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Re: Just a Little Explanaton for Veering (RE: Blueberry/Unicode/ XML)

From: "Don Park" <donpark@docuverse.com>

> While most of the world is concerned about where the next meal is
> going to come from and how to stay upwind of the outhouse, our
> self-assigned concerns for the world and eons to come is just so
> much fodder for politically-correct-over-design-by-committee
> mumbo jumbo.

I am probably the only person on this list who has been *employed* by a
national institution in non-Latin-using country specifically to work through
issues with how to make XML work with their scripts (i.e. Chinese in my
case).  And I was *employed* in 1993 to look at this issue when I first came
up with the ERCS proposals, on which this part of XML is based. And I was
*invited* by the CJK Document Processing Group (an ISO liason group mainly
of Japanese). And I was *invited* to be an expert with the W3C
Internationalization IG.

As such, Don's comments about "self-assigned" concerns could not possibly
apply to me.

Undoubtedly Don includes himself in his approbation and will not say
anything more on the subject, being himself "self-assigned."  Which would be
a great shame, because his views are valuable and often representative of
many things.  So I beg him not to shut up, no matter how difficult the
personal cost, or how firm his resolve, or how deep his dislike of
self-appointed people getting together to decide how to reform things based
on a couple of over-simplistic principles.

On the substance of Don's comment, when markup languages did not support
native-language markup, they were never popular in China/Korea/Japan.  Now
that they do, they are more popular.

One of the great reasons is learning: people can learn using examples in
familiar words.  If we look at books on XML from Japan or China, the ones
written in Japan (e.g. Okui-san's books) use kanji element names.  The
learner can concentrate on the substance without being diverted by English:
they will not be confused as to what is a keyword and what is a
situation-dependent name.  There is an advantage in those examples being

In the 8 years or more I have been working in this area, I have had only
three times I can remember where anyone has said it native language markup
is not worthwhile to have.  Once was by an army major who said "They can all
learn English." Once was by an Indian programmer who said "Everyone who is
educated can speak English", which may reflect India's situation. And Don is
the third time.

In half a dozen visits to Japan, three years in Taiwan, and visits to
several other countries in Asia, I have never had anything but encourage and
support that this was important, useful, and worth persuing.

Where are the calls from third-world countries:
"Don't make technology easier for us please"?

Rick Jelliffe

(Not speaking for any employer.)