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Re: valid locales ---> was Re: bilingual websites

From: Thierry Sourbier <webmaster@i18ngurus.com>
Date: Mon, 5 Nov 2001 22:51:22 +0100
Message-ID: <000201c1668f$b9739200$7678fea9@dell400>
To: <www-international@w3.org>

I'd like to point out that there is no strict definition of a locale, it is
therefore impossible to decide what's right or wrong. Locales are just a
mean to identify different target market which is inherently a fuzy

Java or Microsoft locale schemes while certainly not perfect are probably
greatly enough for most users. For the others dealing with huge
multi-locales apps the formatting issues are probably very minor compared to
defining the right business logic and data models.

>> The article on Internationalization is in the JDJ october 2001 issue.

part of the article (source code and figures) are available at:


www.i18ngurus.com - Open Internationalization Resources Directory

----- Original Message -----
From: "by way of Martin Duerst <duerst@w3.org>" <Aruna_Goli@i2.com>
To: <www-international@w3.org>
Sent: Monday, November 05, 2001 7:20 PM
Subject: Re: valid locales ---> was Re: bilingual websites

> David,
> Date, time, number, and currency formats are set by the country, true but
> any programming language like Java or others, t
> specifying the country does not mean it will give you the required/correct
> format. Also depending on the type of application and  user the date
> pattern can be defined in two or three ways for any given country. Same
> goes for the other formats too. The reason we specify the currency pattern
> as part of the locale is to overcome any inconsistencies that might exist
> in the programming language for instance indian currency pattern is not
> supported in JDK 1.2.2 (though  ICU supports it now).
> The article on Internationalization is in the JDJ october 2001 issue.
> Thanks
> Aruna
> David Possin
> 10/31/2001 02:41 PM
>       To:       Aruna Goli/AMER/i2Tech@i2Tech, markus.scherer@jtcsv.com
>       cc:       www-international@w3.org, www-international-request@w3.org
>       Subject:       Re: valid locales ---> was Re: bilingual
> a6b1917f88256af6007973da>Link
> Aruna,
> I didn't include all the other i18n parameters because they are defined by
> one of the four parameters I listed. Date, time, number, and currency
> formats are set by the country, as are addresses, telephone numbers, and
> much more. What I was going after is which parameters are required to
> clearly identify the locale setting for all parameters of the session. I
> mainly wanted to state that the current definition of a locale is useless
> and it is a shame that every company has to write their own i18n libraries
> to correct all the issues. Java is touted as the best programming language
> for i18n in the world, our daily efforts prove it wrong.
> Could you point me to that article, please? I would like to read about
> is planned to correct the issues we are having. And this is not a Java
> issue, C++ needs the support as well. I do not see ICU improving anything
> in locale definition, either, although it would be an ideal chance to
> create a corrected library there. I doubt operating systems will pick up
> this anytime soon, there are too many compatibility issue tied to the
> existing locale definition.
> A question for Markus Scherer: Is anything planned on improving locale
> descriptions or has it been thought about for ICU?
> Thanks,
> David
> Aruna Goli
> 10/31/01 04:18 PM
>       To:       David_Possin@i2.com
>       cc:       Karl Ove Hufthammer <huftis@bigfoot.com>,
> www-international@w3.org, www-international-request@w3.org
>       Subject:       Re: valid locales ---> was Re: bilingual
> 3ac1122886256af6006b910f>Link
> There are several other aspects which also define a locale. In our
> we use more parameters to define what a locale
> might mean. And it has been working out well to handle all the situations
> described below.
> In addition to this  language_country_timezone_base-currency, the date and
> time formats and the formatting conventions
> for numbers and currencies also changes depending on the application.
> Recently there has been an article in Java Developer's Journal
> the necessity to use this methodology. The general idea is that we need
> wait for the operating system or the programming languages to provide this
> support but can implement this in our own internationalization libraries.
> thanks
> Aruna
> David_Possin@i2.com
> Sent by: www-international-request@w3.org
> 10/31/2001 10:47 AM
