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A nice FLAIR (FLuid Attenuated Inversion Recovery) view from the not-too-distant past. Every abnormality you can see on this scan (and there is more than one!) is asymptomatic at present. Alongside is a picture of me walking the walls at Fremont Studios, a sign of a damaged brain.
For the record, I'm not claiming Ski Johnson is behind the scam in question; thus far he can mainly be seen to be guilty of lying to some promoters. He is the face of these things though
You know, I had a feeling that tonight was gonna be a good night, that tonight was gonna be a good good night.
I was going to be attending a Black Tie Gala Fundraiser for Cancer @ the W Hotel in Seattle.
Jazz For Life Foundation and the American Cancer Society were going to bring us an evening of entertainment and charity. Special appearances by many celebrities, like Michael Douglas. And James Earl Jones. And the Seattle Seahawks. And The Housewives of DC. And The Housewives of Beverly Hills. And a host of other celebrities, including Grammy nominated Ski Johnson -- one of the mainstays of Jazz for Life.
There would also be a live auction there, with Items from the Vampire Diaries, a Signed book by the Kardashians, a scooter from Ducati Seattle, a Diamond Necklace by Diamonds by Maria, and much much more. With an open bar, LIVE auction, dancing, appetizers, celebrities from around the nation and Seattle’s top socialites, public figures, and more, this was the kind of event I hadn't ever really been to in Seattle before.
In LA? Sure. But not in Seattle.
My friend Doug and his wife were going to go be going, with VIP tickets. But it turned out they would be out of town so he offered the tickets to me. I snapped them up quickly. I with Ellen, Pam with Evan. We were gonna have a lot of fun. I figured I'd buy something at the auction, at least -- so I'd be helping out the ACS myself, too.
The story kept growing outward, in concentric circles....
Free tickets were going to be given to people with really inspirational cancer stories.
But then things started happening.
Like they changed the venue just weeks before the event (to the Grand Hyatt). Hardly unprecedented, but certainly out of the ordinary.
And the announcements of new celebrities and new items up for auction were getting more and more outrageous.
Then the wheels started to come off the wagon.
As KOMO reported on Wednesday, it turned out that the celebrities whose presence had been promised were not going to be coming.
Most of the sponsors have bailed, as well as the donors. The American Caancer Society was indeed to be a recipient, but for a wide variety of reasons (including percentage of the money going to charity?), they were not a sponsor, or a host.
And when asked to comment about all of it, Ski had apparently not been entirely truthful about the celebrities, even if he was telling the truth now. Something that no one really believed at this point anyway.
How is it that they describe cancer -- immature cells withsporadic behavior? Exactly.
And there were lots of other shenanigans, like about the need the promoters had to have expensive items to be auctioned sent to them on the East Coast, just before the event. Even from locale Seattle sponsors.
And I have been hearing worse things from others, including some of what the "W" folks have said off the record. They are mum now on paper, but also relieved to have gottn out from under this travesty.
Now most of the sites that previously talked about the event have now marked it as canceled. And the note has been removed from the Jazz For Life site, too (the hotel still says there will be an event, though reportedly Paypal has frozen the money in the JazzForLife account so that the refunds can happen and there is no longer a way to buy tickets -- as if anyone would at this point!).
Though Jazz For Life did take down their info on this event, they do list similar events from the past on their site, and I can't help wondering if those were also fraudulent along similar lines.
Their own version of the even on Facebook (here) still lists the event as being at the W. Too bad there is no way to buy tickets, huh?:-)
Somehow I doubt Ski will even show up. It is almost tempting to pop by and see if anything at all happens now that the rest of ths sponsors and donors have pulled out.
Early on I almost wrote a blog about the whole phrase "Black Tie Gala Fundraiser for Cancer" being silly since of course no one would fight for cancer.
But I decided that would be kind of immature, and let it go at a few comments to colleagues at work about the language issue -- like isn't it great that someone is finally taking up cancer's cause?
Silly, I know.
Ironic that Ski Johnson, Jazz For Life, and others may have done a lot for cancer, as people put in their claims to PayPal to get their money back and don't end up donating anything to the American Cancer Society.
