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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RE: Fascinating article
by zima on Fri 15th Jun 2012 11:50 UTC in reply to "Fascinating article"
zima
Member since:
2005-07-06

But surely Apple isn't the same company as back then...

They were pretty much the first with thorough and sane support for Polish alphabet (versus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mazovia_encoding simply exchanging similarly looking letters in firmwares, in original DOS code page, Ł instead of £ for example; to be fair, pretty much the only approach without access to source code; contributed to rarity of PL keyboards - we mostly just use US keyboard, right Alt as AltGr in combination with original Latin letter for diacritics).
And afterwards also with the first, IIRC, properly localised OS - when not only Macintoshes were prohibitively expensive (relatively, here; think in the range of annual salary), severely limiting their potential market, but also possibly still under CoCom embargo (as all 32-bit CPUs, I believe), at least formally. Also pretty much the only computers equipped often with PL keyboards.

That was of course relatively simple, compared to the issues from the article - "just" adding diacritics to few Latin letters, and quite straightforward translation into similarly structured script (mostly by some members of the relatively large Polish diaspora, I guess).

Still - yeah, why? Wishing to quickly take over DTP in then-emerging markets? (or education some time later, where proper localisation and keyboards were undoubtedly desirable; though there was possibly more behind that choice... http://www.osnews.com/thread?489120 - from 3rd section, "Furthermore")
Maybe also to accommodate the needs of diaspora?

Anyway, now they are a company which openly states their aversion to target "lesser" poor people, aims for the "premium" ones...

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