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Java Fundamental Classes Reference

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The java.util Package
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Locale

Name

Locale

Synopsis

Class Name:

java.util.Locale

Superclass:

java.lang.Object

Immediate Subclasses:

None

Interfaces Implemented:

java.lang.Cloneable, java.io.Serializable

Availability:

New as of JDK 1.1

Description

The Locale class is used for internationalization. Instances of Locale specify language and formatting customs by identifying a language and a country. A Locale object may also specify a platform-specific variant. Other classes throughout the JDK use Locale objects to determine how to represent themselves to the user. The tasks performed by these classes are called locale-sensitive tasks; the tasks should be done in a way that conforms with the conventions of a particular country and language.

There are a number of classes provided with Java that have static methods that create instances of locale-specific subclasses. For example, the NumberFormat class contains static methods named getInstance() that create and return locale-specific instances of subclasses of NumberFormat. A particular NumberFormat instance knows how to format numbers, currency values, and percentages appropriately for a particular locale. Note that it is the responsibiity of a class like NumberFormat to implement the logic needed to translate locale-identifying information into actual subclass instances.

Classes like NumberFormat that can create locale-specific instances are expected to follow certain conventions:

  • Methods like getInstance() in NumberFormat are expected to have two variants: one that takes a Locale argument and one that does not. The variant that does not take a locale argument is expected to use the default locale, which is normally determined by calling Locale.getDefault().

  • Classes that can create a variety of locale-specific instances are expected to implement a method that has the following signature:

    public static Locale[] getAvailableLocales()
    

    This requirement is not specified through an interface declaration because interfaces cannot declare static methods. The purpose of this method is to facilitate presenting the user with a list or menu of locale choices. The getAvailableLocales() method should return an array of Locale objects that identifies all of the locales for which the class can create locale-specific instances.

    Two additional methods are recommended for helping to display the locale choices:

    public static final String getDisplayName(Locale objectLocale)
    public static String getDisplayName(Locale objectLocale,
                                        Locale displayLocale)
    

    The first form of getDisplayName() should return a description of objectLocale that is suitable for display in the default locale. The second form should return a description of objectLocale that is suitable for display in the locale specified by displayLocale. Implementations of these methods generally call the getDisplayName() method of the Locale object.

The language, country and variant information that are encapsulated by a Locale object are specified to a constructor as strings. The language for a Locale should be specified as one of the two-letter lowercase language codes defined by ISO-639. Look for a complete list at http://www.ics.uci.edu/pub/ietf/http/related/iso639.txt.

The country for a Locale object should be specified as either "" to indicate that no country is specified, or as one of the two-letter uppercase country codes defined by ISO-3166. Check the site, http://www.chemie.fu-berlin.de/diverse/doc/ISO_3166.html, for a complete list

Variant codes are platform-specific.

Although the Locale is constructed from these three types of codes, human-readable names can be obtained by calling getDisplayLanguage(), getDisplayCountry(), and getDisplayVariant().

The Locale class defines a number of constant Locale objects that represent some of the major languages and countries of the world.

Class Summary

public abstract class java.util.Locale extends java.lang.Object
                      implements java.lang.Cloneable, java.io.Serializable {
  // Constants
  public final static Locale CANADA;
  public final static Locale CANADA_FRENCH;
  public final static Locale CHINA;
  public final static Locale CHINESE;
  public final static Locale ENGLISH;
  public final static Locale FRANCE;
  public final static Locale FRENCH;
  public final static Locale GERMAN;
  public final static Locale GERMANY;
  public final static Locale ITALIAN;
  public final static Locale ITALY;
  public final static Locale JAPAN;
  public final static Locale JAPANESE;
  public final static Locale KOREA;
  public final static Locale KOREAN;
  public final static Locale PRC;
  public final static Locale SIMPLIFIED_CHINESE;
  public final static Locale TAIWAN;
  public final static Locale TRADITIONAL_CHINESE;
  public final static Locale UK;
  public final static Locale US;
  // Constructors
  public Locale(String language, String country);
  public Locale(String language, String country, String variant);
  // Class Methods
  public static synchronized Locale getDefault();
  public static synchronized void setDefault(Locale newLocale);
  // Instance Methods
  public Object clone();
  public boolean equals(Object obj);
  public String getCountry();
  public final String getDisplayCountry();
  public String getDisplayCountry(Locale inLocale);
  public final String getDisplayLanguage();
  public String getDisplayLanguage(Locale inLocale);
  public final String getDisplayName();
  public String getDisplayName(Locale inLocale);
  public final String getDisplayVariant();
  public String getDisplayVariant(Locale inLocale);
  public String getISO3Country();
  public String getISO3Language();
  public String getLanguage();
  public String getVariant();
  public synchronized int hashCode();
  public final String toString();
}

Constants

CANADA

public final static Locale CANADA

Description

A locale that represents English-speaking Canada.

