[openbeos] Re: [almost On Topic, no flames] Was: Locale Kit

  • From: <kevin.lawton@xxxxxx>
  • To: <openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2003 12:03:43 -0000

| <kevin.lawton@xxxxxx> trolled: 
Actually I wrote, not trolled. No trolling here.
|  ...
| > I now need to learn Unicode, don't I. I'll have a google.
| > So I guess the question now comes down to whether all
| > the characters and all the accents used in all languages
| > sort in the correct order in Unicode.
| UNICODE is a character encoding system. You're not supposed to learn it any
| more than you're supposed to learn how floating point works in ones and
| zeros. There are multiple standards within Unicode but IIRC the original was
| 16 bits. BeOS makes use of an intermediate standard called UTF8 where ASCII
| characters remain single-byte, while characters not supported by ASCII are
| represented by 3 bytes. This way you remain sort of compatible with ASCII. 
Yeah, I realise that. I guess I meant 'learn how Unicode is used in practise'. 
| Sorting is done differently in different languages/cultures. 
Too right - or even between different organisations in the same language & 
culture. It is beginning to appear that the issue of alphabetic sorting will be 
resolved by a more elaborate sorting technique - perhaps by using a 'tag sort' 
?  That is, given each alphabetic character or symbol a 'tag'  depending on 
which locale the sort is being performed in, and then sorting the tags. 
Somewhat more long-winded and inefficient than the old ASCII-sort techniques. 
| It's beyond the scope of character encoding. Some languages, like Chinese, 
| can't be sorted in the way we sort American European languages. You can try 
| all you want to diminish the historical/current/future value/validity of 
| non-"American" languages, but it remains a fact that there are intelligent 
life forms
| outside the US. 
Of that I have no doubt !  I am in no way biased towards anything American, 
except maybe certain products from the Fender, Gibson and Rickenbacker 
factories.  I was quite simply stating that, as English is becoming the 
predominant language for international business and commercial communications, 
then it makes sense that it will find increasing usage worldwide. This will in 
turn lead to a lessening of the use of the indigenous languages of many 
countries.  Consider why America speaks a form of English, as opposed to one of 
the native American Indian tribal dialects or even Norse (as there were Viking 
settlers in the US centuries before Columbus arrived). 
| It's strange that while Americans seem to often cherish their ethnic
| heritage (5% Irish, 75% Dutch, 20% Chinese, ad absurdum) there's this idea
| that the US of A is the be all end all. Apparently Europe is no longer en
| vogue, now that we disagree on how to work for a better tomorrow. 
Hopefully, we will eventually agree that a democracy involves accepting other 
people's ideas and opinions. Some of us realise that many European countries 
are culturally too different to be comfortably unified. Not that this was 
supposed to be a political discussion. 
| BTW, what's with all the US flame trolling when you're on a British ISP? 
Not flame trolling - just discussing. I am as deeply sad as anybody when a 
piece of culture dies out - particularly a language. Some time ago, when I 
heard that the last Cornish speaker was at death's door, my initial reaction 
was to see if I could get a few months off work to visit her and learn the 
language. Unfortunately, the end came too soon. Cornish is now officially 
'dead'. I don't like it or want it but, as Forrest Gump said 'shit happens'. 
| Another brit in the lap of Uncle Sam? ;-]   
No way. You're a mile off the mark there, mate. 
| Face it, you just got lucky. The US could have chosen German over English. 
Perhaps if the USA didn't speak a form of English, then their commercialism 
wouldn't be eroding Britain's culture. Then again, perhaps not. Israel's 
official language is Hebrew, and yet America has a strong influence there as 

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