T he CultureInfo class is at the heart of .NET’s internationalization solution. In Chapter 6, “Globalization,” you saw that in the .NET Framework 2.0, the list of available cultures is a combination of those cultures known to the .NET Framework plus those known to the operating system. In the .NET Framework 1.1, the list of available cultures is simply those known only to the .NET Framework. These cul- tures are fine if the country/language combination that you need is one of the avail- able cultures and if the information for that combination is correct for your application. But there are many country/language combinations that are not avail- able, and some of those that are available might not have the correct information for your application. For this reason, custom cultures were introduced in the .NET Framework 2.0. A custom culture is a culture that is defined by an application devel- oper instead of Microsoft. After it is created, the .NET Framework treats it as a first- class citizen and the custom culture is just as valid as any other culture. In this chapter, we look at how to create, register/unregister, and deploy custom cultures. The story for .NET Framework 1.1 applications is not so sophisticated. It is possible to create custom cultures in the .NET Framework 1.1, but the results are less than sat- isfactory. This subject is covered at the end of this chapter.
Uses for Custom Cultures
Custom cultures have many uses, and it is entirely possible that free and commercial custom cultures will be downloadable from the Internet. In this section, we look at a number of reasons why you might want to create your own.