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<h2>ICU4J Locale Service Provider</h2>
<h3>Read Me for ICU4J Locale Service Provider</h3>
<hr size="2" width="100%">
<p><b>Note:</b> This is a technical preview for ICU4J Locale Service Provider.
This component may be changed or removed in future release of ICU4J.
<h3 class="doc">Contents</h3>
<ul type="disc">
<li><a href="#intro">Introduction</a></li>
<li><a href="#usage">Using ICU4J Locale Service Provider</a></li>
<li><a href="#config">Optional Configuration</a></li>
<li><a href="#build">Building and Testing ICU4J Locale Service Provider</a></li>
<h3 class="doc"><a name="intro"></a>Introduction</h3>
<p>Java SE 6 introduced a new feature which allows Java user code to extend locale support
in Java runtime environment. JREs shipped by Sun or IBM come with decent locale coverage,
but some users may want more locale support. Java SE 6 includes abstract classes extending
<a href="">
java.util.spi.LocaleServiceProvider</a>. Java SE 6 users can create a subclass of these
abstract class to supply their own locale support for text break, collation, date/number
formatting or providing translations for currency, locale and time zone names.</p>
<p>ICU4J has been providing more comprehensive locale coverage than standard JREs. However,
Java programmers have to use ICU4J's own internationalization service APIs (*)
to utilize the rich locale support. Sometimes, the migration is not an option for various
reasons. For example, your code may depend on existing Java libraries utilizing JDK
internationalization service APIs, but you have no access to the source code. In this case,
it is not possible to modify the libraries to use ICU4J APIs.</p>
<p>ICU4J Locale Service Provider is a component consists of classes implementing the Java
SE 6 locale sensitive service provider interfaces. Available service providers are -
<li><a href="">BreakIteratorProvider</a></li>
<li><a href="">CollatorProvider</a></li>
<li><a href="">DateFormatProvider</a></li>
<li><a href="">DateFormatSymbolsProvider</a></li>
<li><a href="">DecimalFormatSymbolsProvider</a></li>
<li><a href="">NumberFormatProvider</a></li>
<li><a href="">CurrencyNameProvider</a></li>
<li><a href="">LocaleNameProvider</a></li>
<li><a href="">TimeZoneNameProvider</a></li>
ICU4J Locale Service Provider is designed to work as installed extensions in a JRE.
Once the component is configured properly, Java application running on the JRE automatically
picks the ICU4J's internationalization service implementation when a requested locale is not
available in the JRE.</p>
<h3 class="doc"><a name="usage"></a>Using ICU4J Locale Service Provider</h3>
<p>Java SE 6 locale sensitive service providers are using the
<a href="">Java Extension Mechanism</a>.
An implementation of a locale sensitive service provider is installed as an optional package
to extend the functionality of the Java core platform. To install an optional package, its JAR
files must be placed in the Java extension directory. The standard location is
&lt;<i>java-home</i>&gt;/lib/ext. You can alternatively use the system property <i>java.ext.dirs</i>
to specify one or more locations where optional packages are installed. For example,
if the JRE root directry is JAVA_HOME and you put ICU4J Locale Service Provider files
in ICU_SPI_DIR, the ICU4J Locale Service Provider is enabled by the following command.
java -Djava.ext.dirs=%JAVA_HOME%\lib\ext;%ICU_SPI_DIR% &lt;your_java_app&gt; [Microsoft Windows]
java -Djava.ext.dirs=$JAVA_HOME/lib/ext:$ICU_SPI_DIR &lt;your_java_app&gt; [Linux, Solaris and other unix like platforms]
<p>The ICU4J's implementations of Java SE 6 locale sensitive service provider interfaces
and configuration files are packaged in a single JAR file (icu4j-localespi-&lt;<i>version</i>&gt;.jar).
But the actual implementation of the service classes and data are in the ICU4J core JAR
file (icu4j-&lt;<i>version</i>&gt;.jar). So you need to put the localespi JAR file along
with the core JAR file in the Java extension directory.</p>
<p>Once the ICU4J Locale Service Provider is installed properly, factory methods in
JDK internationalization classes look for the implementation provided by ICU4J when
a requested locale is not supported by the JDK service class. For example, locale
af_ZA (Afrikaans - South Africa) is not supported by JDK DateFormat in Sun Java SE 6.
The following code snippet returns an instance of DateFormat from ICU4J Locale Service
Provider and prints out the current date localized for af_ZA.
DateFormat df = DateFormat.getDateInstance(DateFormat.LONG, new Locale("af", "ZA"));
System.out.println(df.format(new Date()));
Sample output:
2008 Junie 19 [With ICU4J Locale Service Provider enabled]
June 19, 2008 [Without ICU4J Locale Service Provider]
<h3 class="doc"><a name="config"></a>Optional Configuration</h3>
<h4>Enabling or disabling individual service</h4>
<p>By default, all Java 6 SE locale sensitive service providers are enabled in the
ICU4J Locale Service Provider JAR file. If you want to disable specific providers
supported by ICU4J, you can remove the corresponding provider configuration files
from META-INF/services in the localespi JAR file. For example, if you do not want
to use ICU's time zone name service at all, you can remove the file:
META-INF/services/java.util.spi.TimeZoneNameProvider from the JAR file.</p>
<p><b>Note:</b> Disabling DateFormatSymbolsProvider/DecimalFormatSymbolsProvider
won't affect the localized symbols actually used by DateFormatProvider/NumberFormatProvider
by the current implementation. These services are implemented independently.</p>
<h4>Configuring the behavior of ICU4J Locale Service Provider</h4>
<p>com/ibm/icu/impl/javaspi/ in the localespi
JAR file is used for configuring the behavior of the ICU4J Locale Service Provider
implementation. There are some configuration properties available. See the table below
for each configuration in detail.</p>
<table border="1">
<td>"true" or "false"</td>
Whether if Locales with ICU's variant suffix will be included in getAvailableLocales.
