Re: localization, internationalization and Caml

From: skaller (
Date: Tue Oct 19 1999 - 20:48:18 MET DST

Date: Wed, 20 Oct 1999 04:48:18 +1000
From: skaller <>
To: Francis Dupont <>
Subject: Re: localization, internationalization and Caml

Francis Dupont wrote:

> 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.

        Yes. And ocaml developers cannot go through all the pain
of this complex field, and do not need to: workers in the field
have produced an International Standard which guides how programming
language developers should proceed. Not all choices are fixed,
by any means, but the documents exist, and _are_ being worked on
by people speaking many different languages.
> => Asian languages seem hard and we can't ignore one third of the world...

        Not nearly so hard as Arabic and Hindic languages, in which the
usual categorical composition of strings by concatenation fails.
Similarly, things like collation sequences are a serious nightmare.
But they can be implemented with (perhaps complex) functions,
so it is possible to extend the support a programming language
gives clients as time goes on.

        My initial point was that very few changes are required to
prepare for internationalisation, if the UTF8 of ISO10646 is adopted,
but one of the key things that is required, urgently, is to deprecate

John Skaller,
1/10 Toxteth Rd Glebe NSW 2037 Australia

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