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The correct handling of timezones and locales is one of the most under-appreciated parts of software development. Commonly known as internationalisation (i18n), a lot of people underestimate the impact that getting it wrong can have for your users as well as your systems.
Drawn from experiences with working on a global network of backend systems, websites and mobile apps in more than 30 locales for the last 10 years, this talk will start with an introduction to the concepts behind time zones and locales.
You’re going to learn about the history of time measurement and time synchronisation and how the world eventually ended up with the global system of time zones of today. Today’s model is full of interesting and sometimes outright bizarre quirks and you’ll look at some of best and worst of them. From there you’ll learn about the ideas behind locales and why cultural context is at least as important as a locale’s common collection of purely technical data such a number formats or text direction. After this, the talk will cover how common runtime environments like Android and Java represent these ideas.
Technical topics covered are:
- How does the JVM deal with timezones and locales and in which way is this is handled differently on Android devices?
- What level of support and libraries does the Android SDK offer for Java and Kotlin?
- Ways to make your developer life supporting multi-lingual/-locale apps easier.
- How can you survive a "WHAT? We have to support daylight-savings-time?" request?
- Managing user expectations and dealing with changing timezones/locales at runtime .
- How can you support 30+ languages in the Play Store — and would you even have to?
Eventually, it will be revealed why a whole country skipped a day and what they gained from going through this effort. Stay tuned!
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Why a Whole Country Skipped a Day: Fun with Timezones and Locales
Kai works as a Software Solutions Architect for Ventego Creative in Wellington, New Zealand. He co-founded the company with two partners and is also the CTO of Zen Ex Machina, a startup in the fields of digital & user experience consultancy based out of Canberra in Australia.