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locales

From: Tex Texin <texin@progress.com>
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2001 14:53:37 -0500
Message-ID: <3BE99141.6D512D91@progress.com>
To: David_Possin@i2.com
CC: cbrown@xnetinc.com, www-international@w3.org, www-international-request@w3.org
David,

If you would set up an archived forum, that would be great. It will save
me trying to identify which messages are relevant and saving them all on
my drive.

Mentioning time zones will, I am sure, insure a blast from Carl. (;-) I
look forward to it.)
One point is that a locale may include more than one zone (e.g. US goes
from EST, CST PST) so is ambiguous, and we may go down the trail of the
changes to daylight savings time may vary within a locale.

A key question for me is which of the many variables for
internationalization belong in a locale and which belong in some other
structure?

Maybe time and calendar should not be a function of locale...
Maybe currency should not be.

Which variables are best associated with the locale, which with the
data, and which with the application?
For example, since I develop database products, and I cannot have
indexes changing on me, I always include the rules for sorting in the
database, with the data.

I don't generally worry about hyphenation, I would probably keep rules
for that with the application (the choice being influenced but not
defined by locale).

tex



David_Possin@i2.com wrote:
> 
> I would propose to open a discussion forum for locales in the
> yahoo.groups like many other globalization people have done for other
> issues. It will be tough keeping up to date with all the threads
> starting to pop up, and all are extremely important to me and my job.
> Here are the issues I have been trying to monitor and even reply to,
> adding my 2 cents:
> 
>   1. Locale definition - what is a locale?
>   2. Locale identification - how many parameters are needed for a
>      default minimal locale description?
>   3. Language identification - how can we identify languages that are
>      not included in the ISO 639 language group standard? (Current
>      locale identifiers use the 2-letter code, not the 3-letter code)
>   4. Time zones - There is no standard, the tz database is as close as
>      I can get to a standard and it is not officially tied to a
>      locale. This only touches the need for a standard global time &
>      date display.
>   5. Currencies - Locales have only one currency tied to them, and
>      European locales still all have their national currencies
>      implied.
>   6. Euro - The big problem is not the display, but how to use it. The
>      EC has strict requirements on how to do currency triangulation
>      with the euro. We discovered that rounding problems popped up
>      everywhere, especially when using euro precision for calculation
>      and had to display the value in a currency without decimals. It
>      would be a dream to have this in ICU.
>   7. Even when the euro becomes standard for a country, older
>      transactions will still have to be working with old currencies
>      and/or triangulation. We can't just convert them.
> 
>      This only lists what has been mentioned in the last few days,
>      there is much more to be mentioned. I am trying to make PMs,
>      Devs, QA, etc globally aware here, but it is very hard to get
>      official requirements written up when there are no standards I
>      can show as reference.
> 
>      And my biggest proposal is to break the tie between language and
>      country when selecting a locale.
> 
>      Dave
> 
>       "Tex Texin" <texin@progress.com>
>       Sent by:                                   To:        "Carl W.
>       www-international-request@w3.org   Brown" <cbrown@xnetinc.com>
>                                                  cc:
>       11/07/01 12:15 PM                   www-international@w3.org
>                                                  Subject:        Re:
>                                          Euro mess (Was: valid
>                                          locales ---> was  bilingual
>                                          websites
> 
>      Carl,
> 
>      I hope the locales issue doesn't fan out into thousands of other
>      threads, I won't be able to track them.
> 
>      With respect to the Euro, there are several different issues.
> 
>      a) Of course the Euro is important and having proper support for
>      the
>      Euro is required.
> 
>      b) ISO 8859-15 does not seem to be getting much adoption, which
>      is a
>      good thing. Since 8859-15 and 8859-1 are incompatible, and if you
>      adopt
>      8859-15 you likely still need to interchange text with users of
>      8859-1,
>      (as they both support the same languages more or less), the world
>      would
>      be a very difficult if there was a lot of adoption of -15.
> 
>      Anyone considering -15, should instead be considering Unicode.
> 
>      And there are other alternatives if the only requirement is to
>      support
>      the Euro character and continue with a single byte codepage.
>      Spelling out "Eur" or "Euro" is acceptable if there is space. And
>      inventing mechanisms (e.g. escape sequences, or other specialized
>      encodings) to print the Euro symbol are also possible.
> 
>      c) The issue relative to locales, is there is no standard
>      handling for
>      the Euro. So my understanding is some software will change the
>      currency
>      of their European locales from native monetary units to Euro on
>      Jan. 1.
