From ____ to ____ to MUI to ELS -- World Ready @ the PDC!

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/10/30 03:00 -04:00, original URI:

If you are the PDC in Los Angeles, you may have seen Yaniv Feinberg from the Globalization Services team and Erik Fortune from the Multilingual User Interface team, who did a 75-minute presentation entitled Windows 7: Writing World-Ready Applications. It's description:

This session centers on globalization features for Windows 7, including sorting and string comparison, locale support, and coverage for new languages, with an eye to helping developers extend their applications to a global user base. This session introduces the Extended Linguistic Services API, the next step in the evolution of globalization support for Windows developers. This session also covers the Multilingual User Interface (MUI) technology inside Windows 7 and .NET, and walks you through an end-to-end look at how to make your application MUI-enabled so that you can easily take your application worldwide and extend your customer base into new language markets.

If you are not at PDC or you were off "picking your nose in Milo's meadow" when this presentation was done, then never fear, they recorded it and you can watch it off Channel 9 right here.

You do have to have Silverlight 2.0 installed to watch the video and no download is provided (this was disappointing for me since I always tended to download .WMV files so a) I can watch them at high speed, and b) I can put them on the Zune and watch them without being tied to my machine -- though obviously this is neither Yaniv's or Erik's fault!).

The presentation is worth a view as it introduces, describes, and demonstrates ELS (Extended Linguistic Services), a framework that in Windows 7 will provided features like language detection, transliteration, and script detection -- doing so, in a way that is in just about every way superior in both simplicity and range of supported languages than virtually all previous Microsoft forays into these areas.

It also has a good piece about MUI and deployment, which are things I have talked about here many times in the past.

With that said, I do have couple of criticisms, which I will mention so that you know about them, and also know that I still think the presentation is a worthwhile watch:

Now for simple purposes, we can put the people watching the presentation in four categories:

Now of those three categories, #3 is not important since they probably wouldn't have walked into a talk with the title this one had, and #4 is basically my first criticism.

#1 is a group I can really identify with since I am in it, and I suspect that many of the people who follow this blog also put themselves in #1 either a little or a lot.

But that category #2 is a real one, and the packaging of these two separate presentations under one title without trying to handle the issue in the session description or with a few words is just weird. And not just in a "men are from Mars, women are from, Venus" kind of way. I mean a "MUI is from Mars, ELS is from Alpha Centauri" kind of way.

Probably there was no way they would have gotten two full slots at PDC, but they should have handled the packaging better.

With all of the above said -- this one talk is two solid, independent presentations, either one which is likely interesting enough to you to make watching the whole thing worthwhile even if you qare in that category #2.

Or, if you are an MUI-o-phile, Erik starts at 26 minutes  and if you want to know about ELS then Yaniv kicks off the whole thing from the beginning, and the Q&A starts at 55 minutes or so. And there is a mention of me and my blog at around 54 minutes if people are into SiaO spotting. :-)

I am glad that this presentation was made more widely available beyond the PDC, as it is the first view of some very cool new things.

And I'll be talking about ELS further at some point, no doubt.

SPOILERS: in the Q&A, Yaniv confirms that ELS is Windows 7 only, and Erik confirms that the new MUI feature of a per-process UI language is also Windows 7 only (the latter is really the only Win7 specific MUI info mentioned in the presentation, but is also very cool. Erik, don't bury your lead next time!).

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Dana on 30 Oct 2008 2:03 PM:

Why didn't you give them this feedback in a review before the PDC?

Michael S. Kaplan on 30 Oct 2008 7:55 PM:

Hey Dana,

To be honest, I didn't know about it. Perhaps a broad mail went to the group but I've been working on a bunch of stuff so unless a mail went right to me I wouldn't see it in a very timely manner (and probably not in time to be useful in this case).

Since I didn't work on ELS and since the MUI stuff isn't "new" I would not be someone's first thought as a "must" reviewer, though all things considered it wouldn't have been such a bad idea....

Richard on 31 Oct 2008 9:23 AM:

Download link:

(But not all sessions have video available yet.)

Michael S. Kaplan on 31 Oct 2008 10:04 AM:

Hey Richard,

Thanks for the link! Definitely fits with my preferred mechanisms...

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referenced by

2008/11/07 ELS is not ESL, or SLE, or SEL, or LES

2008/11/02 This is not yet my take on DirectWrite

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