Re: internationalization assumption

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Wed Sep 29 2004 - 11:42:35 CST

  • Next message: Philippe Verdy: "Re: internationalization assumption"

    From: "Antoine Leca" <>
    > On Tuesday, September 28th, 2004 03:22 "Tom" wrote:
    >> Let's say. The test engineer ensures the functionality and validates
    >> the input and output on major Latin 1 languages, such as German,
    >> French, Spanish, Italian,
    > Just a side point: French cannot be fully addressed with Latin 1.

    True, due to the missing (but rare) oe or OE ligature (which is present in
    the newer Latin 9, as well as in the Windows ANSI codepage 1252 for western
    European languages).
    Anyway, no French users actually complain of this omission: either they use
    ISO-8859-1 and the ligatures will simply be replaced by separate vowels
    (which is still correct for French collation, even though the strict French
    orthograph requires using a ligature when *rendering*; in addition, French
    keyboards typically never include a key to enter these ligatures, which are
    only entered with "assisted" word processors with on-the-fly
    autocorrection), or they will use the Windows 1252 codepage without seeing
    that these characters were added to Latin 1 by Microsoft in its Windows
    A few common sample words that use these ligatures are "oeil" (english:
    eye), "oeuf" (english: "egg") and "boeuf" (english: "beef), and "coeur"
    (english: heart). (Note that this message does not use the mandatory
    There are some other words, but they are really uncommon in French
    conversations (most of them are in the medical and botanic vocabulary).
    This ligature cannot be automated so simply in renderers, because there are
    exceptions: see "coexister" where the two vowels are clearly voiced
    separately and must never be ligated. But one way to determine if "oe" must
    be ligated in French is when it is followed by another vowel (normally an
    'i' or 'u'), and if the "e" has no accent.
    The "ae" ligature is used in French, but not in the common language (I think
    it is used only in some technical juridic or religious terms, inherited from
    Latin, or in some medical and botanic jargon): I can't even remember of one
    French word that uses it; that's why there were some fonts designed for
    French where the "oe" and "OE" ligatures replaced the "ae" and "AE"
    (Note that I say "ligature" and not "vowel", because it is their actual
    usage in French, that also matches its collation rules).

    With those considerations, would a software that only supports the
    ISO-8859-1 character set be considered "not ready" for French usage? I think
    not, and even today most French texts are coded with this limited subset,
    without worrying about the absence of a rare ligature, whose absence is
    easily infered by readers.

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