And while I'm on the subject, there is the rest of the world

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/01/31 03:01 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2006/01/31/520280.aspx


Regular reader Maurits asked in the Suggestion Box:

OK, no Tengwar or Klingon Unicode code points...

What about an Esperanto localization of Windows? The Unicode Standard is available in Esperanto:

http://www.unicode.org/standard/translations/esperanto.html

And Esperanto is mentioned in the Microsoft Knowledge base (if only in passing...)

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/95473/en-us

He was actually responding to the post entitled Fictional could make things less functional, where I explained some of my thoughts on why it is best to let sleeping dogs lie for some proposals.

The current question about Esperanto in Windows is obviously a separate issue from Unicode, since it mainly relates to Windows, and to Microsoft.

It also poses a problem, a limitation in the locale model, which for present purposes we can define as

But where is the location for Esperanto? Or for Yiddish?

And to look at another, very different, category --

What is the currency formatting for Egyptian Hieroglyphics? Or any number of other languages that will never make sense having a localized version of Windows for any purpose other than as a novelty.

And then what about the over 60 languages of the Congo or the over 50 dialects of Quechua?

Some may recall I brought up some of this issue in A subkultur iz a shprakh mit an armey un a flot -- and talked further about the limitations in the model that affect these and other genuinely interesting scenarios.

The truth is that the current locale model, which has proven to be a very powerful one for the last 10+ years, will not be able to handle every new scenario over the next 10+ or 20+ years.

Will it stay strong for those original scenarios? Definitely. But the next stage is how to fit in these other scenarios, as they come up.

Which is a lot what both opening it all up and getting out of the way are all about. Because no matter how good of a job we can do, those language experts can do a better one. If only we give them a way to do so....

Every time I don't like my job I think about this aspect of it and suddenly I find myself liking it again. :-)

 

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# Nachman Yahakobzon on 31 Jan 2006 5:46 AM:

What?
No Yiddish on Windows?

I will have to consider Linux then...

Zay mir gezunt und shtark

# Michael S. Kaplan on 31 Jan 2006 9:21 AM:

Heh heh heh.....

Well, fonts already support it, and custom cultures/custom locales certainly can support it for anyone who wants to go that route. So I guess it all depends on your definition. :-)

# Nachman Yahakobzon on 1 Feb 2006 5:09 AM:

Uber Chu-Chem!

referenced by

2007/01/26 If I were Australian I might say that Steve Jobs and the Klingon emporer were mates?

2006/11/30 So when is Esperanto coming?

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