Re: Unicode Hate Mail

From: Martin J. Duerst (
Date: Fri Jan 24 1997 - 06:15:43 EST

On Fri, 24 Jan 1997 Glenn Adams wrote:

> Fellow Unicoders and Internationalists,
> Well, it's quite interesting to receive my first true "hate-mail" message.
> I didn't realize that Unicode would have such an impact on the bigotted,
> and, shall I say, spineless, members of some (I won't say 'our') society
> such as is exhibited in the following.
> If anyone knows this individual, please forward me the particulars, as I'll
> have to start a file for any future investigation ...
> Regards,
> Glenn Adams

While I don't want to downplay the backwardness of that mail, the shock
one has when one recieves such a mail, or the continuation and bad
consequences this might have, it's worth to mention a few other points.

- The oppinions in the mail are so obviously out of bounds that
        they don't pose a threat to Unicode. The rumors spread
        e.g. Japan are much more of a problem.

- It's rather probable that this is the one-time outburst of a
        frustrated programmer already having difficulties with
        the rest of the fast-pacing computer developments.

- It's interesting to note how close some of the comments come to
        what I have repeatedly said in talks at Unicode conferences
        (but please note the differences!!!).

> >I don't care, I don't want to care, and I highly resent people like you
> >forcing me to care.

What I said was: Average programmers don't care [about Unicode/i18n],
don't want to care, and are not able to care.

I then went on to show that with well-designed architectures and
object-oriented technology, it was possible to isolate the greatest
part of i18n issues from the application programmer.
I still think that existing libraries, APIs, and tools do a mixed
or poor job in this respect, and can and should be improved.

Regards, Martin.

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