m17n Squeak, Swiki refactoring etc.

Edmund Ronald eronald at cmapx.polytechnique.fr
Wed Feb 26 08:19:00 UTC 2003

Daniel makes a very good point. But I would say even more stronlgly, that
all the main Squeak maintainers should look at multinational issues ,
because it is a necessary mod of the main Squeak engine. Some things are a
bit hard to bolt on as "options" and need to be factored in to the basic

As a software tester I have seen tons of botched internationalisations
which were unfixable because the core engine of whatever software it was
was designed for US Ascii only. Squeak is already much better, but I still
think all the core maintainers need to be aware of multi-character issues.

While I was in Japan, I tried using Abe-san's Nihongo port, but ran into
serious issues: I didn't know what I was doing and on the other hand my
image kept being killed by some bug. As a newbie, with the inevitable
communication difficulties (it's really hard reading Japanese lists), and
no ability to make people believe that I really had a bug (although I was
very happily programming Squeak 6 hours a day with a standard image) I
just gave up on Nihongo Squeak. Based on my past experiences, with Squeak
and other computer languages, I would say that if you need to get a
linguistic add-on to work in a language you are not an expert in, you will
probably have a lot of problems. If the support is in the core you will
succeed quickly.

The reason I bring up Swiki is that by definition a Web server is exposed
to posting from people all over the world. People tend to write their
names and addresses in their own language, in particular.I have had
problems in the past with Swiki and various languages. The core seemed to
work, but as Abe-san and Oshima-san showed me, the client needs to know
what language the page is in etc, which shoukd be handled by sending some
more info, I guess. This has probably been fixed in the current versions,
but I still think that any new work on Swiki should take multi-lingual
issues into account, from the start.


On Wed, 26 Feb 2003, Daniel Vainsencher wrote:

> Hey everybody. Yoshiki mentions he's going to be busy. We've been
> through this scenario before - someone does some important work that
> shows the way to get somewhere we want to be, then becomes busy
> (discouraged, distracted, whatever), and since nobody knows how to move
> it forward, it gets stuck, incomplete.
> If you don't want to see this happen to Yoshiki's
> Unicode/multinationalization work, read on.
> Well, if someone wants us to make the most of Yoshiki's work, help him
> out. It's important to get involved while he still has a little time to
> pass on the knowledge. It would be especially great if someone can get
> involved that knows at least something about, and is interested in the
> technical side of multilanguage/Unicode support (the standards, the
> terms, the algorithms). 

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