Sometimes when you say 'the fix is in' you mean it in a good way

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/06/25 11:47 -04:00, original URI:

It was just a few months ago that that I posted about a particularly bad bug in Vista in Double Secret ANSI, part 2 (the brokenest one yet, sorry 'bout that!).

And of course our favorite Romanian Cristian Secară has talking about this bug in the newsgroups recently, going so far as to suggest that people may want avoid upgrading:

This is not always a pure appication issue. For example most television subtitling formats are 8 bit. This is likely to be changed only in the broadcast industry if/when/with the introduction of the new XML-based EBU subtitling format, but even this is doubtful to be properly implemented because somewhere in the specifications they require backward conversion possibility to the old format (which actually is a misery, being based on ISO/IEC 6937).

Because practically all subtitling formats are 8 bit (.sub, .ssa, .srt, etc.), applications don't feel the need to switch to Unicode just for themselves. Western countries don't use subtitling, so there is no push from the software industry here in the Unicode direction.

So we must preserve some 2000/XP systems in the long term just to have proper subtitling on the screens. It is good to know ...

Thankfully, things are not quite this dire. :-)

And please note that it has nothing to do with bug, whatsoever, since it only impacts keyboard input in these applications!

The fix for the actual problem is going into Vista client SP1 (and is in Server 2008 as well). And for those who really don't want to wait (I do not know the exact dates myself), it is available as as hotfix now.

The article will be KB 936060 (the article is not yet public) , but if you are running to this problem of some keyboard languages not working correctly in non-Unicode applications, you can talk to someone in Microsoft product support and get this hotfix (they can find it via the KB article in their tools) and since it is a bug you shouldn't be charged for the contact....

Cristi raises and excellent point about the non-Unicodeness of specific components of applications that may themselves be in Unicode. I will need to talk about that issue a bit at some point. :-)

But for now, if you need a fix to this problem, there is a way to get it. And soon everyone running Vista will be getting it.

The fix is in, truly....


This post brought to you by ț (U+021b, a.k.a. LATIN SMALL LETTER T WITH COMMA BELOW)

# Cristian Secară on 25 Jun 2007 3:58 PM:

:) Thanks for pointing to the KB and thanks also for the KB itself !

As for "And please note that it has nothing to do with bug, whatsoever, since it only impacts keyboard input in these applications!" technically you are right, but hopefully I will never be in a situation of creating a piece of whatever text without a keyboard :)


# Michael S. Kaplan on 25 Jun 2007 5:30 PM:

Yes, but the implied claim was about CONSUMERS, which means it does not apply here....

# António Martins-Tuválkin on 4 Jul 2007 9:18 AM:

«Western countries don't use subtitling». Well, this is certainly surprising for me, living in the westernmost country of mainland Europe where *everything* spoken or written in a foreign language (some 60% of all TV and 90% of all movies) *is subtitled* (except for some voice-off comments in documentaries and some animated movies for children, which arte dubbed).

# Cristian Secară on 8 Jul 2007 3:53 PM:

The support article is now public, but the physical solution is not (yet?) available for direct download. Hmm ... perhaps it is still under testing ?

And in response to António Martins-Tuválkin: well, I agree that my original statement about "Western countries don't use subtitling" is over-simplified.

Big countries, like Germany, France or Italy don't use subtitling in general, but there are also exceptions: in France for example, public programms uses voice doubling, while paid programms uses subtitling (VOST - version originale sous-titrée). Belgium and Holland uses subtitling. European Union directives forces the presence of special subtiling designed for audio impaired peoples. AFAIK scandinavian countries also uses subtitling.

Ok with that. But what I wanted to say is that – from my point of view – the real problem is that all these countries are, let's say, satisfied with the actual status quo: they either need no subtitling, or they are satisfied with the actual EBU subtitling format, which is based on the ancient telematic ISO/IEC 6937 standard that covers a limited number of languages. And I can't blaim them: if it ain't broke, why fix it ?

The ad-hoc working group that develops (or just tests?) the Distribution Format Exchange Profile (DFXP) is advancing painfully slow, so it appears that the new XML-based EBU subtitling data exchange format is far away. Or so it appears to me. But this is a topic for other discussion ...


# Michael S. Kaplan on 8 Jul 2007 5:22 PM:

Actually, if you go through support you can get the hotfix; it is available that way now.

# Cristian Secară on 13 Jul 2007 10:59 AM:

I installed the 32-bit hotfix version – it does its job well, no problem so far. The only weird thing is that the page here lacks the install procedure description, but luckily I found a similar install procedure description on another KB.


referenced by

2008/08/15 Yet another time that UTF-8 can't be the ACP

2008/06/19 How do[es what] the common controls [call ]convert between ANSI and Unicode?

2007/11/21 Abobe knows, but someone needs to tell Skype....

2007/07/17 Sometimes people use code pages even when the code pages are really lame

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