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Subject: Re: [boost] [locale] Review results for Boost.Locale library
From: Matthew Chambers (matt.chambers42_at_[hidden])
Date: 2011-04-27 15:40:48

On 4/27/2011 1:46 PM, Marsh Ray wrote:
>> Anyway, I think the concern was for the statement's tone and
>> hyperbole.
> You're talking to a guy who's native language has multiple independent dimensions in the grammar
> itself for politeness, respect, and formality. Just imagine what kind of linguistic jackhammer we
> sound like to him. You should probably consider it an honor to be receiving direct criticism under
> the circumstances. Or at least you should look harder for a way to interpret his statements at face
> value and give him any possible benefit of the doubt.
No matter what I imagine it does not tell me if we actually sound impolite to him or not. If he does
misunderstand us as being impolite, are you suggesting that it's appropriate (on this list) for him
to respond in kind (as opposed to sending a message like "Everybody seems pretty rude on this list!")?

> I see him saying things like:
> On 04/26/2011 08:47 PM, Ryou Ezoe wrote:
>> I seriously concerns the author's ability to understand the real world
>> situation. This library is not only useless, but also harmful for localization.
>> It encourage people to use ASCII.
> To someone from a Western alphabetic language... not knowing how to print characters...sure, this
> might sound like he was accusing you of not having graduated first grade.
More hyperbole? :) It doesn't sound like he's accusing Artyom of not graduating first grade. He is
accusing him of not understanding localization in general. When in fact, CJK is a specific use case
for localization, not the general case. And Artyom clearly has a very thorough understanding of
localization, at least for C++ and possibly outside the CJK use cases. Suggesting otherwise is
outright hostile in any language, even Klingon.

> Within recent memory, systems in Asia used odd mixtures of multi-byte regional encodings like
> Shift-JIS. These guys have had a long history of trying to fit professional-looking text into
> encodings that were designed to work better elsewhere. Unicode (in the form of UTF-16) comes along
> and surely made everyone's life easier. But still, if the compiler doesn't handle UTF-8, then the
> compiler doesn't handle UTF-8. It's that simple.
> Yes, it's possible to represent Japanese text in alternate character sets but it "looks wrong", and
> in this case the appearance carries semantic value. This stuff is very difficult for an outsider to
> get right - or even appreciate how far wrong they are.
I appreciate the potential for frustration but it's not Artyom's fault. In fact the results of the
review suggest (to me at least) that he's already gone above and beyond the call of duty for the
general localization case. The English language is the best thing the British did for India.

> In English text we really have very little to compare with to understand how this looks. Here's how
> I imagine it:
I am amused by these examples but they clearly confound the user experience with the developer
experience. It seems obvious to me that it is entirely possible to use boost.locale to create an
identical user experience. Ryou was arguing that it would be (much) harder for many Japanese
programmers to do so.

> Furthermore, if he uses it rather than something more established, and his program
> outputs something unprofessional, who is that going to reflect on?
The developer. The only thing that could possibly be blamed on library author is the difficulty of
making the output look professional, not the fact that the developer didn't expend the effort to use
it properly.

To be clear, I value the subset of Ryou's criticism that is constructive. This whole library review
has been educational to me and makes me glad that all my users know English whether it's their
primary language or not. ;)


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