RE: Localizable sentences (from Re: On the possibility of encoding webdings in Unicode)

From: Shawn Steele (
Date: Fri Jan 28 2011 - 12:55:05 CST

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    Your desire for localizable sentences seems to contradict the need for them to be in plain text. If plain text were acceptable for communication across the language boundaries, then you would not need localizable sentences. I'd think that the fact that you want to predefine the sentences indicates that plain text isn't enough.

    If you want to continue this, then I'd think that numbering your sentences (or some other ID), and then including them in a higher level markup or protocol, or even inventing your own protocol to communicate them, would work. An example of an XML query could work like:

    Person A: <LocalizableSentences><Id>1235abc"</Id></LocalizableSentences>
    Person B: <LocalizableSentences><Id>abc1234</Id><Id>78901</Id></LocalizableSentences>
    Person A: <PlainText>Grazi!</PlainText>

    Of course any such aid is going to have a huge problem with figuring out how to help the user even find the ID they're looking for. The travel-language guidebooks tend to have indices and sections and stuff associated with them, so you'd probably have to figure that out too, which probably means even more high level protocols.

    Unicode isn't the right place for this. Presumably if you can find other like-minded people with enough interest in your idea, then you could get more traction. I'm guessing those like-minded people aren't on this list.

    Your idea isn't dissimilar to some of the open (and closed) source software localization efforts, though your target audience differs. Perhaps you could find one of those groups more receptive of creating a library of localized sentences.


    -----Original Message-----
    From: [] On Behalf Of William_J_G Overington
    Sent: Friday, January 28, 2011 7:34 AM
    To:; Julian Bradfield
    Subject: Re: Localizable sentences (from Re: On the possibility of encoding webdings in Unicode)

    On Friday 28 January 2011, Julian Bradfield <> wrote:
    > The one thing you have never explained is why this primary key should be a Unicode character, rather than simply numbering your sentences starting from zero and publishing that list of numbers.
    The primary key would be a Unicode character so that it could be included directly in Unicode plain text and thus a graphic symbol could be displayed by default from a font if a software system with a database were not available for localization, or if such localization were not selected by the user of the display of the receiving device.
    If sentences were simply numbered then a system of markup would be needed in order to include them in plain text and a graphic would not display by default and the receiving system would of necessity need to be stateful.
    William Overington
    28 January 2011


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