Re: Origin of the term i18n

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Tue Oct 15 2002 - 01:25:04 EDT

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    K5h W6r (hey, you're not cool any more unless you do that) wrote:

    >> Isn't "i18n" rather off-list ?
    > Neither Sarasvati nor the self-styled list police have objected.
    > While historical origin discussions are OT, they do seem to have
    > an interested following on the Unicode list.

    Hmmph. It was a mildly interesting question at first, and it wouldn't
    have been too bad to see six or eight responses, but by my count we are
    up to 52 messages in this thread. (53, counting this one.)

    The participants have either fallen into a religious debate over which
    group or individual first came up with the idea -- as if that could ever
    be proved conclusively -- or have started a fad of coining silly new
    abbreviations (sorry, a10n's), with i18nGuy and Mr. leading the
    charge. I'm sorry, but compared to this, the discussions we used to
    have over fictional and experimental UTF's were monumentally relevant
    and on-topic.

    You won't see *this* happen every day, but I'm in almost total agreement
    with Mark Davis. Some of these number-based abbreviations may be useful
    at times, but for the most part they're like emoticons -- overuse them,
    or cross the line inventing new ones, and they immediately become trite
    and cutesy.

    > Perhaps more to the point, Unicode implementations are all about
    > i18n (or internationalization -- however you want to spell it).
    > And the UTC and L2 committees consider internationalization to be
    > a part of their overall area of concern. And the Unicode conferences
    > definitely cover internationalization issues -- and even some of
    > the details of localization.

    Yes, but using that to justify the "i18n" thread is like saying we
    should have a 52-message thread over the words that can be formed by
    rearranging the letters of "internationalization" or "localization." It
    has nil to do with Unicode.

    >> Is this the same list where people objected to the endless arguments
    >> with William Overington ?
    > Yep. But at least nobody on this thread -- to date -- has claimed
    > a new invention, proposed to encode "i18n" in user space, or
    > proposed lyrics about it to be posted in their family webspace.

    I can do all that, if it would help kill this thread.

    Michael Everson <everson at evertype dot com> responded:

    > Well, obviously i18n should be encoded along with the other squared
    > Latin abbreviations.

    Problem is, we're already (as of 4.0) out of space in the U+33xx block,
    and almost out of space in U+32xx. These squared thingies are even
    starting to spill over into U+21xx. No, I was thinking more along the
    lines of special Plane 14 tags for abbreviations....

    -Doug Ewell, Curmudgeon
     (no, I'm not going to do it; *you* count the letters)

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