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12:14 pm, 2 Jan 04

i18n is important

i18n is important, even for hard languages.

“The Israeli Ministry of Commerce has suspended all governmental contracts with Microsoft, and indicated that the ban will last throughout 2004.”
http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/33365.html
http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/34154.html
It’s hard to read through The Register’s self-aggrandizing articles, but the gist of it is that MS “refuses” to support Hebrew in its Office suite for Macs, instead telling them they need to run Office on Windows. And then: “In a little noticed decision recently, Israel’s Antitrust Authority director general, Dror Strum, declared Microsoft a monopoly.”

‘Course, OSX can do all the i18n stuff right, but I’m sure that doesn’t surprise anyone. And even on OSX they’re still stuck with Microsoft’s Office suite.
(Though this is a good opportunity to point out that zenspider tried out my Arabic test and couldn’t get OSX to do it, either. But nobody really cares about Arabic vowels anyway.)


I found those links from this post:
http://lists.userlinux.com/pipermail/discuss/2004-January/002610.html
which points out:
Open-source programmes which are distributed to small language areas have the advantage over license-based [proprietary] programmes that the users themselves adapt the source code. This means that the programme can be translated and become an important part in the small countries fight to maintain linguistic and national identity.