Re: About names again...

From: Mark Leisher (
Date: Fri Jan 09 1998 - 13:18:41 EST

    Michael> If, and only if, a programmer has written an interface which
    Michael> allows automatic translation of e.g. Irish Gaelic "Iosrael" to
    Michael> "376". Can you guarantee that in all of my application
    Michael> environments? Of course you cannot. I need "IL" and "ISR" to
    Michael> input. I cannot remember 376, and the level of language support
    Michael> you mention is not even available for English, much less for
    Michael> Irish Gaelic!

>> And, should the entry be done in this language, the code can be
>> produced and rendered in another language on the other side of the
>> earth.

    Michael> Language codes, script codes, and country codes are tags more
    Michael> than anything else. To enter a tag, I don't need a complex
    Michael> interface. I need two or three keys on my keyboard and a list of
    Michael> tags. It's easiest if the tags are easily remembered.

Let us assume I am from the country Upper Somewhere which has a language and
script that are not based on Latin. When I see "IL" or "ISR," I have no idea
what these are or what they mean. They could be road maps or fine art for all
I know.

So, as a language code using citizen of Upper Somewhere I want a translation
of these mnemonics because the Latin forms are most definitely *not* easy to

Meanwhile, back in reality, I suspect that translating mnemonics is going to
be somewhat more complicated than translating language names. We can argue
all we want about the mnemonics/names, but the numeric codes will always be
the unambiguous representation.

Most of us find ourselves memorizing many numbers anyway, just as part of
everyday life.
Mark Leisher <>
Computing Research Lab "... I could lard the text with
New Mexico State University hotlinks and hotbuttons ..."
Box 30001, Dept. 3CRL -- Paraphrased from
Las Cruces, NM 88003 -- "Headcrash," Bruce Bethke

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