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

On Fri, 23 Mar 2001, Mike Sangrey wrote:

> 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 
> deal.
> 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.

 Just to correct you slightly - the issues you described above should be
implemented in rendering engine (and Pango tries to sort out them). It's clear
that transition to gtk-2.0 will solve some of these issues automaticllay for
almost all apps. But other issues - like properly importing wmf files or
properly setting headers of the mail message being sent - need to be dealt by
application itself, and the lack of such support makes these applications
useless for languages that have same font rendering semantics as English
> -- 
> Mike Sangrey
> msangrey BlueFeltHat org
> Landisburg, Pa.
>                         "The first one last wins."
>             "A net of highly cohesive details reveals the truth."

 Best regards,

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