Netscape and Oracle have licensed IBM technology designed to automatically format applications' dates, currencies, numbers and text to fit a given country's preferred format.
Developed by IBM subsidiary Taligent, IBM's International Classes technology lets developers create Internet and multinational intranet applications that can recognise and respond to different language and country requirements automatically, IBM officials say.
For example, without altering an application, users in China could view text, dates and other information in Chinese, while German and French users could view the same information in their own languages and formats, officials say.
The International Classes, which use key components of the Unicode international character set, are available in versions for C, C++ and Java and support 38 languages, officials say.
Information on Oracle's plans for the technology was not immediately available.