Doug put his claim in for his refund. He and his wife will donate the refunded money directly to ACS and I hope more people do that.
As for me and Ellen and Pam and Evan? We're still gonna do something tonight.
And I gotta feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night. That tonight’s gonna be a good good night.
Now that Ski isn't scamming us anymore, at least.
International domain names -- one of those times that we really are all in this together, a time that "I don't have time to fix this" really isn't a good answer.
I figured I should talk about that for a bit....
So anyway, the question I got from a rather anxious developer via email the other day was:
I have a lot of code that depends on functions like getaddrinfo, getnameinfo, gethostbyname, and gethostbyaddr. How do I get them to support internationalized domain names?
The answer is both simple and complicated.
Complicated because the answer could (in theory) very different depending on whether the server is on the intranet (where one would use UTF-8) or the Internet (where one would use Punycode).
And complicated because there isn't a whole lot of infrastructure to have the system figure out which is which and which to use in native code (the managed story is a little better here but it has its own pitfalls; I will cover those another day).
For now I'll just talk about the intranet story (the Internet story will be for another another day).
The most important step, one that is pretty much universally a good design practice for many reasons but especially here is to move off the non-Unicode functions like the ones our anxious developer named. If one has anything outside of ANSI (or even ASCII in some cases), the Unicode (or UTF-8) version are required here, as the following table points out:
Function you should be using instead
DnsQuery_W (or DnsQuery_UTF8)
DnsValidateName_W (or DnsValidateName_UTF8)
DnsNameCompare_W (or DnsNameCompare_UTF8)
Now as luck would have it, deciding whether to use the "W" version of the function or the UTF-8 version (for the functions that support both) is pretty simple -- just use whichever format you have the text in already.
And as further luck would have it, for just about all of the functions on this list, the replacement is easy and straightforward for the call itself. Of course you may need to move the code to use Unicode, and it's important to not just convert it from the CP_ACP or whatnot (otherwise you haven't really fixed anything!, but that's not too bad.
You can think of this first step as the most obvious part of all of the work. I'll get into some of the more complicated aspects in the future, with maybe some additional fun details related to Active Directory to make things really interesting (that will be on yet another another day -- or with a topic like AD more than one other day!).
Now once you start getting into the EAI side (i.e. the email side) it gets both insanely simple and insanely complicated too. But eventually, on some other another other day (once again multiple other days, most likely), I'll hit that topic too.
So you may have noticed that back in October that I blogged Unicode 6.0.0 is [virtually] released!.
Hopefully no one was holding their breath waiting for everything to get finished and written up. Because at the end last week, the full release happened. :-)
From the release notification:
Mountain View, CA, February 17, 2011 - The Unicode® Consortium is pleased to announce the publication of the final text of the core specification for Unicode 6.0. The Unicode 6.0 core specification includes information on scripts newly encoded in Unicode 6.0, as well as many updates and clarifications to other sections of the text. The release of the core specification completes the definitive documentation of the Unicode Standard, Version 6.0
In Version 6.0, the standard grew by 2,088 characters. Over 1,000 of these characters are symbols used for text exchange on mobile phones. The Unicode Standard now also includes the recently created official symbol for the Indian rupee. After computers and mobile phones update to Version 6.0, the rupee sign will be available for use like the $ or € now.
In addition, this version adds many CJK Unified Ideographs in common use in China, Taiwan, and Japan,as well as characters for African language support, including extensions to the Tifinagh, Ethiopic,and Bamum scripts. Three scripts are supported for the first time: Mandaic, Batak, and Brahmi.
In October of 2010, the other portions of Unicode 6.0 were released: the Unicode Standard Annexes, code charts, and the Unicode Character Database. This allowed vendors to update their implementations of Unicode 6.0 as quickly as possible.
For more information on all of The Unicode Standard, Version 6.0, see http://www.unicode.org/versions/Unicode6.0.0/
You can think of this as the "close parenthesis" to end the phrase....
Over in the Suggestion Box, regular reader Yuhing Bao asked:
What do you think about going to you directly via going through PSS?
He was referring to a conversation going on in the comments of a blog of mine from over 4 years ago titled Is MSLU still supported?.
