Re: IUC10 - Help for hardship cases

From: Glen C. Perkins (
Date: Fri Jan 24 1997 - 14:49:58 EST

John Plaice wrote:
> A user's sophistication has nothing to do with the communications
> infrastructure of a country, which, in the case of Georgia, is
> quite limited. The proposal below is ridiculous.

I would have thought that starting half of the paragraphs in a
4-paragraph posting with "this is only a partial solution..." would have
been sufficient qualification. Apparently I was too subtle.

There are a *lot* of people in a *lot* of countries who would love to
have access to the conference but can't afford to attend in person,
including many from developed countries. The problem is not limited to
one Georgian, but includes most of my professional software-localizer
friends here in the US and, I assume, most of their peers in Korea,
Thailand, Israel, etc.--all places with at least some web access. There
are also many unicoders with no web access at all, of course. That's why
it would only be a "partial solution".

Their bosses expect them to decide what to do about unicode, and sending
them to Germany is not in the budget. Many, but by no means all,
unicoders have at least some web access. Even in countries with a poor
communications infrastructure overall, there are often "watering holes"
of access at national universities and/or some government offices. The
unicoders, because they tend to be sophisticated computer users, are
more likely to be found around those watering holes than the poets or
the doctors, making a web-based solution likely to succeed for a larger
percentage of unicoders worldwide than for poets worldwide. Putting
conference information on the web would, therefore, be a partial
solution. It wouldn't reach everyone, but it *would* reach a lot of
people. Nothing more was claimed.

The only thing that may be ridiculous about the proposal is the degree
of resources it would require versus the resources currently available.
That is why I'm suggesting just taking it one step at a time, perhaps
beginning with bulleted summaries of each presentation, then adding the
proceedings in HTML format, then the slides plus audio in Shockwave
format.... If there are sponsors for the conference itself, there may be
a way to devote a portion of the sponsorship resources to putting more
and more of the conferences' content on the web. That would be extremely
useful, even if it is just a partial solution.

__Glen Perkins__

Glen C. Perkins <gperkins@netcomcom> wrote:

> There is no substitute for physical attendance by certain national
> representatives, so this is only a partial solution, but I think it
> would be a great goal to work toward putting as much of the conference
> on the web as possible. The sponsors of the conference might consider
> devoting a portion of their resources to using the medium being
> discussed--computers--as a medium.
> It could begin with the conference proceedings in HTML format, then
> slides and summaries of the talks could be provided, and at some point
> the presentations themselves (preferably in Shockwave format to create a
> navigable sync'ed combination of slides and audio) could be made
> available as archives.
> Carrying the conference live via RealAudio could also allow questions to
> be accepted via email during the Q&A sessions, an increasingly popular
> format that even some radio talk shows have begun to adopt. These
> questions, sometimes submitted in advance, would be perused by a
> moderator who would then pose the good ones (or questions representing
> common themes) to the speaker.
> Again, this is only a partial solution, especially because those
> countries having the hardest time sending representatives also tend to
> be those having the hardest time accessing the Internet. Even so, unlike
> conferences on literature, drug policy, or medicine, those interested in
> the details presented at Unicode conferences are nearly all
> sophisticated computer users. It seems to me that the Internet is a
> superb medium if your goal is to convey information to the most
> sophisticated computer users in as many of the world's countries as
> possible.
> __Glen Perkins__

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