Re: how should we localize locale names?

Subject: Re: how should we localize locale names?
From: Tomas Frydrych (
Date: Sat Mar 10 2001 - 05:04:35 CST

> Yeah. That's the trickery I was worried about.
> To be clear, though. For this user in this situation, we really *don't*
> support those languages in any meaningful way. My first reaction would be
> to just display the naked lang tag -- ie, (zh-TW) -- to indicate that either:
> - we don't have an appropriate localization to identify it, or
> - it's not currently usable (due to fonts issues, say).
> We'd need to do something like this anyway for users who receive a document
> that got tagged with a locale that they don't have installed.
First of all, displaying zh-TW in any situation is an ugly solution, it
is well beneath the standards we are used to in AW; the church
secretary will have no clue what she is looking at, and the more
caring users will log this as a bug (I will log it as bug if I see it;
these is really not what I came to expect from AW). Second, you
may not be able to display zh-TW at all, because the locale may
not be able to display roman characters at all. Keep in mind, we
are operating withing single 8-bit char sets most of the time.

> I have to admit that I've briefly flirted with the idea of creating and
> shipping a single Unicode font with just enough codepoints to render the
> text in this dialog. Talk about hacks!

This is really getting out of hand.
(1) There are no Unicode fonts that have adequate coverage (this
became clear from some of the recent emails from the CJK people
on other issues).
(2) Further, the only Unicode fonts that work at the moment are ttf,
and we cannot expect that all people who use AW can/want to use
(3) These fonts are huge. The most complete unicode font is
probably code2000, which is 2.3MB in size; big engough to crash
my machine under Linux (I have got 128M of memory) when I try to
use it with AW.

> Of course, then users would wind up with the expectation that *choosing*
> that language would also work, when it wouldn't. So much for that idea.
> Violating expectations you've gone to the trouble of setting is a great way
> to piss people off.

I have to say again, this has to do with spell checking; if people
cannot type the text in, they are hardly going to expect that the
spellchecker is going to work, so this a mute point.

Is it really not obvious that by refusing to do the one logical and
clean thing, to translate the languages to the respective locales,
you have already created yourself hours and hours of unncessary
work, at the end of which you will get a user interface that does not
produce a satisfactory result on any locale at all, and only on
Latin1 it will make any sense at all? Please, please, go back to the
very beginning and look at the whole issue afresh.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b25 : Sat Mar 10 2001 - 05:05:25 CST