I was pointing out how in the specific case of MSLU at that time, if people asked a question of PSS it would make its way to me eventually, and if people asked me directly then it would also make its way to me.
I know that some people are more comfortable with one way, some with the other. They both work, so really I was slightly annoyed when the same request got to me via many different channels but I really did not judge one channel as better than the other.
I mean, I serve at the pleasure of the customer (except perhaps when they annoy me?), so why should I judge them for which way they like to talk unless their way is every way? :-)
Now this is going back half a decade ago, when the landscape in PSS was pretty different.
These days, when I send notes to specific folks in PSS about writing a KB article on a particular topic, they tell me that someone else does those now. It is no longer PSS writing them based on specific cases where they provided assistance (and KB articles became a way that the help could get to others, whether by another PSS engineer finding it or a customer finding it directly).
And I suddenly realized it had been a while since I had received email from a PSS engineer asking me about a customer question.
Over the past six months I had probably had more interaction with the VP I mentioned in Are you Mr. Kaplan? (and he is now in customer and partner advocacy) than I had with anyone in PSS.
I know product support still exists, thouh now the only trace I see of it is in PSS folk asking questions of some of the distribution lists I'm on.
They get answers and therefore customers still get answers.
So perhaps this change, this shift, this (dare I say it?) re-organization has not impacted Product Support Services in a negative way.
Though I know I am not really contributing a much as I used to.
So while I would have used to have said "ask any way you like!" about MSLU or topics I know about, maybe now I'd say "if you think it is something I know about and you want an answer from me, you should probably ask here, via the Suggestion Box." Because otherwise I may never see the question, and I am probably less likely to be a significant contributor to the response.
if I don't know the answer I'll point you to PSS. And if you ask the question via multiple routes I am less likely to even know about it so perhaps the annoyance factor isn't a factor for me anymore.
So I guess you can just ask whoever and how-many-whoevers you wish to, based on your own personal preferences. This may be the most efficient org structure yet built for customer satisfaction via support.
Well, at least until the next re-org....
Ever since I wrote About the Y1C problem, which really isn't too much of a problem (except maybe in North Korea)...when I said I'd probably say a word about the Japanese calendar, I knew I'd eventually be saying something about the Japanese calendar.
The fact is that the Microsoft implementation of the Japanese Imperial calendar has always bothered me. For many different reasons.
Thus this new series....
Now my dislike is not because of the principal issue I mentioned in Long live the Emperor, a not-as-uncommon-as-it-should-be complaint I hear from non-Japanese developers about the calendar who, despite being type of nerds who would never truly take violent rhetoric to the level of suggesting Microsoft predict the date of the death and/or end of rule of the Emperor nevertheless unknowingly advocate for the Emperor to leave office.
The fact that the problem continues to crop up is a reflection on the people making the complaint, not of the calendar itself.
And also not because of the principal issue I mentioned in Y oh Y does YYYY sometimes mean YY, you ask?, because although it can sometimes be confusing, the hypothetical need to support eras of over 100 years is proven wrong rather readily.
In both cases, perceived inconsistencies that in fact mirror actual usage of the calendar do not bother me; they only bother people too caught up in the technical issues to understand or even notice those usage issues.
And yet the problems I do have with this calendar and in their own way kind of brought up in both articles.
For a hint, I'll suggest thinking about the frustrations I have with the Umm-Al Qurah calendar of Saudi Arabia that I discuss in Long term planning is not always done.
If one recognizes some of the limitations of using a religious calendar like the Hijri one to deal with civil matters to such a degree that you create a whole new calendar like Saudi Arabia did here, it seems almost irresponsible to have the period it supports be so short that common scenarios like machine certificates and such will fail when you try to use such a calendar.
In the case of the Japanese calendar, my concern is not really on Japan though. It is on Microsoft.
It just seems ridiculous that when we have millennia of attested data (and even more unattested, legendary data) on the Japanese monarchs (e.g. see the List of Japanese monarchs in Wikipedia) that we limit ourselves to the last four eras (平成, 昭和, 大正, and 明治).
Why wouldn't we stretch this out a little further than that?
Like at least to where the historical Gregorian years are reasonable to use....