CANADA_FRENCH

public final static Locale CANADA_FRENCH

Description

A locale that represents French-speaking Canada.

CHINA

public final static Locale CHINA

Description

A locale that represents China.

CHINESE

public final static Locale CHINESE

Description

A locale that represents the Chinese language.

ENGLISH

public final static Locale ENGLISH

Description

A locale that represents the English language.

FRANCE

public final static Locale FRANCE

Description

A locale that represents France.

FRENCH

public final static Locale FRENCH

Description

A locale that represents the French language.

GERMAN

public final static Locale GERMAN

Description

A locale that represents the German language.

GERMANY

public final static Locale GERMANY

Description

A locale that represents Germany.

ITALIAN

public final static Locale ITALIAN

Description

A locale that represents the Italian language.

ITALY

public final static Locale ITALY

Description

A locale that represents Italy.

JAPAN

public final static Locale JAPAN

Description

A locale that represents Japan.

JAPANESE

public final static Locale JAPANESE

Description

A locale that represents the Japanese language.

KOREA

public final static Locale KOREA

Description

A locale that represents Korea.

KOREAN

public final static Locale KOREAN

Description

A locale that represents the Korean language.

PRC

public final static Locale PRC

Description

A locale that represents the People's Republic of China. It is equivalent to CHINA.

SIMPLIFIED_CHINESE

public final static Locale SIMPLIFIED_CHINESE

Description

A locale that represents the Chinese language as used in mainland China.

TAIWAN

public final static Locale TAIWAN

Description

A locale that represents Taiwan.

TRADITIONAL_CHINESE

public final static Locale TRADITIONAL_CHINESE

Description

A locale that represents the Chinese language as used in Taiwan.

UK

public final static Locale UK

Description

A locale that represents the United Kingdom.

US

public final static Locale US

Description

A locale that represents the United States.

Constructors

Locale

public Locale(String language, String country)

Parameters

language

A two-letter ISO-639 language code.

country

A two-letter ISO-3166 country code or "" to omit the country specification.

Description

This constructor creates a Locale that represents the given language and country.

public Locale(String language, String country, String variant)

Parameters

language

A two-letter ISO-639 language code.

country

A two-letter ISO-3166 country code or "" to omit the country specification.

variant

A vendor-specific variant code.

Description

This constructor creates a Locale that represents the given language, country, and variant.

Class Methods

getDefault

public static synchronized Locale getDefault()

Returns

The default Locale.

Description

This method returns the current default Locale. An application or applet uses this method to find out how to present locale-sensitive information, such as textual strings and numbers. The method is generally called during application initialization to get the default Locale. Once the locale is set, it almost never changes. If you do change the locale, you should probably reload the GUI for your application, so that any locale-sensitive information in the interface is changed.

The initial default Locale is set by the host system.

setDefault

public static synchronized void setDefault(Locale newLocale)

Parameters

newLocale

The new default locale.

Description

This method changes the current default locale to newLocale. Note that calling setDefault() does not change the default locale of the host system.

Instance Methods

clone

public Object clone()

Returns

A copy of this Locale.

Overrides

Object.clone()

Description

This method creates a copy of this Locale and returns it.

equals

public boolean equals(Object obj)

Parameters

obj

The object to be compared with this object.

Returns

true if the objects are equal; false if they are not.

Overrides

Object.equals()

Description

This method returns true if obj is an instance of Locale, and it contains the same value as the object this method is associated with.

getCountry

public String getCountry()

Returns

The country of this Locale.

Description

This method returns a String that represents the country of this Locale. This String is the same String that was passed to the constructor of this Locale object. The String is normally a two-letter ISO-3166 country code.

getDisplayCountry

public final String getDisplayCountry()

Returns

The country of this Locale.

