Appendix D. Internationalization

Red Hat Directory Server allows users to store, manage, and search for entries and their associated attributes in a number of different languages. An internationalized directory can be an invaluable corporate resource, providing employees and business partners with immediate access to the information they need in languages they understand.
Directory Server supports all international charactersets by default because directory data is stored in UTF-8. Further, Directory Server can use specified matching rules and collation orders based on language preferences in search operations.

Note

ASCII characters are required for attribute and object class names.

D.1. About Locales

Directory Server provides support for multiple languages through the use of locales. A locale identifies language-specific information about how users of a specific region, culture, or custom expect data to be presented, including how data of a given language is interpreted and how data is to be sorted, or collated.
In addition, the locale information indicates what code page should be used to represent a given language. A code page is an internal table that the operating system uses to relate keyboard keys to character font screen displays.
More specifically, a locale defines four things:
  • Collation order. The collation order provides language and cultural-specific information about how the characters of a given language are to be sorted. It identifies things like the sequence of the letters in the alphabet, how to compare letters with accents to letters without accents, and if there are any characters that can be ignored when comparing strings. The collation order also takes into account culture-specific information about a language, such as the direction in which the language is read (left to right, right to left, or up and down).
  • Character type. The character type distinguishes alphabetic characters from numeric or other characters. For example, in some languages, the pipe (|) character is considered punctuation while in others it is considered alphabetic. In addition, it defines the mapping of upper-case to lower-case letters.
  • Monetary format. The monetary format specifies the monetary symbol used by a specific region, whether the symbol goes before or after its value, and how monetary units are represented.
  • Time/date format. The time and date format indicates the customary formatting for times and dates in the region. The time and date format indicates whether dates are customarily represented in the mm/dd/yy (month, day, year) or dd/mm/yy (day, month, year) format and specifies what the days of the week and month are in a given language. For example, the date January 10, 1996, is represented as 10. leden 1996 in Czech and 10 janvier 1996 in French.
Because a locale describes cultural, customary, and regional differences in addition to mechanical language differences, the directory data can both be translated into the specific languages understood by users as well as be presented in a way that users in a given region expect.