I mean, it is more than just ironic that you can use the GregorianCalendar to refer to dates that exist before the calendar existed yet you cannot use the JapaneseCalendar to refer to dates that were well within its range
The design of the calendar, however, which considers the current era to be #4, they left no architectural room for the up to 121 previous eras for the up to 117 previous rulers.
I suppose they could work around this by taking advantage of the fact that a System.Int32 is being used for the era-related methods and use negative numbers for the ones prior to "era #1" though this is less than ideal for a bunch of reasons. If I ever chose to fix this bug I'd create a new class and do it right from scratch.
But there are other reasons I dislike our implementation of the JapaneseCalendar class, which I will continue to talk about in part 2....
It's an old joke, but perhaps a few if you haven't heard it before....
An English professor wrote the words:
A woman without her man is nothing.
on the chalkboard and asked his students to punctuate it correctly.
All of the males in the class wrote:
A woman, without her man, is nothing.
All of the females in the class wrote:
A woman: without her, man is nothing.
One thing is perfectly clear, though:
Punctuation is powerful.
Perhaps it is a bit hasty to pass that NORM_IGNORESYMBOLS flag?
Though on the other hand if I pass NORM_IGNORESYMBOLS | NORM_IGNORECASE it has the benefit of allowing me to tell all of the kids in the class that they are wrong, and flunking them.
Just don't forget that the space is also a symbol.
Welcome to Thailand, everyone! We didn't need the spaces anyway....
You get my point. Everyone is always so quick to ignore stuff that may be interesting or important. We could all do with a little bit less of that.
It's one of the reasons the support for collation in Windows is so unsuited for search - because its only choices are to only see with the distinctions or to ignore all of them so completely that a user is almost punished for when they are specifically looking for the distinctions. When what search really needs is both -- to be willing to ignore distinctions of all sorts but to never forget they are there, and to prefer them when you see them....
The truism that explaining a joke allows you to get though it doesn't give you the funny has a lot of truth to it.
In this case, if you didn't watch M*A*S*H you may have trouble discerning what is behind the riddle of the title of this blog.
It involved an episode where Margaret "Hot-Lips" Hoolihan, while drunk, reveals:
I probably shouldn't be telling you this, but Frank Burns is a lipless wonder.
And as with all jokes that must be explained, the people who now get it don't think it is very funny.
You can think of the issue as an extension of ELKs aren't roaming where the servers are from over five years ago.
Because although it is true that ELKs -- the infrastructure data added to XP to support the creation of LIPs -- was [mostly] added to Windows Server 2003 (I gave the full list in Why Bengali keyboards can't be found on XP 64 bit), the truth is that all of this ELK insertion work into what essentially represented the server code base, cool as it was, did represent a specific type of ELK, one not found in nature.
A LIP-less ELK.
We don't release LIPs for Windows server products.
We get questions on this all the time, questions like this one:
Good morning all,
My customer has the following question about a language pack for Windows server 2008 R2 that does not appear on the list of supported language pack in the technet link below. Is this list authoritative or is there another way I can find this language pack for them. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
I am having no luck finding an o.s. language pack for Windows Server 2008 R2 Hindi language. Am I overlooking something? I also looked out here and it doesn’t look like there is one for Window Server 2008 R2 operating system: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744369(WS.10).aspx
This person got a quick answer, even if it was not the answer being sought:
WS08R2 didn’t release a LP in Hindi.
Here are the languages we did release LPs for:http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=03831393-eef7-48a5-a69f-0ce72b883df2&displaylang=en
English, German, Japanese, French, Spanish, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Korean, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Portuguese (Portugal), Dutch, Swedish, Polish, Turkish, Czech, Hungarian, Arabic, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Hebrew, Greek, Thai, Ukrainian, Romanian, Slovakian, Slovenian, Croatian, Serbian Latin, Bulgarian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian
Now the answer was slightly off target since it was about Language Packs, not LIPs. But as we know everyone makes that mistake (for more info on that issue, see When terminology affects satisfaction and Out of touch? No, just out of scope...), so I won't dwell on that part, so much. But the truth is that for those LP languages, server resources are translated.
