Does MS pull new locales out of their [insert stronger language here]?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2005/07/23 13:25 -04:00, original URI:

This may remind you a little of my post back in January (Does MS pull new keyboard layouts out of their @!#$%?). :-)

There are two questions people tend to ask about locales:

The answer to the first question has changed many times over the years, as priorities and capabilities have changed. The current model has been much modified to support both LIPs and ELKs. In most cases when someone complains to Microsoft that we support some new language, why not theirs, the answer now is 'because we need more information to do it, do you have that?' rather than the much older 'that language has to meet a particular business case' (which for obvious reasons was the original model if you go back far enough into any software company's history!).

For the second question, the simple truth is that people often ask where we get our locale data from for Windows and the .NET Framework. Usually since a certain piece of data seems to them to be wrong or suspect....

The model that Microsoft generally uses for getting data on locales or keyboards is to work with our subsidiary contacts. This makes sense for a lot of reasons in terms of expertise and such, and there is definitely a good deal of sense involved in a plan that lets the primary source of information be those who are on the 'front line' in a locale for information that is meant to represent that locale. They are on the hook in many ways if the data is wrong since the complaints will often get to them first from native speakers. And when we get reports of potential problems from elsewhere (very possible since every version of Windows supports a lot of locales!), working with our subsidiaries is still the most sensible way to proceed and determine if there is a problem or not.

The same could be said of the work that we do for the Enabled Language Kits (cf: Lions and tigers and bearsELKs, Oh my!) and Language Interface Packs (cf: Microsoft, you giving us some LIP?). The primary drivers for languages and locales that are added are the champions of the languages and the locales. These are often governments, linguists, native speakers, and other experts -- just as happens in the traditional locales that have been added in the past.

By working in this way for the data on all of the locales, we can work to keep the quality as high as possible.

# Jeremy D on 25 Jul 2005 8:59 AM:

s/with out subsidiary contacts/with our subsidiary contacts/ ?
I had to reread a few sentences to make sure I got the right meaning out of that one.

# Michael S. Kaplan on 25 Jul 2005 10:15 AM:

Whoops, you are right! Fixed that one....

referenced by

2006/05/18 Where are the other Tamils?

2006/03/19 How many ways can you identify a language?

2006/01/04 Determining (and correcting) locale settings

2005/10/14 Let there be LIPs

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