RE: TR35

From: Peter Constable (
Date: Wed May 12 2004 - 13:00:06 CDT

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    > I see both language IDs and locale IDs as having usage beyond what you
    say. Both
    > can be tagging content (e.g. this content was generated in accordance
    > locale x,

    It's not particularly useful to communicate that a document was created
    when a locale with such-and-such number format was in effect, because
    that only meant how automated processes would format numbers, the author
    can choose to do something else, and the document can even use multiple
    formats: 1,234.56 as well as 1.234,56 (and it's not hard to imagine how
    the two formats might have been automatically added to the document at
    different times). Moreover, you would never label a document for a
    number format in order to determine how automated-formatting of numbers
    should be done on the receiving system.

     or this content represents the collation sequence for locale/language
    > y). Both can be used in queries (give me content, but restrict to what
    > appropriate for languages x and y; give me content, but restrict to
    what is
    > appropriate for locales z, w).

    I don't contest that both can be used in queries. I do not think that it
    makes sense to declare locale attributes of content.

    > I think we would both agree that timezones and currencies (but *not*
    > names) are orthogonal to language.


    > Where we might differ on -- and where
    > everyone seems to differ on -- is the meaning of the term "locale".
    > interpret it very narrowly, essentially coextensive with language;

    I don't know that I've seen such narrow interpretation, except from you.
    I've already communicated my concerns at you introducing this usage,
    since it perpetuates confusion between two things that really are
    distinct: one's an attribute of content, the other is a processing mode.

    > some
    > interpret it very broadly, essentially a bundle of user preferences /
    > information).

    I'd take it slightly further: locale is a processing mode, tailored in
    relation to a set of (mostly or entirely culture-related) user
    preferences. The tailoring is done using bundles of locale data.

    (I'd use three terms in discussing locales: "locale" is the processing
    mode, "locale data" is the collection of parameter values used to
    configure that mode, and "locale ID" is something passed in an API to
    set or determine that mode.)

    > I fully agree that under the latter interpretation, it is very
    > important to distinguish between a language ID and a locale ID.

    I am glad we at least agree on that :-)

    Peter Constable
    Globalization Infrastructure and Font Technologies
    Microsoft Windows Division

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