Re: localization, internationalization and Caml

From: Jan Skibinski (
Date: Mon Oct 25 1999 - 23:06:45 MET DST

Date: Mon, 25 Oct 1999 16:06:45 -0500 (CDT)
From: Jan Skibinski <>
To: Benoit Deboursetty <>
Subject: Re: localization, internationalization and Caml
In-Reply-To: <>

On Sat, 23 Oct 1999, Benoit Deboursetty wrote:

> This message just wants to raise a paradoxical point in this discussion
> [yet it may have already been posted ?]. It seems to me that allowing
> foreign characters to be used in a computer language, as identifiers or
> comments, would reduce the exchange of contributions worldwide.

        Yes, but it is nice to have error messges, prompts, etc.
        expressed in a native language of a program user. And an
        ability of a native text processing is also quite often

        I have been reading this thread for some time and I've
        seen plenty of references to Latin1 and of different
        attitudes to its usefulness (or not). Let me add my two
        cents here.

        Demanding a support for diacritical marks is often not a matter
        of being snobbish or a language purist. I cannot speak for
        other languages that use Latin alphabet but I can tell you
        what a mess it is with Polish (having 8 diacritical marks),
        and, I suppose, with other languages, such as Hungarian, etc.
        that have been qualified to Latin2. Someone has made such
        decision some time ago, and now we pay a price, since Latin1
        seems to be seen by some as some sort of improvement over the
        plain ascii.

        I am not whining here because I can get quite fine with the plain
        ascii in my email, etc., and I can even cope with all sort
        of email that come here formatted as either Latin1 or Latin2.
        But even so, I sometimes find myself cornered by plain
        ascii when a meaning of a sentence becomes suddenly funny,
        or bezerk or senseless. One example to illustrate the point.

        1. z<.>a<;>danie - "a strong request". This is what I want to use

        2. zadanie - "a problem to solve, or a goal". Wrong!
                           This is what I get from plain ascii

        3. rzadanie - When pronounced it does not sound quite as
                           "a request", but an intelligent recipient
                           can guess my intention. But they might
                           as well consider me illiterate; Polish
                           has two alternative spelling of the
                           same (similar) sound: "z<.>" and "rz".
                           In this case "rz" is very wrong.

        4. rzondanie - Now it sounds almost OK ("on" sounds close to
                           "a<;>"), but the spelling is even worse.
                z<.> stands for dot over z
                a<;> stands for "ogonek" (yes, this is an official
                     name in Unicode), or "a tail" under a.

        As you can see, this is not just matter of some perky accents.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sun Jan 02 2000 - 11:58:27 MET