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Re: dynamic language switching



Erik

>At the Sevilla conference last week, a few mentioned the need to be able
>to dynamically switch the language of the client's menus and so on. I'd
>like to hear a few examples of situations where this is really needed
>(as opposed to just being "nice").

Let me give you just one example. I have to go to Luxembourg from time to
time to consult with my boss. While I am there I need to look up reference
material on the Internet on either his machine or his secretary's machine.
He is a German, his secretary is French. He has a German Qwertz keyboard and
a version of Netscape configured for German messages. She has a French
Azerty keyboard and a version of Netscape configured for French messages.
Whilst I can, as I know most of the message types and menu positions, manage
to decode the messages and menu options into English I still have to look at
the keyboard before typing. What I would ideally like to be able to do is
to, simply, change the configuration to English to get English messages
using touch typing as if I was using the English Qwerty keyboard I use at
home to access the net.

The problem is really one of Nomadicity. The ISO JTC1 Special Working Group
on the Global Information Infrastructure has identified Nomadicity as one of
the key areas for which standards need to be addressed in the remainder of
this millenium. Nomadicity is the ability to work on any machine anywhere as
if you were working on your own computer in your own office. This includes
more than just changing languages. It involves invoking a user-specific
configuration file in response to log-on that sets your preferences to those
you would have at home, including such things as preferred colours and
display characteristics, default pages, and preferred communication
channels/ISP. It also involves users being able to define criteria that
allow them to define the level of service they expect, and to limit the
amount they are willing to pay for that level of service from their current
location. I would welcome the chance to discuss with you further the
specification of Nomadicity being developed by ISO and the NIST IISP team in
the US.

Martin Bryan
----
Martin Bryan, The SGML Centre, Churchdown, Glos. GL3 2PU, UK 
Phone/Fax: +44 1452 714029   WWW home page: http://www.u-net.com/~sgml/



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