From: Francis Dupont <Francis.Dupont@inria.fr>
To: skaller <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: localization, internationalization and Caml
Date: Sun, 17 Oct 1999 17:54:47 +0200
In your previous mail you wrote:
> The current 'support' for 8 bit characters in ocaml should be
> deprecated immediately. It is an extremely bad thing to have, since
> Latin-1 et al are archaic 8 bit standards incompatible with the
> international standard for ISO10646 communication, namely
> the UTF-8 encoding.
> => there is a rather strong opposition against UTF-8 in France
> because it is not a natural encoding (ie. if ASCII maps to ASCII
> it is not the case for ISO 8859-* characters, imagine a new UTF-X
> encoding maps ASCII to strange things and you'd be able to understand
> our concern).
I do understand the concern, but the decision on
the International Standards has been made.
=> this is not so obvious because there are other encoding (UTF-X)
without this kind of problems. I'll send this thread to a colleague
who tried to get something better than UTF-8 at the IETF (but he was
> Yes, I know Latin-1 is useful now for French.
> => it is more than useful, Latin-1 (soon ISO IS 8859-15) is necessary
> if you need really readable texts in French.
No, what you mean is that with _current technology_
there is plenty of support for 8 bit characters, using code pages,
so that Latin-1 is well supported.
=> yes, for instance you have a reasonable set of fonts.
For example, there are a lot of text editors that
accept 8 bit characters, and even permit switching code pages.
There are almost none that work with ISO10646 or unicode,
let alone accept UTF-8 encoding. (Yudit is the only one I know of).
=> I'd like to get some free ISO10646/Unicode fonts. I believe
without them ISO10646/Unicode will not be accepted by users.
I agree that this is a problem, but supporting
Latin-1, or any other archaic standard, is not going
to help move forward.
=> Latin-1 is not so archaic (it should be old enough in order to
become archaic :-).
It is bad enough that most vendors
only support Unicode, which is a small, almost filled,
16 bit subset of the full 31 bit ISO-10646 Standard.
=> Unicode is not so supported...
I believe people with international concerns can work
together no matter what their native language. Some English
speakers may be concerned, some, like me, are somewhat
embarrased to be non-fluent in _any_ other language.
[I speak a smattering of high school German]
=> It is great than English speakers support internationalization
but we need other language speakers in order to get an as complete
as possible one. For instance where is the first character of a string?
An Arabic speaker can easily show to them this is not so obvious.
However, Australia, where I live, has migrants
from all over the world and support for many languages
is an important issue here. Particularly Asian languages.
=> Asian languages seem hard and we can't ignore one third of the world...
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