Description

This method returns the country of this Locale as a country name in a form appropriate for this Locale. If the country name cannot be found, this method returns the same value as getCountry().

public String getDisplayCountry(Locale inLocale)

Parameters

inLocale

The locale to use when finding the country name.

Returns

The country of this Locale, localized to the given locale.

Description

This method returns the country of this Locale as a country name in a form appropriate for inLocale. For example, Locale.ITALY.getDisplayCountry(Locale.GERMAN) returns the German name for Italy, Italien.

getDisplayLanguage

public final String getDisplayLanguage()

Returns

The language of this Locale.

Description

This method returns the language of this Locale as a language name in a form appropriate for this Locale. If the language name cannot be found, this method returns the same value as getLanguage().

public String getDisplayLanguage(Locale inLocale)

Parameters

inLocale

The locale to use when finding the language name.

Returns

The language of this Locale, localized to the given locale.

Description

This method returns the language of this Locale as a language name in a form appropriate for inLocale. For example, Locale.ITALY.getDisplayLanguage(Locale.GERMAN) returns the German name for the Italian language, Italienisch.

getDisplayName

public final String getDisplayName()

Returns

A string that represents this Locale.

Description

This method constructs a string that represents this Locale by calling getDisplayLanguage(), getDisplayCountry(), and getDisplayVariant(). In other words, the method returns a string that contains the country name, language name, and variant in a form appropriate for this Locale. If any of the names cannot be found, the String that was passed to the constructor of this Locale object is used instead. These strings are normally two-letter ISO codes.

public String getDisplayName(Locale inLocale)

Parameters

inLocale

The locale to use when constructing the string representation.

Returns

A string that represents this Locale.

Description

This method constructs a string that represents this Locale by calling getDisplayLanguage(inLocale), getDisplayCountry(inLocale), and getDisplayVariant(inLocale). In other words, the method returns a string that contains the country name, language name, and variant in a form appropriate for inLocale. If any of the names cannot be found, the String that was passed to the constructor of this Locale object is used instead. These strings are normally two-letter ISO codes.

getDisplayVariant

public final String getDisplayVariant()

Returns

The variant of this Locale.

Description

This method returns the variant of this Locale as a human-readable string in a form appropriate for this Locale. If the variant name cannot be found, this method returns the same value as getVariant().

public String getDisplayVariant(Locale inLocale)

Parameters

inLocale

The locale to use when finding the variant name.

Returns

The variant of this Locale, localized to the given locale.

Description

This method returns the variant of this Locale as a human-readable string in a form appropriate for inLocale.

getISO3Country

public String getISO3Country() throws MissingResourceException

Returns

The ISO three-letter country code of this Locale.

Throws

MissingResourceException

If the requested code cannot be found.

Description

This method returns the country of this Locale as a three-letter ISO country code. The country code is obtained from a ResourceBundle for this Locale.

getISO3Language

public String getISO3Language() throws MissingResourceException

Returns

The ISO three-letter language code of this Locale.

Throws

MissingResourceException

If the requested code cannot be found.

Description

This method returns the language of this Locale as a three-letter ISO language code. The language code is obtained from a ResourceBundle for this Locale.

getLanguage

public String getLanguage()

Returns

The language of this Locale.

Description

This method returns a String that represents the language of this Locale. This String is the same String that was passed to the constructor of this Locale object. The String is normally a two-letter ISO-639 language code.

getVariant

public String getVariant()

Returns

The variant of this Locale.

Description

This method returns the variant code of this Locale. If no variant code is specified for this Locale, an empty string is returned.

hashCode

public synchronized int hashCode()

Returns

A hashcode for this Locale.

Overrides

Object.hashCode()

Description

This method returns a hashcode for this object.

toString

public final String toString()

Returns

A string representation of this Locale.

Overrides

Object.toString()

Description

This method returns a string representation of this Locale, constructed from the language code, country code, and variant code. The various codes are separated by underscore characters. If a code is missing, it is omitted.

Inherited Methods

Method

Inherited From

Method

Inherited From

finalize()

Object

getClass()

Object

notify()

Object

notifyAll()

Object

wait()

Object

wait(long)

Object

wait(long, int)

Object

   

See Also

Cloneable, DateFormat, NumberFormat, ResourceBundle, Serializable


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