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 mrstep on Mon 18th Jun 2012 03:13 UTC in reply to "Fascinating article"
mrstep
Member since:
2009-07-18

Why was the OS X support better? Well didn't you hear: "Mac's OSX is now in its creaking (error-ridden) final years".

Huh? It's significantly more stable and well tuned for multi-core/multi-processor work thanks to the great Snow Leopard release. Lion not so much... But there are a whole lot more creaking, error-ridden languages out there, and it sounds like some of them may be dead before OSX.

Anyway, I agree, the more relevant question would have been why they have been dropped from OS X and whether these areas can somehow promote the inclusion of their languages in OS releases. Given the likely lack of economic incentives and presumably (at least in the case of OS X which is targeted to Apple hardware) lower user base thanks to at least marginally higher cost, it's maybe more surprising the support for these languages has lasted as long as it did. There's a fair bit of extra overhead to keep those languages up to date, not to mention support for more esoteric character handling.

Very cool to see a mention of Hawaiian self-determination though. The U.S. history of treatment of the Philippines, Hawaii, etc. are truly disturbing, especially given how little of it is explained in the U.S. education system. Of course the Japanese attacked the U.S. at Pearl Harbor, but... Hey, that wasn't actually part of America. How did a U.S. naval base end up there? How about in the Philippines? Fun stuff - so much dirty history that gets glossed over if mentioned at all.

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