We weren't Vista heroes, but I think we were kinda heroic

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/10/22 10:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2007/10/22/5590751.aspx

Warning: In this blog post I will be tooting my own horn. If that kind of thing disgusts you (as it usually does I!) as self-important and self-congratulatory ego-driven rubbish then you may want to skip on to the next post due out in a few minutes!

There was this program going on about Vista Heroes1, before Vista shipped. It was all peer nominated and there was like a hero a week2.

When the weekly mail came out describing who the newest hero was, it even jokingly mentioned how the person was nominated by their peers or maybe even themselves. :-)

I even nominated a few people myself from my own team. I noticed their names in the "Hall of Heroes" so maybe that was me who got them there.

At the end everyone got to vote on the biggest heroes from this pantheon.

With all that said....

I am not a Vista hero.

I know this because

Truth be told I hadn't noticed until then.

On the other hand (and this I found out when I looked at the list), neither is Raymond Chen nor Larry Osterman nor Mike Sheldon nor Michael Grier nor Jay Krell nor Rob Earhart.

For that matter, neither is Bryan Tuttle (and anyone who ever paid attention to daily build mails knows that Vista probably never would have made it into the hands and testers for half the cycle if not for the several man-months of work that Bryan put into the Vista build system each month!).

And there are others who fell in that same category of "no one filled out the nomination form for them" who (if I were asked to submit my own list of heroes during the project) I would have included.

At the same time, there are other people who I would consider crucial based on my own personal knowledge who did make the list. So the list is not useless, it just isn't complete.

There are perhaps even a couple on the list who I would really have recommended against had anyone asked, but that number is mercifully small and I am not going to be putting that list up for obvious reasons!

But I'll add three names of my own, when it is too late to go in the Hall of Heroes are too late to be recognized anywhere but here in SiaO.

For a specific reason -- between the highly individual efforts above and beyond the call of duty and solely because we saw important work that was not happening, each of us were able to work to keep two locales from being removed from the Vista "supported locales" list.

I'll explain why....

To be on that list means there has to be full support in fonts and rendering and locale data and input so that anyone who would call the language theirs can use the product.

The actual list of languages we partially support is obviously MUCH bigger; only a few make it to this smaller list.

If one of these core "support items" is missing, the product can't claim to support the locale, pure and simple.

But Yi and Amharic (which had almost all the required support scheduled and happening) were both missing input methods, each for very different reasons, and both could eaqsily have ended up on the chopping block3.

In the end:

So there are three additional heroes I would add to that list of Vista Heroes:

More important than other work? I suppose not.

Should I have just gone and filled out the nomination form back at the appropriate time? Probably so. :-)

To my knowledge we received neither any official recognition nor bonuses of any sort.

In my own opinion these two items make up the most significant work I did in Vista, above anything else I did related to [custom ]locales or keyboards or collation or NLS or standards or training or consulting.

We were heroes because from the point of view of those languages, our meager efforts were (in my opinion) quite heroic!


1 - Look here if you are an internal, if you are not then use your imagination, seeing the site is not necessary to the story.
2 - Since there were so many weeks in this cycle you end up with a pretty big list as I am sure you can imagine... :-)
3 - Or at best in the case of Yi been left on the list in violation of our "supported locale" definitions to meet PRC software requirements.
4 - Probably the closest you will ever get to see me tooting my own horn, truly. So enjoy it. :-)


This post brought to you by and   (U+a188 and U+12a0, a.k.a. YI SYLLABLE NUO - the first letter in ꆈꌠꁱꂷ - and ETHIOPIC SYLLABLE GLOTTAL A - the first letter in አማርኛ)

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referenced by

2010/02/20 The road not traveled (or, more to the point, the road not built) for Amharic

2010/02/03 Read my LIP[s]: It rhymes with አማርኛ (Amharic) !

2008/06/21 Back to Sri Lanka (conceptually)

2008/03/16 On changing the world, or at least the way people order things in it

2008/01/28 Behold the Table Driven Text Service, Part 5 (All about the language, baby!)

2008/01/21 Behold the Table Driven Text Service, Part 0 (You have to start somewhere!)

2007/11/02 Predictably (in retrospect), aka Where Wild^H^H^Hindows-Only Things Are, aka SHORT [on ]TIME for a LONG TIME

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