[openbeos] Re: AW: Re: AW: Locale Kit

  • From: "Scott MacMaster" <scott@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 22 Dec 2003 13:35:36 -0500

> Don't quite get this - what has gender to do with sort order ?

As far as I know, nothing.  The issue of gender was brought up in reference
to searching.

> What appears to be the fly in the ointment in this case is those strange
> little 'accent' thingies some of the southern european languages seem
> to need. Are they really necessary, or can they be ignored ? - and
> why are they needed anyway when languages such as English, American
> and Australian get along fine without them.

What about that pesky apostrophe?  Other languages like Spanish seem to get
along fine without abbreviations.  Why don't (do not) we drop that
apostrophe and simplify English.  It'll (It will) definitely help
non-english speakers learn English.

More seriously though, if you removed them you'd completely butcher the
language.  Languages like Spanish tend to have minute phenotic changes that
have much greater effect on the meaning then what you're used to.  Consider
hablé and hable.  They are different conjugations of the same verb and have
similiar yet distinct differences.  Hablé is the indicative and infers that
something will happen or is certain to happen.  Hable is the subjunctive and
infers that something is anticipated but may not happen.  The subjunctive is
also used with commands.  To express the difference in meaning that é and e
may cause in English you may need an whole additional sentence.

> Unfortunately, the ASCII
> doesn't cater for accents because at the time it was invented Americans
> didn't use accents (rumour has it that they still don't).

You mean English speaking Americans, right?  I suppose you're not aware that
nearly 50% of Americans speak Spanish.

> It seems that  all
> issues of sorting are going to need to use either a two-byte character
> set or a system of 'value tags' unless the accents can be ignored. In
> of planning for the future - does it really matter ?

Sure, in 75 years when we encounter the Angoleans from planet Megaloid our
computers should support accents because they may get offended that we won't
support their primary language and an all out war may start.

> Languages have a habit of dying out with disuse

While that may be true it would be a bad decision to just ignore other
languages (aside from being a bit arrogant).  Their is still a rather large
demand from non-English speakers.  Supporting other languages could double
the distribution of a product.  Not supporting other languages may also
result loss of support from future companies or not getting support from
current companies.

Scott MacMaster

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