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Re: International business communications and Unicode

From: Andrew Cunningham <andrewc@mail.vicnet.net.au>
Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2001 21:18:51 +1000 (EST)
To: Thierry Sourbier <webmaster@i18ngurus.com>
Message-ID: <998565531.3b84e69befebc@info.vicnet.net.au>
Cc: www-international@w3.org
Quoting Thierry Sourbier <webmaster@i18ngurus.com>:

> 
> I don't know about any specific research in that domain. Unicode is
> certainly a great facilitator of multilingual communication and has
> been
> adopted by many standards and platforms (XML, Java, Windows, etc...).
> Its
> impact on non-techies human beings is I think mostly visible by
> linguistic
> minorities. Unicode gives them almost the same ease than English
> speakers to
> communicate using computers (before the lacks of standardization was
> making
> things a bit more difficult). Unicode can be seen as a way to minimize
> the
> "digital divide".
> 


In theory Unicode is a wonderful tool for linguistic minorities, if you only 
look at the unicode standard.

If you look at implimentations of unicode in OS and software, you'll find that 
linguistic minorities have been even more marginalised.

I'm waiting for the day   when it will be practical to do Khmer, Lao and Myanmar 
on a microosft platform. The earliest guess as to when this will happen is an 
operating system after windows-XP. Along with some of the Indic languages.

and then there are all the problems with a range of African languages.

lets see for Syriac, at least we'll get that in windows-XP and IE6.

one of the things i'm interested in is digital books, and from memory microsoft 
still has to develop a version of their ebook reader rthan is able to use 
uniscribe.

the reality is that the best supported langauges have been langauges with 
significant commercial interests. Other langauges were marginalised.

umm Java, where to start with that ... ummm ... again "commercial languages".



Andrew Cunningham
Multilingual Technical Project Officer
Accessibility and Evaluation Unit, Vicnet
State Library of Victoria, 
Australia

andrewc@vicnet.net.au
Received on Thursday, 23 August 2001 07:18:53 GMT

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