suggestion for /usr/src/UPDATING
brad at stop.mail-abuse.org
Tue Aug 31 06:44:08 PDT 2004
At 1:52 AM -0700 2004-08-31, David Syphers wrote:
>> Think French. Gauche and Droite. 
>> Does hard-coding "g" and "d" into the program make any more sense
> No, unfortunately, because on QWERTY "d" is to the left of "g". Same problem
> as with "r" and "l".
Uhh, you haven't seen French keyboards, have you? They don't use
QWERTY. They use AZERTY -- Although I can't recall off the top of my
head where "d" and "g" fall on the layout.
For that matter, Swiss French keyboards are slightly different
from Belgian/French French keyboards. I've gone through four or five
different keyboards on this damn laptop I'm using at the moment,
including Swiss French, Belgian/French French, German QWERTZU, and I
don't remember what all else. Trust me, they're all slightly
For some of them, if you want to type numbers, you have to hold
down a function key and then hit one of the keys on the top row which
are otherwise reserved for other characters/character modifiers which
are not typically found within the English/Roman alphabet.
Now imagine what happens when you start talking about Slavic
languages which have some characters that I imagine almost no
American or native English-speaker in Europe has ever seen. Or the
middle eastern languages like Farsi. Or Hebrew. Or Hindi. Or the
three different written versions of Japanese. Or Chinese.
Things get really interesting when you start talking about
ideograph-based languages for which an adult might be expected to
remember 5000-8000 different unique characters, and for which
keyboards might have 200 or more keys.
So, when talking about these issues, you not only need to think
about language, but also keyboard layouts.
If you're going to be serious about proposing alternatives, you
need to address those issues as well as others. And you need to be
willing to come up with the necessary internationalization
infrastructure to deal with all the possible permutations and
Or, you can decide to just live with what is hard-coded into the
current version of the program.
> Mmm... I think we're about ready for chat@ here...
That was kind of my point. I was being sarcastic, but I guess
that didn't come through.
Brad Knowles, <brad at stop.mail-abuse.org>
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little
temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
-- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), reply of the Pennsylvania
Assembly to the Governor, November 11, 1755
SAGE member since 1995. See <http://www.sage.org/> for more info.
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