Locales, and all that they entail

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2011/10/07 07:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2011/10/07/10221673.aspx

The question from Michael (no relation!) was:

I have a question from a customer regarding which language handwriting recognizers come with each regional setting.

In Windows Pro, we understand you get one language. However, in Regional Settings it is possible to get multiple handwriting recognizers based on the region you select. For example, if you Select English, you get only English, however, if you select German, you will get German, French and Spanish handwriting recognizers. Does MS have a KB or other source of information which clearly shows which handwriting recognizers come with each regional setting?

This may seem familiar to people as a part of the model shift in Vista for language specific pieces like speech and handwriting recognition, previously discussed in We're confusing internationalization and localization, AGAIN.

Which kind of also explains what is happening here -- this started being tied to the user interface language that would show up in Language Packs.

Of course that all happened years ago, when various groups struggled to find a place to put language-specific components into the operating system and happened to settle on UI Language because there was no other real place for them to hang their hat, as it were.

Though the model itself for language and locale is one that people are looking at for the future, something that I'll be talking about at the upcoming Unicode and Internationalization conference in Santa Clara. on October 17th-19th.

My (Wednesday morning) talk is:

Title: Locales on Windows - the view from 18 years in

It was 1993 that the basic model for locales was integrated into Windows in its current form, and that model has been largely unchanged for much of that time. In this unique view of those 18 years, you can find about about the lessons learned, unlearned, relearned, and mis-learned. You'll leave this all up view feeling both more impressed and more embarrassed to know Microsoft than you ever have before, even if you were there while it was going on!

It should be a lot of fun, so stop in if you want to see where things came from and where they appear to be heading!

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