Until now, it has been very difficult for web application designers to do something as simple as sort names correctly according to the user's language. The new standard ECMA-402 changes this. It provides:
string comparison for sorting (such as for Swedish, where "ö" is a separate letter that sorts after "z"),
number and currency formatting (such as "1.234,56 €" for a German language € presentation, or the following choices for a Serbian language USD presentation: 12.345,12 US$, 12.345,12 USD or 12.345,12 америчких долара),
and date and time formatting capabilities (such as 2012 年12 月12 日 for a Japanese language date, or for a French date: mercredi 12 décembre 2012).
Mr. Norbert Lindenberg, editor of the standard said: "This standard provides the core internationalization functionality that most applications need. Applications can now use the numbering system, calendar, and formats appropriate for the user, and where in the past they had to send lists to the server for correct sorting, this API lets them sort directly in the browser."
Mr. Nebojša Ćirić, chairman of the ECMAScript internationalization group: "Our main goals for this specification were to provide uniform and ubiquitous internationalization API for developers, to enable offline processing, and to reduce the download size for localization data. We achieved these goals and laid a solid foundation for future iterations of this specification."
Dr. István Sebestyén, Secretary General of Ecma International, added: "We are very proud to have extended the highly successful ECMAScript ECMA-262 standard with this important and much needed feature."
The standard has been developed by Ecma Technical Committee 39, with committee members representing Adobe, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Mozilla and others contributing their expertise.