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Re: Euro mess (Was: valid locales ---> was bilingual websites

From: Barry Caplan <bcaplan@i18n.com>
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2001 12:35:51 -0800
Message-Id: <5.0.2.1.2.20011107123324.01971df0@i18n.com>
To: David_Possin@i2.com, "Tex Texin" <texin@progress.com>
Cc: cbrown@xnetinc.com, www-international@w3.org, www-international-request@w3.org
At 01:16 PM 11/7/2001 -0600, David_Possin@i2.com wrote:


I am **** this close*** to having a web site designed specifically for the 
topics and target audiences David mentioned. Some of you have already seen 
the beta - I could use a small handful of additional beta testers right now.

Conveniently enough, the url will be www.i18n.com - go there for a link on 
how to sign up to help me test....

Barry



>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:
>    * Locale definition - what is a locale?
>    * Locale identification - how many parameters are needed for a default 
> minimal locale description?
>    * 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)
>    * 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.
>    * Currencies - Locales have only one currency tied to them, and 
> European locales still all have their national currencies implied.
>    * 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.
>    * 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: www-international-request@w3.org
>
>    * 11/07/01 12:15 PM
>    *
>    *         To:        "Carl W. Brown" <cbrown@xnetinc.com>
>    *         cc:        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
>    * -------------------------------------------------------------
Received on Wednesday, 7 November 2001 15:37:11 GMT

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