It’s just data

Actually innovative

Bob Aman: If you’re working for an actually innovative startup, please consider thinking about i18n, unicode, and all that jazz. Actually, do more than consider it. Just do it. Not everyone speaks English, and there’s no reason to restrict “Web 2.0” (there’s that involuntary shudder again) to English speakers.

Totally disagree. i18n is extremely resource intensive. Everything being equal, the startup that iterates on the English product will easily beat the one that doesn’t iterate on the multi-lingual product.

Posted by pwb at

Hey Sam, I’d like to follow up with you about what we talked about at foo camp, but I don’t have an email address for you, and can’t seem to contact o’reilly to ask one of them for it, due to spam filtering problems. Please mail me at bram at the obvious domain.

Thanks,

-Bram

Posted by Bram at

i18n is extremely resource intensive

I disagree.  Like you, I would prefer to spend my time iterating.  I’ve found that an  ounce of prevention can save me a lot of late night debugging.

Actually translating can come later.  But making sure that your models and views don’t blow chucks when they encounter a character with a high order bit on is a good investment.

Posted by Sam Ruby at

“Not everyone speaks English”.

Nor in fact lives in the USA.  Why would you restrict yourself to whatever percentage of the 250 million people in the US are interested in your product, when you could restrict yourself to whatever percentage of 6 Billion people (have computers/internet) and may be interested in it?

Posted by Ross at

Sam Ruby: Actually innovative

Sam Ruby: Actually innovative: “If you’re working for an actually innovative startup, please consider thinking about i18n, unicode, and all that jazz. Actually, do more than consider it. Just do it. Not everyone speaks English, and there’s no...

Excerpt from Peter Van Dijck's Guide to Ease at


Actually translating can come later.

Yeah, that was pretty much exactly my point.  Especially if you’re going down the volunteer translator route.  Those volunteers only show up after you have a passionate user-base, which of course, first requires a product.  And seriously, if all it takes is writing _('This is a string') instead of 'This is a string' and setting up an organized directory structure for the translation stuff, well, what do you have to lose?  (Besides a lot of users?)


i18n is extremely resource intensive.

I assume you mean “resource intensive” in terms of human time, as opposed to computer time.  Because personally, I haven’t noticed any significant drops in performance as a result of playing around with gettext.  And if you do mean human time, I’m still not buying it, because, like I alluded to in my entry, i18n can be as simple as following a simple, well-written tutorial.  Not even a day’s effort in Rails to get going down the right path.  That’s a very small price to pay.  And the good-will alone that that can generate will be more than worth the price of admission.

Posted by Bob Aman at

Of course, now and then i18n goes wrong... like last week when my blog started randomly displaying in Czech (or at least I think it was Czech) for no apparently reason.  And then after a few hours, it went back to displaying in English.  I’m still confused by this because no i18n-related environment variables were set on my TextDrive account, and it was only happening if it was being run under lighttpd.  Webrick and Apache both displayed the blog in English, but otherwise the environment was pretty much the same.  Nothing in the lighttpd.conf file was amiss.

Very weird.

Posted by Bob Aman at

funny characters are not ☢

sam ruby pulled a good quote on building in support for internationalization in web applications, which i agree is really important.it is very annoying that i can’t use my flickr recent comments feed because the atom feed is broken due to bad utf-8...

Excerpt from trained monkey at

Sometimes the dragon wins

ɥɦɐ  An advantage of declaring this page as utf-8 is that I can distinguish between somebody typing ɥɦɐ and ɥɦɐ, meaning that people don’t have to double escape if they want to talk about ... [more]

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