RE: HTML forms and UTF-8

From: Chris Pratley (
Date: Mon Nov 22 1999 - 06:04:14 EST

Well Peter that could be, but the extensive customer research that those of
us in the Office group have undertaken in Europe, the Middle East and Asia
indicates otherwise. Software capable of creating Multilingual documents
(esp. euro languages) has been available for years, but all indications are
that the large majority of documents that even multilingual users create are
uni-lingual. The multilingual documents we found while doing our customer
visits were mainly government related, or created by people whose business
was multilingual documents (e.g. translators, linguists). It is not the case
that these documents are hard to create (after all, how hard is a bilingual
French/English or German/English document to create, technically?). It is
just not preferred. Most people create two versions of a document if they
genuinely need multilingual versions of one document. Otherwise, they simply
pick a language appropriate to the audience and use that exclusively. It is
a fairly easy determination. If you know you are writing an internal memo
for the German office, you write in German, but if there is any likelihood
that your document will need to be read by non-German readers, you write in

That's not to say that I (or rather, Microsoft) don't want to create
multilingual-capable software. Obviously we do as evidenced by the work we
did in Office2000. We do some opportunistic work to make multilingual
authoring easy but the multilingual aspect is mainly a side effect of
globalizing the product, and not a primary goal or driving force, as I
discussed in my last presentation at the Unicode conference.

I think you could make a case that publications (as opposed to documents)
are more often multilingual. But the number of publications pales in
comparison to the number of documents created in the world.

Chris Pratley
Lead Program Manager
Microsoft Office

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Saturday, November 20, 1999 7:31 AM
To: Unicode List
Subject: Re: HTML forms and UTF-8


       The fact that multilingual documents are rare can't be taken to
       imply that nobody wants to create them. Rareness may be due
       more to the difficulty in creating them, as others in this
       thread have suggested. It's certainly an important issue for
       our organisation. "If you build it, they will come."


       From: <> AT Internet on 11/08/99 01:32 PM CST

       Received on: 11/08/99

       To: Peter Constable/IntlAdmin/WCT, <> AT
       Subject: Re: HTML forms and UTF-8

       Michael Everson wrote:
> Ar 00:02 -0800 1999-11-08, scríobh Glen Perkins:
> >Thus saith Erik van der Poel <>:
> >>
> >> Multilingual content is rare. Glen, do you need
       multilingual content?
> More people in the world are multilingual than not. Except in
        North America.

       Yes, there are many multilingual people. Multilingual documents
       are rare. I.e. more than one language in a single document.


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