Re: Multilingual Documents [was: HTML forms and UTF-8]

From: Glen Perkins (
Date: Wed Nov 24 1999 - 05:37:41 EST

----- Original Message -----
From: Chris Pratley <>
To: Unicode List <>
Sent: Tuesday, November 23, 1999 6:04 PM
Subject: RE: Multilingual Documents [was: HTML forms and UTF-8]

> 6. Another point made by a couple of people is that you can measure the
> ratio of documents (as we were discussing), or you can also measure the
> percent of users who *ever* have to create even one multi-language
> This percentage is considerably higher than the percentage of multilingual
> documents, more like 10-30% of users as opposed to <1% of documents. If
> are strictly looking at business cases, then this is a misleading number,
> because a feature that makes a significant percentage of users' work
> is more valuable than one that makes a tiny percent easier. So measuring
> per-document makes more sense.

This document-based analysis may be the explanation for why Windows lacked
anything remotely similar to the Mac's WorldScript for nearly a decade,
telling me at nearly every trade show that "nobody wants multilingual".
Those in charge must have concluded that if there wasn't much demand for
multilingual documents, then there wasn't much need for multilingual OSes.
This ignores the fact that, as has been pointed out, most people are
multilingual. They may only want to write monolingual documents, but that
might mean English email to their boss and Chinese email to their parents,
responding in French to French clients and in German to German clients while
doing a project for their synagogue in Hebrew, etc. Those scenarios only
require monolingual documents, yet they require multilingual OSes, unless
you want to switch OSes for every document.

Glen Perkins

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