>        To:       Karl Ove Hufthammer <huftis@bigfoot.com>
>        cc:       www-international@w3.org,
>        Subject:       valid locales ---> was Re: bilingual websites
> 2001-10-31 01:39:43, Yves Arrouye <yves@realnames.com>:
>  > It is not obtained from Regional Settings. It is obtained from
>  > an IE-specific setting located in Options > Languages...
> - Yes, I knew that. What I meant was if the default language for the
> - IE settings (dialogue) was retrieved from the Regional Settings.
>  > Note
>  > that with IE6, the script runonce.asp that is ran whenever you
>  > update Windows (IE) will ask you for a country and a language,
>  > and set the setting.
> - Hmm, I've never seen this. Does it only happen if *haven't* chosen
> - a language for 'Tools | Internet Options | Languages'?
> - --
> - Karl Ove Hufthammer
> On a fresh/clean install IE derives the default locale from the regional
> settings. If IE is updated it uses what it finds in the Preferred
> Languages, keeping the top one as the default. You always have at least
> language in the Preferred Language settings, it defaults to what it
> determines during install time. I do not understand why the runonce.asp
> asks for the language after an upgrade, why would I want to change my
> existing preferences? Or does it mean the language for the MSN homepage
> when you choose to use it? This would make no sense, as it is country and
> not language dependent.
> Which leads me to my largest gripe and problem in globalization:
> What is a valid locale???????
> So far we have ISO codes for language (I prefer language group) and for
> country (I prefer region). But there is not standard definition that tells
> me which combinations are valid. Therefore I assume that any combination
> valid and legal and can be used. WRONG!
> Depending on the operating system version, the browser version, the Java
> version, their localization, and their manufacturers I get different
> accepted pairs I can use to describe a locale. I cannot create any other
> locales without crashing something or defaulting to something I do not
> want. Sure I can use locale variants, but they are also not created and
> usable equally for all platforms.
> We build ecommerce platforms here that are used by many multinational
> corporations for b2b, b2b2c, and b2c applications in the SCM and CRM
> worlds. We run on the major hardware platforms with all kinds of software
> combinations = a mess! We need to run in multiple locales, be multilingual
> on the same page, and be able to calculate and use any currency and/or
> multiple currencies. The current usage of a locale identifier does not
> support any of this.
> Let me describe 2 simple workflows our customers require. A major online
> bookseller wants to display the site in the user's language and the user's
> currency. That means a Mexican living in the USA has either en_US or es_MX
> setting - the es_US pair is invalid and fallback is to es_ES = Spain,
> definitely not what the customer or the supplier wants. The bookseller
> wants to offer Spanish titles with Mexican preferences in US dollars.
> The next workflow describes a manufacturer of heavy machinery in Russia.
> The diesel motors come from various suppliers in Russia, Germany, China,
> and USA. Each make their offer in their local currency, the conversion
> Rubel is done daily. 25 motors each come from each of the suppliers, so
> sum must reflect all involved currencies, plus triangulation of
> DEM-EURO-Rubel. The offers and confirmations must be in the various
> languages, some parts must be displayed at the same time, also using
> different units.
> Therefore we had to ignore locale identifiers for our application, write
> our own language, region, time zone, and currency APIs, and maintain all
> ourselves. Even obvious "globalized" Java standards were useless, because
> they were inconsistent between the platforms. Our locales are now defined
> internally as
>       language_country_timezone_base-currency
> Is there any way the forced pairing of locales in operating systems and
> software can be ripped apart? Using International Win2000 and
> Solaris with all language packs installed I should be able to select any
> the listed identifiers independently and get the required results without
> having to rewrite all myself. I cannot expect users to fine-tune their
> regional settings for me.
> Sorry if this email is too long, but after listening to everybody else I
> had to get to the core of the issues.
> David Possin
Received on Tuesday, 6 November 2001 01:50:06 UTC

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