>      This may be useful for some, but will likely break many
>      applications as
>      well.
> 
>      Others will create new locales specific to the Euro and/or
>      specific to
>      the old native currency. But which nomenclature you use when you
>      are
>      integrating software with different technologies and different
>      locale
>      naming conventions is a mystery to me.
> 
>      So now if I say fr_fr I do not know which currency I get and it
>      may
>      change from Dec 31 2001 to Jan 1 2002.
>      If I use an application that integrates technologies with
>      different
>      rules for locales, it could get very messy.
> 
>      I presume reading monetary data created before 2002 may also be
>      interpreted differently after 2002.
> 
>      And minor upgrades of software may in fact invoke these locale
>      changes,
>      so what should be a minor patch may in fact be a large change to
>      monetary handling.
> 
>      d) I don't know why there isn't more of an outcry over this.
>      Maybe there
>      is a reason the problems I cite in (c) won't happen that I don't
>      understand. (I am by no means an expert on the subject. Most of
>      my own
>      software has explicit regional settings and doesn't follow the
>      locale
>      model.) It will be interesting to know what people find if they
>      change
>      their system clock to 2002 and do some application testing.
> 
>      hth
>      tex
> 
>      "Carl W. Brown" wrote:
>      >
>      > Tex,
>      >
>      > I wonder why no one seems to care about the Euro?  Are sites
>      going to
>      > continue to use iso-5589-1?  How many browsers and systems
>      support
>      > iso-5589-15?
>      >
>      > Carl
>      >
>      > > -----Original Message-----
>      > > From: www-international-request@w3.org
>      > > [mailto:www-international-request@w3.org]On Behalf Of Tex
>      Texin
>      > > Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2001 7:42 PM
>      > > To: Martin Duerst
>      > > Cc: David_Possin@i2.com; Karl Ove Hufthammer;
>      www-international@w3.org
>      > > Subject: Re: valid locales ---> was Re: bilingual websites
>      > >
>      > >
>      > > Martin,
>      > >
>      > > You mean I can't just grouse and take potshots from the
>      sidelines? ;-)
>      > >
>      > > Well, I have not seen an alternative proposed and I don't
>      have one at
>      > > the ready, but I don't mind taking a shot at improving the
>      current
>      > > situation. However, I am crunching now thru the end of the
>      year, so I
>      > > will give it a go in the new year.
>      > > In the meantime, I would be happy to collect both suggestions
>      for
>      > > requirements and suggestions for solutions on this list or
>      privately.
>      > >
>      > > The new year should be interesting, as the switch to the new
>      Euro
>      > > currency will demonstrate some of the chaos with locales.
>      > >
>      > > tex
>      > >
>      > > Martin Duerst wrote:
>      > > >
>      > > > Tex - Could you write up (short), or point to, any proposal
>      > > > for how to do better than currently?
>      > > >
>      > > > Regards,  Martin.
>      > > >
>      > > > At 14:57 01/10/31 -0500, Tex Texin wrote:
>      > > > >David,
>      > > > >
>      > > > >FWIW, I thoroughly agree that locales as we currently
>      define and
>      > > > >implement them, do not work.
>      > > > >As a naming convention it is inadequate, and when you
>      select a
>      > > name, you
>      > > > >are not sure what behavior you will get.
>      > > > >
>      > > > >I have mentioned this before, and the response is always
>      "Yes, it's
>      > > > >broken, but it is the best we have at the moment.".
>      > > > >
>      > > > >It is rather unfortunate that we have this methodology
>      therefore, and
>      > > > >that it is accepted, since it won't be fixed as long as
>      this response
>      > > > >continues.
>      > > > >
>      > > > >tex
>      > > > >
>      > > > >--
>      > > >
>      >-------------------------------------------------------------
>      > > > >Tex Texin                    Director, International
>      Business
>      > > > >mailto:Texin@Progress.com    Tel: +1-781-280-4271
>      > > > >the Progress Company         Fax: +1-781-280-4655
>      > > >
>      >-------------------------------------------------------------
>      > >
>      > > --
>      > > -------------------------------------------------------------
>      > > Tex Texin                    Director, International Business
>      > > mailto:Texin@Progress.com    Tel: +1-781-280-4271
>      > > the Progress Company         Fax: +1-781-280-4655
>      > > -------------------------------------------------------------
>      > >
> 
>      --
>      -------------------------------------------------------------
>      Tex Texin                    Director, International Business
>      mailto:Texin@Progress.com    Tel: +1-781-280-4271
>      the Progress Company         Fax: +1-781-280-4655
>      -------------------------------------------------------------

-- 
-------------------------------------------------------------
Tex Texin                    Director, International Business
mailto:Texin@Progress.com    Tel: +1-781-280-4271
the Progress Company         Fax: +1-781-280-4655
-------------------------------------------------------------
"When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the
one I've never tried before."- -Mae West
Received on Wednesday, 7 November 2001 14:53:41 GMT

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