So are there any slash developers on this list paying attention to this exchange or is everyone on vacation still?
 
 
Malcolm Lawrence
Editor-in-Chief
Babel: The multilingual, multicultural
online journal and community of arts and ideas.
http://www.towerofbabel.com
------------------------------------------------------------
Babel wonders: Are you addicted to moderation?
------------------------------------------------------------
----- Original Message -----
From: i18n
To: Malcolm Lawrence
Cc: slashcode-development@lists.sourceforge.net
Sent: Thursday, July 29, 2004 10:28 PM
Subject: Re: [Slashcode-development] towerofbabel.com

I was on vacation right after I wrote that but am back now. I am interested. I think it would be a fine addition for slash. Other CMS's I have looked at (only a small subset of what is out there, but still) do support Unicode. After all, XML is by definition to be in Unicode.

How difficult this would be is hard to say without doing a code analysis, talking with the developers to understand plans for the future, and so forth. I'd be interested to hear from the developers if this is the sort of big bang feature that they can see being part of Slash going forward.

Best,

Barry

Malcolm Lawrence wrote:
"Slash doesn't need to deal with any character set, it only needs to deal
with one - Unicode. The modern browser should/will make conversions to/from
Unicode for both inbound and outbound data. If slash is rewritten to support
Unicode instead of whatever it is now (ISO-8859-1 probably?), then that is
all there is to  it as far as the database is concerned. Even templates
could then be in many languages, even within a template if so desired."

So who wants to help thread Slash with Unicode? How difficult would it be
and how long would it take?


Malcolm Lawrence
Editor-in-Chief
Babel: The multilingual, multicultural
online journal and community of arts and ideas.
http://www.towerofbabel.com
------------------------------------------------------------
Babel knows: It is not unpatriotic to exercise your rights and it is
un-American to suggest otherwise.
------------------------------------------------------------

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Malcolm Lawrence" <malcolm@towerofbabel.com>
To: <slashcode-development@lists.sourceforge.net>; "Barry Caplan"
<bcaplan@i18n.com>
Sent: Thursday, July 01, 2004 7:17 PM
Subject: Re: [Slashcode-development] towerofbabel.com


  
"Slash doesn't need to deal with any character set, it only needs to deal
with one - Unicode. The modern browser should/will make conversions
    
to/from
  
Unicode for both inbound and outbound data. If slash is rewritten to
    
support
  
Unicode instead of whatever it is now (ISO-8859-1 probably?), then that is
all there is to  it as far as the database is concerned. Even templates
could then be in many languages, even within a template if so desired."

Rightio. Any other voices like to chime in about slash and Unicode?


Malcolm Lawrence
Editor-in-Chief
Babel: The multilingual, multicultural
online journal and community of arts and ideas.
http://www.towerofbabel.com
------------------------------------------------------------
Babel knows: People who don't work with their hands are parasites.
------------------------------------------------------------

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Barry Caplan" <bcaplan@i18n.com>
To: "Malcolm Lawrence" <malcolm@towerofbabel.com>;
<slashcode-development@lists.sourceforge.net>
Sent: Thursday, July 01, 2004 7:06 PM
Subject: Re: [Slashcode-development] towerofbabel.com


    
At 06:23 PM 7/1/2004, Malcolm Lawrence wrote:

      
"I can say quite comfortably that using flags as a ui device to
        
indicate
  
language or any other locale issue is a bad bad idea."

True enough. I've been building the site for 8 years and am well aware
        
of
  
all the arguments against. But until a more suitable design element can
        
be
    
implemented (not to mention appropriate icons for topics) they'll have
        
to
  
do. They're pretty, too.
        
Hmm. I guess I wasn't clear enough on this point.

There is not one single professional localizer on the face of the earth
      
that would recommend flags as an UI element indicating locale.
    
I hope that is plain enough. If not, at least it will turn up in google
      
for someone someday who will read why and decide to not use flags. )
    
The reasons, as I enumerated some of them, fall in the general category
      
of
  
"They don't have a one to one relationship with what is being described"
    
and
  
"users have visceral, political feelings about them, usually rightfully
    
so".
  
