As Forrest Gump used to [sorta] say, "Smarmy is as Smarmy Does."

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/03/06 10:01 -05:00, original URI:

Please read the disclaimer; content not Microsoft-approved!

Amazing the things you see over in the microsoft.public.dotnet.internationalization newsgroup.... :-)

Like the other day, when Laurent PIERRE asked:


Some month ago, it was possible to have access on this FTP link :

On this part, it was possible to download some Microsoft glossary files.

What I've learnt on link is, I need to take a subscription on MSDN developer.

Well, all I would like to know is, what kind of cheaper subscription do I need to take to have a full access concerning these files somewhere on Tools/SDKs/DDKs/Microsoft Glossaries ?

Thanks for your help.

I was having serious deja vu about this question the other day, let me tell you.

You see, if you follow that FTP link Laurent gave, all that is in the directory now is a README.TXT file, which says:

To provide users with more up-to-date terminology, Microsoft has replaced the glossary content that was previously posted to this site with a more concise document (CSV formatted) that is easier to use. Microsoft has consolidated and moved the data from the ftp site to the Microsoft download center in an effort to significantly increase reliability and accessibility for users.

This new CSV file contains over 14,000 English terms plus the translations of the terms for up to 45 different languages. Microsoft provides the Microsoft terminology data to allow their customers, ISVs, and partners to have a more consistent user experience across the products they are using and developing. To learn more about the terminology translations and download the CSV file, go to

The language (double-talk) reminded me of a slightly different blog, that Microsoft Boy announces his School Homework one.

Totally different, especially seeing how the latter is satire, but isn't the glossary information kind of satire too -- of itself? It reads that way, at the end of the day.

Because they both have that same kind of smarmy tone to them, the one that you know the smart folks (who, let's face it, are the ones who are really important when it comes to partners because the rest are all sheep) are never going to fall for, never going to believe.

There are obviously reasons here. They might be good, they might be bad (I think they are bad).

I remember the old glossary files; I've used them.

And you simply can't make something less available and less interesting and less useful, and then talk about how much cooler it is -- at the same time taking what used to be there and making it paid content.

On what planet is it normal to make the old stuff that is out of date CONTENT FOR PAY while making the new content free, even though most of your customers are still on the older platforms and also wanting [differentiated] content from different applications, and then without irony acting like this is a good thing? Who does that serve?

Do I truly expect that this is a marketing thing? It reads that way, sure. But involved in README files buried in the FTP site? Seems unlikely to me that marketing gets involved directly in such obscure areas, and in the end anyone can speak the smarmian dialect of English....

So I say that smarmy is as smarmy does, and this is a whole smarmified chunk o' smarminess.

And it is LAME.


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Jim DeLaHunt on 7 Mar 2008 3:57 PM:


Are you saying that Microsoft is charging money for the new glossary?  It seems like they aren't.

There is a link to the new glossary on the page you quoted.  This link is . From that page I just downloaded I didn't pay anything and I'm not a member of MSDN. What I got was a 2.8MB zip archive that indeed contains rows for 12411 terms and columns for 60 languages.  

It has what seem fairly reasonable licensing terms, including, "You may use the Terminology Data in the development of any application software" [note no limitation to Microsoft platforms —Jim], "or you may use the Terminology Data for personal or non-commercial purposes...."

My only quibble might be that the file is described as a "CSV" format, but it looks very much like tab-delimited text to me.

I don't know what came before, but what is there now seems like a pretty useful resource to me.

Michael S. Kaplan on 7 Mar 2008 4:12 PM:

They do not charge for THAT file -- it is free. They charge if you want the older collection of different files that used to be available, covering different products....

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referenced by

2008/03/15 The right hand knows what the left hand is doing, but not that the left hand might be missing some fingers?

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