Re: Historians- what is origin of i18n, l10n, etc.?

From: Tex Texin (
Date: Thu Oct 10 2002 - 11:55:05 EDT

  • Next message: Barry Caplan: "Re: Historians- what is origin of i18n, l10n, etc.?"

    Thanks Hideki!

    I went thru my i18n books to scan for mentions. The earliest mention I
    could find for i18n (the abbreviation) was 1992, in "Soft Landing in
    It seems like 1993 some books mention it, and 94 and thereafter it is
    consistently mentioned.

    The term "internationalization" seems vendor oriented. IBM preferred
    "enabling" (and NLS).
    I have some early DEC books (87 or so), and the abbreviation wasn't

    The lack of use in books before 92 could be a choice by the authors that
    the term was jargon or slang and wasn't relevant to explaining the

    It seems to have passed from DEC to Unix usage, if we believe the
    reports I am getting.

    I'll make a web page for this, after I get a few more comments.

    Hideki Hiura wrote:
    > > From: "Winkler, Arnold F" <>
    > > Sometime around 1991 in a IEEE P1003.1 (POSIX) meeting, Gary Miller (IBM)
    > > was writing on the blackboard. After having spelled out
    > > Internationalization a few times, he first abbreviated it to I--n and a bit
    > > later (obviously after counting the letters in between) used I18N. Sandra
    > > might have been at the meeting, and Keld - they might be able to confirm my
    > > recollection.
    > The acronym "I18N" appeared before 1991, since I recall I have
    > already used I18N in '89 ;-).
    > The beginning of this kind of acronym was S12N(Scherpenhuizen) at
    > DEC, as far as on the record, as an email address for him on DEC VMS.
    > By 1985, I18N became an acronym for Internationalization in the I18N
    > team at DEC, by following this Scherpenhuizen's S12N convention.
    > Among the standard organizations, the /usr/group (It became UniForum
    > later) was the first one using I18N as an acronym for
    > Internationalization, in '88.
    > --
    > hiura@{,,,,}
    > Chair, Li18nux/Linux Internationalization Initiative,
    > Board of Directors, Free Standards Group,
    > Architect/Sr. Staff Engineer, Sun Microsystems, Inc, USA eFAX: 509-693-8356

    Tex Texin   cell: +1 781 789 1898
    Xen Master                
    Making e-Business Work Around the World

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu Oct 10 2002 - 12:53:53 EDT