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Re: Why "color"

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2009 11:26:19 -0600
Message-ID: <dd0fbad0902190926y4cf003d6p4799157ff4331c1@mail.gmail.com>
To: Philip TAYLOR <P.Taylor@rhul.ac.uk>
Cc: Daniel Glazman <daniel.glazman@disruptive-innovations.com>, Adam Twardoch <list.adam@twardoch.com>, Philip TAYLOR <Philip-and-LeKhanh@royal-tunbridge-wells.org>, www-style@w3.org
On Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 10:53 AM, Philip TAYLOR <P.Taylor@rhul.ac.uk> wrote:
> With respect, Daniel, "reality" requires recognising
> the fact that most of the world does not speak English
> (in any of its variants) as a first language, and that
> we who are in the privileged position of being able
> to discuss standards for future software specifications
> have a duty not only to recognise this fact but to
> build in this recognition into specifications currently
> under discussion.

You don't need to know English to learn a limited set of language
tokens written more-or-less in English.  It does help, of course.

On the other hand, localizing your tokens automatically cuts you off
from the vast majority of code in the wild.  If you're a French
speaker who knows no English, and you learn French-token CSS, you
can't use *any* of the vast, vast quantities of CSS help on the web.
You can't copy-paste code (unless the mapping preserves the original
English tokens as well - hope there's no conflicts, especially if you
have people from multiple languages working together!).  You can't
even *read* code written by the majority of the world (and they can't
read yours).

As much as humanly/technically possible, we of course want to support
the diversity of languages on our planet.  But in some cases it is
advantageous *to the speakers of non-English languages* to purposely
ignore their language, and use the dominant one (English, currently).
Programming language tokens are one such area.

~TJ
Received on Thursday, 19 February 2009 17:26:56 GMT

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