It could be worse. We could be telling Japanese users 'Go stick your head in a pig'!

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2011/07/04 07:01 -04:00, original URI:

The words, if not eerily prophetic, were at least vaguely suggestive of something to come:

"Share and Enjoy!" is, of course, the company motto of the hugely successful Sirius Cybernetics Corporation Complaints division, which now covers the major land masses of three medium sized planets and is the only part of the Corporation to show a consistent profit in recent years.

The motto stands—or stood—in three mile high illuminated letters near the Complaints Department spaceport on Eadrax: Share and Enjoy. Unfortunately its weight was such that shortly after it was erected, the ground beneath the letters caved in and they dropped for nearly half their length through the underground offices of many talented young complaints executives—now deceased. The protruding upper halves of the letters now appear, in the local language, to read "Go stick your head in a pig", and are no longer illuminated, except at times of special celebration.

The issue in question came up several times via support channels for Japanese Vista, with screenshots like this:

Now admittedly if you don't know Japanese you may not see a problem with this at first glance.

Or even second glance.

But then you may start to see some problems in the letters on the bottom right side.

The next screenshot puts it all in a more helpful perspective:

 Yes, this clipping truncation effect is a lot more obvious now, even if you didn't know Japanese (if you did then you saw the problems right away).

In the end, this all appeared to have to do with the font metrics of Meiryo (confirmed by some people who had luck changing some of their font settings to MS UI Gothic instead -- I guess they were unmoved by the issues I mentioned in Making a font fetish a bit more mainstream, though given the overall effect I can hardly blame them!).

It happened with some rendering technologies/platforms but no others (DUI was hit hardest, but GDI+ and others were not always immune).

People I work with weren't all that happy with some of those technologies anyway, so this was just one more issue to add to the list.

 One of the very real problems here is rendering technologies trying to use the metrics of one font (usually Segoe UI) to scale dialogs while using another font (such as Meiryo) to display the text.

Different bugs come out of that issue can be seen with some of the LIPs of South and Southeast Asia, for what it's worth.

The issue with Japanese was vastly improved with Windows 7, which had its new font (Meiryo UI) based on much more Segoe UI-like metrics.

So that at least for Japanese we don't spend as much time exhorting customers "Go stick your head in a pig."

(Or alternately 豚の頭を貼り行く。)

Ice-Wolf on 4 Jul 2011 7:42 AM:

>> 豚の頭を貼り行く.

Alhough it's missing explicit context as to where to place it, or by whom (since it isn't conjugated as an imperative): "(Someone) go to place a pig's head (someplace)"

But it's japanese, and anything that can be gleamed from context is always omitted.. so, it just sounds strange, yet grammatically proper.

Quppa on 4 Jul 2011 7:53 AM:

What's DUI?

How about '豚の中に頭を入れよ!'? :) Your translation has the pig's head as the object.

Quppa on 4 Jul 2011 7:54 AM:

Oops! I meant '豚の中に頭を入れろ!'.

Michael S. Kaplan on 4 Jul 2011 11:13 AM:

Serves me right for using Google Translate to get the string! You'd think I would have learned from prior experience.

Michael S. Kaplan on 4 Jul 2011 12:06 PM:

To answer the other question, DUI stands for "Direct User Interface". It isn't widely documented but you can find it tucked here and there (e.g. KB 945010). It is used by many random components in Windows, starting with the XP non-domain login.

Yuhong Bao on 4 Jul 2011 2:28 PM:

Is DirectUI just another name for DirectUser?

Yuhong Bao on 4 Jul 2011 2:29 PM:

"The issue with Japanese was vastly improved with Windows 7, which had its new font (Meiryo UI) based on much more Segoe UI-like metrics."

And it is also available as an update to Vista:

Michael S. Kaplan on 4 Jul 2011 3:55 PM:

DUI is not DirectUser.

Michael S. Kaplan on 4 Jul 2011 3:59 PM:

Downloading Meiryo UI for Vista doesn't change all of the resources to use it -- for the full "fix" you need Windows 7....

Quppa on 5 Jul 2011 4:11 AM:

Thanks for answering that :)

Something called 'Direct UI' is at the centre of some rampant speculation about Windows 8 development, and it's always interesting to hear about Microsoft's internal frameworks.

Yuhong Bao on 5 Jul 2011 4:14 PM:

Yea, I often see references to them when debugging. For example, DUSER.DLL intercepts WaitMessage and GetMessage calls using a hook in win32k that uses user-mode callbacks, which means I often see them on the call stack.

Michael S. Kaplan on 5 Jul 2011 7:25 PM:

I think there is some conflation of multiple, unrelated issues/files here....

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