Appreciation, embarrassment, and redirecting thanks

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/07/17 03:01 -04:00, original URI:

I remember blushing at TechEd when Wes Miller brought Mark Russinovich over to meet me (mentioned here).

Then I remember blushing again when he was on the Microsoft campus six months later and he remembered me.

Anytime I notice one of the people linking to this blog whose houses I pretty much feel unworthy to clean (like Raymond or Larry or Joel, for example), I can feel the warmth in my cheeks....

I swear anytime someone over at Language Log Plaza mentions me in an even remotely flattering context (like Mark Liberman did yesterday), it happens again.

If Steven Pinker ever made it to town, I'd be hoping there would be a chance to try to get him to autograph my copy of The Language Instinct, if I could keep from tripping over myself asking? 

And like I won't be carrying my copy of Far From the Madding Gerund right in my laptop bag, just in case I end up running into Mark while he is in town next week?

It all is pretty embarrassing to see a mature professional become any sort of groupie.

(It is simply doubleplusuntrue that the word embarrass has any thing to do with showing one's bare ass, though it is amusing to imagine such an etymology being there!)

Irregardless, I can have a conversation or hang out with Kathleen Edwards or Aimee Mann or Michael Penn or Duncan Sheik or anyone from their bands, you know, people who are famous in the more conventional sense, and it does not happen at all. I just talk to them like people (which they are) and they do the same. I am completely in awe of them and their talent, yet I am not embarrassed at the thought of a web site reference or a conversation.

Riddle me the difference here, will you?

Anyway, I wanted to take a moment to make sure that my exact contribution to Bengali support on Windows is understood (just so no one tries to look at this post and think that 2 and 2 make 22, rather than 4!)....

I answered a few questions that Kieran asked about collation while she was putting the data together for Bengali, and I checked the data in when it was done. I also think I added a few of those canonical equivalences into the table (like ড় == ড়, a.k.a. U+09dc == U+09a1 U+09bc). I may have also fixed up and checked in a keyboard layout or two. Beyond that my role in the world of Bengali has mostly been a marketing one (those links are about the Bengali ELK and LIP, respectively).

I suppose I might have been the loudest internal complainercontact about the crashing bugs in the earliest released versions of GDI+ 1.0 any time you had a valid Bengali font and tried to use it, though that was mainly inspired by the loudest external complainercustomer, who had my email address since the first beta of MSKLC. He was actually made a Microsoft MVP not too long ago, I am sure in part due to his stubborn refusal to put up with a "by design" reponse to a bug if such a design would be stupid. Omi, you rock, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!

Oh, and Cathy and I have given talks about Unicode support that describe the sorts of issues that Mark was talking about with reordering and logical order in the past.

(I'll note in passing that occasionally Cathy can make me blush, but that is because she does not mind embarrassing me from time to time; it has nothing to do with her spreading fame or position!)

Anyway, like Mark, I too am impressed by all of the great work that happened in both the Vrinda font and the Uniscribe & Avalon/WPF shaping engines. The bulk of that work came from the MS Typography team -- they are the ones who did just about all of the effort related to Bengali to help it work properly.

They definitely do a lot of the heavy lifting to keep complex scripts from being complex to get working.... :-)

For the other part in Mark's post (the part that almost certainly caused the blush!) that put me in the category about showing Microsoft's committment in this area, for that I'd like to sincerely say thanks -- that is high praise, indeed.

Though interestingly, I think that the two are independent in this case. Since blogging is not my job at the moment, it is just something I like doing a lot.

But I think that if the stuff I try to do here helps put a face on some of the incredible work that people are actually doing as a part of their job and which does show Microsoft's corporate committment, then that is pretty damn cool.

I will just make sure that thanks and kudos and praises are always redirected, when it is appropriate. :-)

And the folks who do marketing and evangelism can send dove bar/latte coupons, of course. I'm in the Address Book....


This post brought to you by  (U+0995, a.k.a. BENGALI LETTER KA)

# anonymous coward on 17 Jul 2006 9:10 AM:

'Irregardless'?  Crimeny gov'nor! The language coppers'll be ringing you up if you don't mind your step!

# Michael S. Kaplan on 17 Jul 2006 11:22 AM:

Heh heh heh....

It's a word, it's in the OED, so if the language mavens want a piece of me for using it then I say to them bring it on! :-)

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referenced by

2007/07/04 I think they might kind of get it now

2006/10/21 It might be getting a little less embarrassing

2006/10/04 Will I C U at the IUC? (Redux)

2006/10/01 I know about some o' dem *bilities!

2006/09/13 MSKLC and Vista? MSKLC and 64-bit? Darn, we're 0 for 2....

2006/07/19 Your data will be released, unharmed

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