Of course, the truth is that from a customer standpoint, this separate treatment of client and server is one that is seldom fathomed. It appears to be arbitrary and pointless, especially in a world where there are people who tend to use the server product as their client.
At one time, the standard developer desktop for Office developers was indeed Windows Server 2003, a fact that at one point got in the way of the ability of Office to work with ELKs and try out LIPs. I have no idea if an updated policy like this still exists over in Office, but either way it serves to underscore the fact that this is a real phenomenon, even inside Microsoft. And one that can affect job productivity, no less!
Now there are many problems with the notion of a LIP on a server.
First of all, a principle behind LIPs of "translating the most visible UI" fails in interesting ways since many visible UI pieces that are server-specific aren't translated.
And then there is the scenario.
If you don't accept the "server as client" scenario's premise, then it is quite easy to consider the principle of making computers more available to people who don't speak one of the major languages we handle fully (like English or German or Japanese) to be way out of scope for the server family of products.
But maybe it is an incorrect assessment to deny the premise.
i mean, I often run the server as a client because I don't tend to go for the fancy client features like Aero and glass and UI transitions, and those features are off by default in server. So it takes less time to get the machine in the state I want it if I start from sever.
I don't know for sure but that probably biases me on the issue. Does anyone else have n opinion about the "running the server as a client" scenario?
THE WINDOWS 7 TURKMEN LANGUAGE INTERFACE PACK IS LIVE!
You can download the 32-bit version right over here and the 64-bit version right over here.
It does not currently have a download page for reasons that are not the fault of any of the people i respect and which I don't feel like getting into....
It can be installed on Windows 7 SP1(you must have SP1 installed!) with either Russian or English resources, and either 32-bit or 64-bit (just pick the right download, of course!).
The Turkmen Windows 7 LIP is produced as part of the Local Language Program sponsored by Public Sector.
A LITTLE BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON TURKMEN:
Number of Speakers:
Name in the langauge itself:
Turkmen is the national language of Turkmenistan. It is spoken by approximately 3 million people in Turkmenistan, and by approximately 380,000 in northwestern Afghanistan and 500,000 in northeastern Iran.
Like other Turkic languages, Turkmen is characterized by vowel harmony. In general, words of native origin consist either entirely of front vowels (inçe çekimli sesler) or entirely of back vowels (ýogyn çekimli sesler). Prefixes and suffixes reflect this harmony, taking different forms depending on the word to which they are attached.
Click here for more information about the Turkmen language.
Turkmen belongs to the group of South Turkic languages in the Turkic branch of the Altaic language family. It shares this group with Turkish and Azerbaijani.
Click here for more information about Turkmen classification.
Turkmen only started to appear in writing at the beginning of the 20th century, when it was written with the Arabic script. Between 1928 and 1940 it was written with the Latin alphabet, and from 1940 it was written with the Cyrillic alphabet. Since Turkmenistan declared independence in 1991, Turkmen has been written with a version of the Latin alphabet based on Turkish.
Click here for more information about the Turkmen script.
It is unclear whether it was intentional or not, but despite being based on the Turkish alphabet, the Turkmen locale on Windows does not do Turkic casing. If this is wrong, someone should tell us so we can fix it some day.
THE MONGOLIAN (CYRILLIC) LANGUAGE INTERFACE PACK FOR WINDOWS 7 IS LIVE!
You can download the file for the 32-bit version or the 64-bit version.
Like the Turkmen LIP, it does not currently have a download page for reasons that are not the fault of any of the people i respect and which I don't feel like getting into....
The Mongolian Windows 7 LIP is produced as part of the Local Language Program sponsored by Public Sector.
A LITTLE BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON MONGOLIAN:
Cyrillic script: ~2,500,000Mongolian script: ~3,000,000 (difficult to obtain reliable figures on it)
Name in the language itself:
Khalkha Mongolian is the National language of Mongolia and is known to 90% of the population. It is now written using the Cyrillic alphabet, although in the past it was written using the Mongolian script. An official reintroduction of the old script was planned for 1994, but this has not yet taken place as older generations encountered difficulties (also, the lack of consistent and widespread support on computers has also had some impact here).
