick Fillman
May 10, 2001
As the name implies, the "world CD" contains a single dB2K software installation capable of being applied worldwide. There is no longer such a thing as "the German version" or the "the Japanese version" of dB2K. In all cases, an identical set of binary executable files (dB2K.exe, etc. and including the BDE) are installed regardless of which language is selected during installation. Choosing "English" or "Spanish" at install time affects only a handful of 'resource' files -- which contain just about everything you see in dB2K's dialogs and menus. Aside from displaying a different language, you can swap one resource file for another and the dB2K.exe and dB2Krun.exe will run as before. You can choose English, German, Italian, Spanish or Japanese, but no matter which you select, you're machine is one step ahead.
So what if you have two or more of these resource files in the \bin folder? Which language will display? The specific protocols are a subject for a future article For now let's just say that starting with dB2K, these protocols are available to intelligently select the display language, as well as the mechanisms to set, or (ahem) override your own preference. In future versions of dB2K (perhaps beginning with release 0.3) the Installer will support multi-lingual installations.
Historically, the diverse marketplace has required distinct products. Even when executables were identical (as has been the case with the US and Europe) the CD configuration for packages sold in any particular country contained only the resource files for that country's language. Thus, the German version was sold only in Germany (and nowhere else) and contained only German resources.
This marketing model was based on the prevailing technology. For example, in the recent past there were actually divergent code bases. dBASE source code, written in the US, would be shipped overseas to development centers for re-engineering. Double byte support (necessary for Japanese, Chinese and other Asian alphabets) was available only in dBASE products, which at the time, were developed and built specifically for Asian markets.
The technological basis for country-specific product configurations disappeared in 1997, when the development team at Borland finally unified the Asian (double-byte) and the US/Europe (single-byte) binaries into a single set of executable files that could be used across any of the supported languages. (This was the first 32-bit release - Visual dBASE 7.0. The 32-bit BDE was similarly global). This achievement streamlined build and testing processes, as there was only one set of executable files to create and test. On the marketing side, however, Borland and its subsidiaries continued to market country-specific configurations.
In the era of the World-Wide-Web, particularly in the area of database and web development tools, you can no longer partition the world into separate markets. At one level, the world must be addressed as a single marketplace. For example, web users from any country can visit our corporate home page, and compare product descriptions and pricing with that available in their local area. Our strategy is to produce a product appropriate for the Web-Wired World Market.
The new dB2K Gold Subscription starts with a copy of the dB2K World CD. These are available from dBASE, Inc. (USA) and from dBASE Partners located in major countries throughout the world. With a network of local distribution sites, our aim is to make obtaining our product as convenient as possible.
But no matter where your purchase your dB2K Subscription, you'll receive the same World CD. By combining the five existing languages into a single "World Install", we've gained additional efficiency in the CD build, test, manufacture and distribution process. (Of course, during testing, each language installation is tested separately.) Starting with the release of Visual dBASE 7.5, dBASE, Inc. has produced a single CD release that can be sold in any country. When the installer runs, it installs the appropriate resource files according to the user's selection. The same global approach is planned for the "World Install" downloads soon available on the Gold Site.
To set your own preference, use
a) In dB2K, Desktop Properties | Country | User Interface Language, or
b) set the [CommandSettings] language=xx *
Resource files in dB2K
dB2K_xx.DLL - for the core product *
dB2Kr_xx.DLL - for the Runtime Engine *
dB2Kd_xx.DLL - for the Debugger *
Qrydesn.xx - for the Qrydesn.dll(which contains EN) *
where xx = EN, DE, IT, ES, or JA
English, German, Italian, Spanish, or Japanese, respectively.