The current Java SE 6 locale sensitive service does not allow user provided provider
implementations to override locales supported by JRE itself. When this property is
"true"(default), ICU4J Locale Service Provider includes Locales with
the suffix(
in the variant field. For example, the ICU4J provider includes locales fr_FR and
fr_FR_ICU in the available locale list. So JDK API user can still access the
internationalization service object created by the ICU4J provider by the special locale
<td><i>Any String</i></td>
Suffix string used in Locale's variant field to specify the ICU implementation.
<td>"true" or "false"</td>
Whether if 3-letter language Locales are included in getAvailabeLocales. Use of
3-letter language codes in java.util.Locale is not supported by the API reference
document. However, the implementation does not check the length of language code,
so there is no practical problem with it.
<td>"true" or "false"</td>
Whether if java.text.DecimalFormat subclass is used for NumberFormat#getXXXInstance.
DecimalFormat#format(Object,StringBuffer,FieldPosition) is declared as final, so
ICU cannot override the implementation. As a result, some number types such as
BigInteger/BigDecimal are not handled by the ICU implementation. If a client expects
NumberFormat#getXXXInstance returns a DecimalFormat (for example, need to manipulate
decimal format patterns), he/she can set true to this setting. However, in this case,
BigInteger/BigDecimal support is not done by ICU's implementation.
<h3 class="doc"><a name="build"></a>Building and Testing ICU4J Locale Service Provider</h3>
<p>ICU4J Locale Service Provider classes depend on the ICU4J core files. To build the
component, you should build the ICU4J core JAR file first. Please refer <a href="../readme.html">
ReadMe for ICU4J</a> to set up the build environment. The actual steps building the
ICU4J Locale Service Provider JAR file are described below. The examples used in these steps
assume the ICU4J source package is extracted to C:\icu4j on Microsoft Windows.</p>
<p>1. Build the ICU4J core JAR file (icu4j.jar). The preferred JDK version for building
the ICU4J core classes/JAR files is JDK 5.0.
C:\icu4j>ant jar
<p>2. Set JAVA_HOME to JDK 6.0. The ICU4J Locale Service Provider requires JDK 6.0.
If you used JDK 6.0 for building the ICU4J core JAR file, this step is not necessary.
C:\icu4j>set JAVA_HOME=C:\jdk1.6.0
<p>3. Change directory to a subdirectory named "localespi"</p>
<p>4. Run <b>ant</b> with the default target ("jar").
Buildfile: build.xml
[mkdir] Created dir: C:\icu4j\localespi\classes
[javac] Compiling 22 source files to C:\icu4j\localespi\classes
[jar] Building jar: C:\icu4j\localespi\icu4j-localespi.jar
Total time: 5 seconds
<p>With above steps, icu4j-localespi.jar is created in localespi subdirectory. To
verify the ICU4J Locale Service Provider component, you can run <b>ant</b> with the
target "check". (Note: The target "check" actually creates icu4j-localespi.jar, so
you can simply run this target to build and test the component.)
C:\icu4j\localespi\ant check
After compiling classes used for testing, the test cases for ICU4J Locale Service
Provider are executed. The test output looks like below.
[java] TestAll {
[java] BreakIteratorTest {
[java] TestGetInstance Passed
[java] TestICUEquivalent Passed
[java] } Passed
[java] CollatorTest {
[java] TestGetInstance Passed
[java] TestICUEquivalent Passed
[java] } Passed
[java] CurrencyNameTest {
[java] TestCurrencySymbols Passe
[java] } Passed
[java] DateFormatSymbolsTest {
[java] TestGetInstance Passed
[java] TestICUEquivalent Passed
[java] TestNynorsk Passed
[java] TestSetSymbols Passed
[java] } Passed
[java] DateFormatTest {
[java] TestGetInstance Passed
[java] TestICUEquivalent Passed
[java] TestThaiDigit Passed
[java] } Passed
[java] DecimalFormatSymbolsTest {
[java] TestGetInstance Passed
[java] TestICUEquivalent Passed
[java] TestSetSymbols Passed
[java] } Passed
[java] LocaleNameTest {
[java] TestCountryNames Passed
[java] TestLanguageNames Passed
[java] TestVariantNames Passed
[java] } Passed
[java] NumberFormatTest {
[java] TestGetInstance Passed
[java] TestICUEquivalent Passed
[java] } Passed
[java] TimeZoneNameTest {
[java] TestTimeZoneNames Passed
[java] } Passed
[java] } Passed