There is a tradition of giving names with unpleasant qualities to children born to a couple whose previous children have died, in the belief that the unpleasant name will mislead evil spirits seeking to steal the child. Muunokhoi 'Vicious Dog' may seem a strange name, but Mongolians have traditionally been given such taboo names to avoid misfortune and confuse evil spirits. Other examples include Nekhii 'Sheepskin', Nergüi 'No Name', Medekhgüi, 'I Don't Know', Khünbish 'Not A Human Being', Khenbish 'Nobody', Ogtbish 'Not At All', Enebish 'Not This One', Terbish 'Not That One'. This tradition is one that is also familar in other cultures such as in ethnic Judaism.
Click here for more information on the Mongolian Language.
Mongolian belongs to the Mongolic languages. The delimitation of the Mongolian language within Mongolic is a much disputed theoretical problem, one whose resolution would probably require a set of comparable linguistic criteria for all major varieties.
Click here for more information on the Mongolian classification.
As previously stated, in Mongolia (a.k.a. Outer Mongolia) the Cyrillic script is used, while in China (a.k.a. Inner Mongolia) the traditional Mongolian script is used. The literacy rates have been much higher in Mongolia since the switch to use the Cyrillic script, due to a large push to increase literacy. The fundamental change (from a "top to bottom, right to left" script to a "left to right, top to bottom" script) and the fact that that the latter is so much easier to support in technology may be having the same problems as other "formerly vertical scripts" have seen, though sufficient formal study is currently lacking.
Click here for more information on the use of the Cyrillic script with Monglian, and click here for more information on the use of the Mongolian script.
Mongolian is yet another locale for which we made the wrong decision in its LOCALE_SNAME/CultureInfo.Name value. By choosing mn-MN rather than mn-Cyrl-MN, we were left with adding another Mongolian and whether to name it with a consistent yet dfferent script mn-CN or an inconssistent but more accurate mn-Mong-CN. we went with the latter, but in retrospect we should have added the script since more than one script is used for the language. Lesson learned. :-)
I spoke about some of the technolgical challenges previously in Looking at life a bit more vertically, for a moment.... As with other scripts that have large tehnical challenges in user interface usage (e.g. Tibetan), I find myself uncomfortable with the impact that technology may well be having on the long term directions of growth. In the case of Mongolian, the fact that (for example) every version of Microsoft Access from the last ten years with the Mongolian Baiti font that now ship in Windows can do things like the following for both display and input controls:
may start helping the future of Mongolian where it is applicable, even if the UI issues in Windows itself are not addressed.
Allusion to the Windows 7 commercials is as obvious as it is intentional!
THE WINDOWS 7 LANGUAGE INTERFACE PACKS FOR NIGERIA ARE LIVE! Click on the Hausa, Igbo, and/or Yoruba links to download them via the Microsoft.com Download Center. Please note that the Nigerian Windows 7 LIPs can only be installed on a system that runs an English client version of Windows 7. They are available to download for both 32-bit and 64-bit systems.
The Nigerian Windows 7 LIPs are produced as part of the Local Language Program sponsored by Public Sector.
A LITTLE BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON THE NIGERIAN LANGUAGES
NUMBER OF SPEAKERS:
Hausa: 24 million native speakers, 15 million second- languageIgbo: 18 millionYoruba: 20 million, 2 million second-language
PREDOMINANT DISTRIBUTION IN NIGERIA:
SOME FUN FACTS:
See classification information for: Hausa Igbo Yoruba
See script information for: Hausa Igbo Yoruba
In many cases it isn't the question that is complicated; it is the impact of surrounding features that make the answers so complicated!
A while back, the question that was asked was:
I’m trying to get the file version for mshtml.dll at runtime, when I call GetFileVersionInfo (from shell\osshell\version\filever.cpp) with either the full path (C:\windows\system32\mshtml.dll) or just the binary name, it always gives me: 8.00.7600.16385 (win7_rtm.090713-1255) – the IE8 RTM version, regardless of which TP (test pass, think of it as a service pack for IE) is on the machine.
According to the filever tool, the version I actually have on my machine is:
>filever /v C:\Windows\System32\mshtml.dll<snip> FileVersion 8.00.7600.16625 (win7_gdr.100629-1617)
How can I get GetFileVersionInfo give me this version?
