Sorting it all Out Michael Kaplan's random stuff of dubious value Be sure to read the disclaimer here first!
In Fall 2004, Cathy Wissink and I were in San Jose at the Unicode Technical Committee meeting (being held at Apple) along with 20+ of our colleagues from various companies involved with internationalization. We spoke at the IMUG (International Mac User's Group) meeting one evening, giving a much longer version of the talk that has been done before at both prior Internationalization and Unicode Conferences and at the Microsoft Global Development & Deployment Conference. Things were a little bit closer to shipping so more could be said, and since we were given more time we were definitely allowed to say more.
The title of the talk? Windows for the Rest of the World -- Customizing Windows for Emerging Markets. This post will contain a few slides of the content from that talk. :-)
One thing we talked about quite a bit was about locales and how long it took to get them added. Some stats:
These numbers are only impressive when one ignores how many languages and cultures that are not being covered around the world. We then pointed out the problem with the traditional methods we have been using to add NLS data:
The presentation got into detail about a lot of the things that we are doing to try to help here, some of which I have talked about before (like MSKLC), and others that I will likely cover in future posts. But for now I will talk about one of the many things GIFT is doing to help with the issues above: ELKs!
ELK stands for Enabling Language Kit. These useful beasts will (on a per locale basis) install as needed any or all of the following:
Obviously some (like locale information) always had to be done, but others (like fonts or shaping engines) were only required for a few.
Lest you are afraid at this point that ELKs are typical vaporware that is never actually shipped, Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 ships with 25 new ELK locales! Those locales are:
(I swear that this list was even more impressive when it was done with PowerPoint animations, showing up one item at a time!)
Definitely not vaporware -- you can install XP SP2 and see support for all of these locales today. And things will continue on in the future!
And like I said, there are a lot of other items discussed in the presentation, which will be covered in future posts. It's all about getting out of the way...
This post sponsored by "ᕣ" (U+1563, CANADIAN SYLLABICS N-CREE THII)