Re: report on [bad] status of i18n of gnome apps - somebody should explicitly care about it

I am FAR from an expert on this, but I'll offer a couple of bits.  The 
i18n issues are very complex.  When we talk about i18n, we want to just 
limit it to the double-byte character problem.  However, that is just part 
of a bigger whole and the whole has got to work together.  It's a package 

This is NOT to say the issues should not be resolved.  They MUST be and 
I'm very glad to see someone stepping forward and saying, "Hey, I want to 
do this!!"

Good for you!

Some issues I can think of:

1.  Double (or even Quadruple) byte characters must be handled.
2.  Font files currently do not provide sufficient information or do not
    cleanly separate the application from the data.
3.  Font rendering engines do not adequately address their requirements.
    Some requirements are:
    a.  Dynamic Transposition.  Some languages transpose 3 letters when
        collocated in a word.
    b.  Centering diacriticals, particularly important when the diacritical
        stacks or is placed over multiple letters.
    c.  Left to right numbers within a right to left text.
    d.  Some languages change the height of letters depending on their 
        position in the word
    e.  Some languages, every word is a ligature.
    f.  The mapping between glyphs and characters is many-to-many

    If a user can type in text and the font and font rendering engine 
    can display pig-latin, then you're getting pretty close.

4.  Unicode and ISO address only a very small fraction of the world's 
languages.  If I recall, it is only a few hundred.  There are currently 
nearly 7000 languages!  And more are STILL being discovered.

Like I said, I am NOT an expert.  And some of the above is from memory and 
might not quite be right.  My point is that I really don't think we can 
solve one little piece.  It all has to work together.  If I've done 
nothing more than raise some awareness, then I'm happy.
Mike Sangrey
msangrey BlueFeltHat org
Landisburg, Pa.
                        "The first one last wins."
            "A net of highly cohesive details reveals the truth."

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