Okay, the way the question was asked was complicated the time, too. :-)
But at its simplest level the question was just "how do I get the version number?" since the wrong answer was (apparently) being returned.
Anyone want to take a guess as to what might be going on, what might cause a[n apparent] lie to be told here?
Hint: Ask yourself why I might care about the answer here as a way to figure out what the answer might be....
Over in the Suggestion Box, Geoffrey Coram asked:
I'm the "lead developer" for the e-mail application nPOPuk. I recently added some code to help a Russian user on a Windows CE machine: apparently, the KOI8-RU codepage is not installed on WinCE, so messages with charset="koi8-ru" were thoroughly corrupted.
So now I'm thinking about my app, which comes in Unicode and ANSI versions, and wondering:
1) Is there an easy way for the ANSI version to tell the user, "hey, you typed a Unicode character in the message body"? I typed some Cyrillic in the window, and when the app sent WM_GETTEXT, it got back a bunch of question marks.
2) The user can select the charset (UTF-8, ISO-8859-1, KOI8-R, etc.) for sending the message; is there an easy way to tell the user, "hey, there are characters in your message that aren't available in the charset you selected"?
I suppose I could (a) stop compiling the ANSI version and (b) force all messages to be UTF-8, but that seems draconian.
This is one to take one piece at a time.
At least in the body of email messages, the ability to have text that uses different random encodings that the mail client will support has been a long-standing principle.
Not every message coming to an email client is limited to a single encoding that it understands.
Of course whether one extracts the context via RTF functions or HTML functions or some other means will largely depend on the client, though generally HTML seems to be the one that all mail clients support to some extent.
Although in theory you could support an email using any encoding using HTML, in fact there is a device-based limit in mobile devices since it may not be able to convert/parse/display every encoding.
If you are using Platform Builder to build an image for a device, you may have more flexibility here but even that only goes so far. Messages using KOI8-RU and other such code pages can suffer here, and there really isn't a good answer in the platform (though if it is a limited number of code pages one could just ship the tables for a few others)....
As to that second question, in order to read it in an app, you can just try to convert it to Unicode one way or another. If you are unable to do that conversion, you can definitely warn the user that you are unable to parse the text....
Where were you at 10:54am on February 28, 2001?
It was a Wednesday, if that helps you remember.
Or, if you are more event oriented, it was the date and time that the "clocked at 6.8" Nisqually intraplate earthquake happened.
I was at work, in Building 9 at Microsoft.
I had come in early that day because I was excited about finding the fix for a bug in the Microsoft Layer for Unicode on Win9x Systems, which was going to be announced soon. In fact Cathy and I got the approval to not turn in our slides for our stodgy sounding Unicode on Downlevel Windows talk at the 18th Internationalization and Unicode conference in Kowloon Bay (HongKong). We broadly hinted that it was something e couldn't talk about yet but they wouldn't regret sticking with us (our slides were technically late at that point, but since both of us were on the committee for the conference we had some ability to influence and plead to not be replaced by a backup talk.
But alas, I digress.
Anyway, I was working on this bug that I had found a fix for, and wanted to make sure it wouldn't cause performance problems.
Going on with me personally, the Multiple Sclerosis was (really just in the few months prior) starting to have a more marked effect on my balance, as I had been moving from an 'occasionally falls down" place to a more "depends on the cane to not fall down all the time" place. and I had moved from mere disequilibrium (where I wouldn't feel unsteady but the ground would suddenly come up at me) to a more overt feeling of unsteadiness that I could no longer ignore but was doing my best to not pay attention to.
People in the hallway were making noise all of the sudden. So I grabbed my cane and got up to investigate.
Everyone described what was happening with us all pretty much poking our heads out of our office doors, basically standing in our door frames because of some vague notion that this would be safer.
We were a bunch of n00bs when it came to earthquakes, and all of my previous seismic experience (time spent in Japan and in Southern California) usually involved my being somewhat intoxicated and/or romantically entangled, so it wasn't like I had much to add anyway.
I didn't feel anything different, though.
My world had been going topsy turvy all the time now. Though I did have one comment on the matter that I made to the people looking out into the hallway:
Now you know, now you know what it's like to live in my brain.
