The end of last year I made a move from an IT shop focused on supporting the U.S. side of our business to a department that provides support to our operations outside the U.S. This was the first time I’ve worked in an international context and found myself running into long time assumptions that were no longer true on a regular basis. My first project was implementing a third party, web based HR system for medium sized offices. I found myself constantly missing important issues because I had such a narrow approach to the problem space. Sure I’ve built applications and databases that supported Unicode, but I’ve never actually implemented anything with them but the same types of systems I’d built in the past with ASCII. But a large portion of the worlds population is in Asia, and ASCII is certainly not going to cut it there. Fortunately a new edition of Ken Lunde’s classic CJKV Information Processing has become available and it has really opened my eyes.