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Re: XML Blueberry (non-ASCII name characters in Japan)
- From: "Simon St.Laurent" <email@example.com>
- To: "Thomas B. Passin" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Mon, 09 Jul 2001 19:21:33 -0400
On 09 Jul 2001 18:11:34 -0400, Thomas B. Passin wrote:
> > Actually, they aren't being confused. We simply have rather different
> > values. I want users to be able to do markup in the same language they
> > use for the text. Requiring developers to use a different language for
> > markup than they use for text seems inherently bizarre to me.
> You mean like HTML in Burmese?
Precisely. There are people who work in their own flavor of markup and
transform it to HTML, now that XML/XSLT makes such things easier. I'm
amazed that developers are so willing to work in English-based systems,
though I suspect sheer market power makes it difficult to do otherwise.
I'm afraid I lack contacts in Phnom Penh, but let's say a young
developer is given the job of creating a markup language for archiving
documents. The text is Khmer, but if we listen to the objections of
those who find additional Name characters distasteful, this developer
has to make a choice.
What language should the markup be in?
Khmer? Nope, sorry, too late, we can't do that now.
English? Viva Kissenger!
French? Well, I suppose they were the colonial power for a while...
Vietnamese? Another contentious relationship.
Chinese? Pol Pot had a great relationship there for a while.
Japanese? Seems to have had a chaotic occupation 1942-45.
None of these options seem particularly appealing. The (not)
always-delightful CIA World Factbook claims that Khmer is the
official language, spoken by about 95% of the population. Does it seem
reasonable to insist that those working with the markup understand
markup in a foreign and potentially disliked language?
Not to me. Maybe it's the big Quebec flag in my office (I don't speak
French, despite my name), but language matters a lot. It's difficult,
it's crucial to all levels of communications, and it deeply affects the
way people interact.
 - http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/cb.html