Linked by Eisel Mazard on Thu 14th Jun 2012 22:01 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes The average computer user might think that the number of languages their operating system supports is pretty long. OSX supports 22 languages, and Microsoft claims to support 96, but they're counting different regional dialects multiple times. But there are over 6000 languages, and though many of them are spoken by a dwindling few, there are some languages that are spoken by millions of people that are supported very poorly, if at all, by computer operating systems. The reason for the support being poor is that the people who speak those languages are poor, and are not good "markets." It's only because of the efforts of a few dedicated people that computing support for languages such as Burmese, Sinhalese, Pali, Cambodian, and Lao have been as good as they are, but the trends for the future are not good.
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What is the problem?
by jburnett on Fri 15th Jun 2012 00:37 UTC
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Companies would support more languages if there was a profit in doing so. Therefore, either there is little to no demand or the cost to supply the demand is too high. If there are millions of customers who would like to have the service, it must be that the service is too expensive to deliver. Is this the case? Is it just that it costs too much engineer time to make a profit?

Or, is it because these languages are very difficult/different to describe in binary? A fraction of a millisecond can make all the difference for something as fundamental (and repeatedly called) as the font renderer. If adding support for difficult languages means degrading the performance, even if it just makes the system "feel" a tiny bit slower, then it makes sense to drop the language. After all, if there is one thing us comic book loving gamers love more than, well, comic books, it is performance.

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