Example: I am an English speaker in the US. I sometimes see a UK Union
      
Jack flag which is meant to indicate English text. But does it? Or is it
something more specifically about the UK that lurks in that site? What
    
about
  
people in other countries? Do I have to know their flags too? Australia's
first language is English - what flag should they use on their sites to
indicate English localization?
    
Example: I live in Silicon Valley where > 30% of people do not speak
      
English as a first language at home (maybe > 50%! I forget so I will go
    
with
  
the conservative value for now). So if I have content that is US locale
based, but localized into various languages such as Chinese, Spanish,
Vietnamese, etc., what flags shall I use? If not US, then what one to use
again falls into the problem just mentioned - e.g. Spanish is spoken many
places, and is not the same Spanish everywhere anymore then English is
universal.
    
And even if I somehow choose a flag, then what if the same language is
      
used in a different place on the site? I surely won't be using the Taiwan
flag everywhere there is Chinese, nor the PRC flag. Except in those 2
countries, it is hard to see which would be appropriate without offending.
    
Finally, take a look at Canada. With 2 official languages (English and
      
French), what does a Maple Leaf flag say about the language of  the
    
material
  
behind it? Nothing at all! But it might say something very serious about
political issues you don't mean to say!
    
The reason there are no generally accepted icons to represent locale is,
      
quite frankly, because there are none to be had.
    
It is not as though people have not put a lot of thought and hard earned
      
experience into this, looking for a good way. They have. A lot of people
    
and
  
a lot of time.
    
If it is pretty you want, then make whatever you do pretty, whatever
      
that
  
means to you. You can do that and have plain text too. Photoshop works
wonders for that :)
    
For an example of a pretty good effort, look at how yahoo.com indicates
      
locales on their pages. That basic technical approach, coupled with
    
whatever
  
UI beautification is needed for your site, is a pretty good way to go.
    
As for if slashcode supports Unicode, I don't know as it has been well
      
over a year since I looked at it. How complicated that would be to do is a
matter of conjecture - there are technical, testing, and management issues
to consider. I have done just that with closed source code that was far
    
more
  
complex then slashcode, so I am confident it could be done. That it hasn't
been done until now (if it hasn't been done) strikes me a a combination of
all three factors.
    
AFIK Unicode support is de rigeur for any new project that hopes to
      
scale.
  
For any existing project that hopes to stick around with a worldwide user
base, then the switch is going to need to be made. I think I may be
volunteering to work with the developers to understand what the effort
    
level
  
and tasks should be, so that people can sign onto them in a coherent
fashion. But my experience is that this sort of conversion does need to be
coordinated very closely with any other ongoing development, otherwise it
    
is
  
just a fork in the code and no one wants that. Managing the codelines so
they don't fork (or they do but they merge back together at a defined
    
point
  
more likely) is something I can definitely bring to the table.
    
"In a perfect world, the browser would accept HTML in Unicode and
        
display
  
properly from there. For folks whose users all have modern browsers,
        
that
  
is
    
possible. The browser will make the conversion to the right character
encoding locally, or it will have Unicode fonts enabled. When there are
Unicode fonts available, then you get the advantage of displaying
        
multiple
    
languages on a single page, which, frankly, is what I would expect of a
        
site
    
called "towerofbabel.com", slashcode or not :)"

Well, the browser isn't the problem. It's the ability of slash to be
        
able
  
to
    
deal with any character set when a story is submitted or a comment
        
posted.
    
Would those problems go away as soon as slash were dealing with all
        
internal
    
processing in Unicode?
        
Slash doesn't need to deal with any character set, it only needs to deal
      
with one - Unicode. The modern browser should/will make conversions
    
to/from
  
Unicode for both inbound and outbound data.
    
If slash is rewritten to support Unicode instead of whatever it is now
      
(ISO-8859-1 probably?), then that is all there is to  it as far as the
database is concerned. Even templates could then be in many languages,
    
even
  
within a template if so desired.
    
In your case, you probably would not need to go to subdomains unless you
      
wanted to - you could just have slash sections for each language. And if
someone posted Chinese on the French page, so what? slash won't care so
neither should you. Trust me you don't want a case statement for every
codeset dependent feature in the code. Your domain name pretty much sums
    
up
  
the reason why that is the case :)
    
Best,

Barry


      
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