We had no injuries; the epicenter was far away from us.
And we did all get back to work after that, and much later when an "emergency procedure" manual showed up in all our offices, even the page explaining what to do in case of volcanic eruption (call reception, don't leave the building or touch lava) had a slight edge to it beyond the obvious humor, since if we could feel an earthquake did lava seem so very out of the question?
Of course those manuals are gone, so we have no idea what to do In Case of Lava....
But alas, I digress again.
Anyway, there you go -- my experience of the Nisqually intraplate earthquake of 2001. It was good it happened late enough that people were around or I may not have even noticed the ~46 seconds that everyone in the Pacific Northwest got a little bit of what it was like to be me....
You're welcome, of course.
Allow me to intentionally misquote a West Wing episode I enjoyed:
Every once in a while, every once in a while, there's a bug report with an absolute right and an absolute wrong, but those reports almost always include blue screens of death. Other than that, there aren't very many un-nuanced bug reports in writing a blog that's way too big for ten words. I'm the author of Sorting it all Out, not the author of the readers who agree with me.
That was fun. :-)
It is true that I often start blogs with "simple questions" which turn out to have complicated answers.
And when the answers are simple they usually are simple in a bad way: like the word NO.
This is one of those blogs....
The question, as you have probably gathered, was simple:
Customer wants to automatically use UTF-8 when saving files with Notepad instead of ANSI by default.
The answer is indeed that no, it isn't possible. This default is hard-coded into Notepad.
They made the decision in 1993 when Notepad was added to NT 3.1, and have stuck to their guns -- even after UTF-8 support was added in 1998-1999.
Now as a workround, you could try the following:
But in the end, there is no way to keep Chloe on the Wolves' Highway. That might be why she was shot and killed by ranchers.
And why users will seldom follow the directions here, either....
Sometimes locale data bugs can go a long time without anyone reporting the bug to Microsoft.
The many potential reasons for this observable fact may be an interesting topic to blog about someday.
Interesting by my definition, that is. By which I mean I could actually enjoy writing it!
But not today.
Today, I'm going to talk about an interesting subgroup of bugs in locale data.
First, we're going to travel to scenic Afghanistan. Where Dari is the most spoken language, by a long shot.
We have the Dari locale prs-AF, which we created a Language Interface Pack for in Windows 7 (I mentioned this in I Dari you! Heck, I Double Dari you!).
Now the Dari status as "the last Windows 7 LIP" is quite interesting, actually.
Because a predecessor LIP, also aimed at Afghanistan, was Pashto (ps-AF) -- which had a similar "LIP" status, as I mentioned in an earlier blog (The last XP LIP? We'll head it off at the Pas[hto]).
Now we didn't end up doing a Pashto LIP fo Vista or Windows 7, so in some ways one could think of the Windows 7 Dari LIP as an XP Pashto LIP replacement.
However, if you found yourself nostalgic about Pashto going away, don't worry; a little bit of Pashto lives on in Dari.
The Dari locale has the Pashto month names!
As you can see here by looking at them both in the Locale Builder:
(you can click on the images to see bigger versions of them)
Now this is something I have had reported to me from a couple of different sources, including someone who responded to me by emal after my Dari LIP blog.
But this problem is not unique to Afghanistan.
Or to month names.
For an example, you can head to Nigeria.
We just shipped a few Windlows 7 LIPs for Nigeria, as I mentioned in In Nigeria? With these three LIPs out, maybe Windows 7 was your idea!,
Well, if you look at the ig-NG (Igbo) and yo-NG (Yoruba) locales, you may notice something.
They share more than just a country.
They share day names!
They are the Yoruba day names, showing up in both locales. I only say that for the sake of completeness since I'm sure you all spotted the fact that these aren't Igbo names already and just hadn't sent the mail yet reporting the bug. Right?
(once again, you can click on the images to see bigger versions of them)
Now on the bright side, for both of these cases, in the community of people who are using computers, knowledge of both of the languages in question (at least enough to know the day names of the month names) is not as uncommon as it might be in some places.
And that might be part of the reason for the mistake here.
It is an interesting one, either way. Why would it be missed?