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[Fwd: XML Blueberry (non-ASCII name characters in Japan)]

Reposted by request.  Although Chinese is fairly well covered
by XML 1.0, this posting reflects the way people feel about
foreign-language or transliterated element names.

There is / one art             || John Cowan <jcowan@reutershealth.com>
no more / no less              || http://www.reutershealth.com
to do / all things             || http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
with art- / lessness           \\ -- Piet Hein


I spent last year working in China. This first-hand
experience with Chinese-speaking programmers should
contribute to this discussion.

When the number of programmers speaking a certain
language reaches a critical mass, there is a
subculture of programming, which I find unfortunate.
Most good programming books are translated into
Chinese quickly with a set of terminology parallel
to English, e.g., thread is called XianChen.
Microsoft has a parallel set of software in Chinese
where you see KaiShi at lower bottom corner instead
of start. Most of the programmers are not comfortable
in English at all.

Although they are not able to program in Chinese,
all the comments are written in Chinese. Variables
are named as initials of Pinyin, zdcflr stands for
MaxRepeatLogIn. I really hope they can name it in

If you limit XML tags in English characters, you
will see encriptive things like <zdcflr>8</zdcflr>
that makes no sense to either Chinese or non-Chinese
speakers. Since many words share the same sound,
<zuidachongfuluru>8</zuidachongfuluru> is not very
helpful either. There is just no way for most of
them to name it MaxRepeatLogIn.

Guess what, cnXML (parallel to ebXML), is already
a standard effort with Chinese tags.

Proper support of Chinese character markup is
essential for XML to be widely useful in China.

I have problem posting to xml-dev. Please repost
for me if you see fit.



>From: Elliotte Rusty Harold <elharo@metalab.unc.edu>
>To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
>Subject: Re: XML Blueberry (non-ASCII name characters in Japan)
>Date: Mon, 09 Jul 2001 16:59:49 -0400
>At 4:39 PM -0400 7/9/01, John Cowan wrote:
> >Elliotte Rusty Harold wrote:
> >
> >> At 2:52 PM -0400 7/9/01, John Cowan wrote:
> >>
> >>> Please tell me what kind of argument you would find convincing.
> >>
> >> Prove to me the existence of 10,000 or more users who want to write
> >> XML *markup* in any combination of the scripts added in Unicode 3.0
> >> and 3.1, who cannot reasonably use an alternative script for their
> >> language of choice, and who do not read and write some better
> >> supported language.
> >
> >I doubt if you (or anyone) could *prove* the existence of 10,000
> >users who want to write XML markup in English, never mind in the
> >newly added languages.
> >
>Actually I can. I can personally attest to the sale of several times ten 
>thousand copies of books on the subject of writing XML markup in English. 
>If it were really important I could produce royalty statements to document 
>this. With time I could probably prove it in Polish, Korean, French, 
>German, Italian, Dutch, Finnish, Japanese, and a few others besides.
> >So your argument reduces to: Latin was there first, so it wins.
> >Ethiopic/Khmer/Thaana/Myanar script languages didn't make it under
> >the gate in time, so they lose.  For at least the next few thousand
> >years.
>Not at all. My argument is that there is not yet one shred of evidence that 
>anyone actually wants to use, much less needs, the changes you're 
>proposing. If such evidence is really all that hard to find, then how big 
>can the benefit possibly be?  If you expect me to believe that the benefits 
>outweigh the costs, then you've got to show me some benefits.
>| Elliotte Rusty Harold | elharo@metalab.unc.edu | Writer/Programmer |
>|          The XML Bible, 2nd Edition (Hungry Minds, 2001)           |
>|              http://www.ibiblio.org/xml/books/bible2/              |
>|   http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0764547607/cafeaulaitA/   |
>|  Read Cafe au Lait for Java News:  http://www.cafeaulait.org/      |
>|  Read Cafe con Leche for XML News: http://www.ibiblio.org/xml/     |
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