How would *you* define debacle?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2012/09/18 07:01 -04:00, original URI:

The other day, Edwin asked me:

What's "the VNI debacle" from your blog?

I assume has was referring to What's the difference between Tiếng Việt, Tiếng Việt, and Tiếng Việt? (other than the obvious, I mean) from earlier this year, where I mentioned:

That second form is the one whose origins are shrouded in Microsoft's hasty cover-up of the VNI debacle, also known as Code Page 1258.

You have to go back in the before time.

The long long ago.

Back when Windows 95 was being built.

The Wikipedia article about VNI talks about it briefly:

VNI vs. Microsoft
In the 1990s, Microsoft recognized the potential of VNI's products and incorporated VNI Encoding and VNI Input Method into Windows 95 Vietnamese Edition and MSDN, in use worldwide.
Upon Microsoft's unauthorized use of these technologies, VNI took Microsoft to court over the matter. Microsoft settled the case out of court, withdrew the encoding and input method from their entire product line, and developed their own encoding (Windows-1258) and input method. Microsoft's Windows-1258 and the corresponding input method, although virtually unknown, have appeared in every Windows release since Windows 98.

The VNI site says a bit more:

Y-Sa: In 1998, some Vietnamese newspapers wrote that VNI has sued Microsoft for copyright infringement. Would you please provide more information about the “background” of the lawsuit and its progress?

Viet Thanh Ho: Microsoft introduced the Vietnamese Edition of Windows 95 in 1996. In this edition, the name VNI and the VNI accent keyboard layout was included without our permission. We first demanded that Microsoft to remove the name VNI and the related accent keyboard layout from their product. They refused, and we sued them. They subsequently agreed to settle out of court and removed the name VNI and the VNI accent keyboard layout from the Windows Vietnamese Edition.

 I know that Phu Do Nguyen was their lawyer.

I know that the code page (1258) is terrible, in part because of the awful, in part because of the terrible pseudo Form V normalization it helps to foist on the Internet.

And I know the Vietnamese keyboard on Windows is terrible because it gives that awful form to everyone who use it.

 i can't help but wish that a better deal had been worked out for the sake of the language and its speakers.

 Thus my word: debacle!

The temptation to do a better keyboard via chained dead keys is huge, I'll admit.

But without a clear idea of ideal desired typing and whether the layout should be salvaged, it's hard to plan doing that...

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referenced by

2012/10/03 The temptation to channel Grumpy Code Reviewer can be almost overwhelming!

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