What isn't in the default install for NLS

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2005/05/27 04:07 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2005/05/27/422458.aspx

Ram Mallika mentioned in the suggestion box:

Can you please talk about the issues in a out-of-the-box support for complex scripts and languages, instead of making it as a supplemental language installation? Also, What can we expect on this issue on the next Windows (longhorn)?

I am sure you are aware of the immense benefits etc.

Thanks much

[It is a follow-up on one of your comments in
Even every version of XP Home is fully internationalized.... ]

Now, the sad truth is that out of the box, the important multilanguage settings (all language groups in Windows 2000, and East Asian/Complex Script support in Windows XP/Server 2003) are not installed by default.

There are two reasons for this:

1) Installing the East Asian Language Support means installing the EA fonts and input methods. And those are a lot of files. Someone decided that the "size of the default install" was an important metric, which is I suppose the same order of magnitude as the logic by which most cars are sold with tiny temp tires as their spares.

2) Installing Complex Script Support means turning on Uniscribe, which does cause a minor performance issue (there is a minor hit to opening up your machine to all that Unicode has to offer!). Someone decided that the "default install" for the US English product should not have to take that performance hit, although of course that US English product is the one most likely to be shipped to any place that does not have a localized version of its own. Hopefully they turn on that support for those scenarios (for obvious reasons they do the right thing for many of the localized SKUs -- if they did not then you wouldn't be able to see the UI in some cases!

Over the past five years I have met with, spoken to, consulted for, been bushwacked by, partnered with, and presented to a lot of different customers about international issues. And this is an issue that has come up again and again with consultants and large organizations and governments and sysadmins and people who do not always have the administrative permissions required to install these components....

Obviously this is a battle that is worth taking up, right? :-)

Plans for Longhorn are something that I can't really talk about yet, but it will not be very long before that is not true. So keep your eyes here, once Longhorn features are all fair game, there are a lot of exciting things going on in the area of globalization support and typography and MUI. And that is work that I am pretty excited to be doing, if you know what I mean. So hang in there a little bit longer. :-)


This post brought to you by "ᾜ" (U+U+1f9c, a.k.a. GREEK CAPITAL LETTER ETA WITH PSILI AND OXIA AND PROSGEGRAMMENI)

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referenced by

2010/02/13 How Windows 7 broke VB6's RightToLeft property, and how to get it fixed

2008/11/17 In or out of the default, no way to win, really

2008/05/01 The font folder, like the party, never seems to get smaller

2007/11/06 Like a mattress tag, the rule is DO NOT REMOVE

2007/08/18 You look so familiar; I think you're my type....

2006/12/23 Vista turns on everything

2006/11/18 Read-only, you say? Read-only to whom?

2006/10/10 The fonts directory is freaking huge in Vista

2006/07/07 Can you handle tfeL-ot-thgiR Scripts?

2006/02/10 Installing supplemental langauge support programatically

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