"The first software that I was actually paid to develop was a
2-page shell script that prompted the user for a dozen or so pieces
of information, before launching a set of cooperating processes.
Those processes formed the core of a performance evaluation suite
for the public telephone network - a rather sizable system for its
day with high visibility.
"Thinking through that assignment and the greater application, I
can say with complete certainty that none of its stakeholders were
contemplating [human] language independence - that is, how to
render prompts, error messages, progress diagnostics, etc. in a
language other than US-English. Even if we had been thinking that
progressively, the level of facilitation provided by development
languages/platforms was either very limited or non-existent.
"Fast forward to 2010, language independence - or
Internationalization as it has come to be known - is something that
is now expected of commercial grade software."