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Michael Kaplan - Bringing Windows Vista to International markets

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Bringing Windows Vista to non-English markets is a lot harder than just changing a text file. Here Michael Kaplan, technical lead on the US-Windows Globalization team, on the  discusses some of the things (and tools) that the team does to bring Windows Vista to non-English speaking markets. Real interesting and some tips for developers who are localizing their own applications.

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  • i like that the fonts of other languages will no longer require a download. it will be nice to see a font instead of the question marks even if i don't understand the language. Big Smile
  • If don't remember wrongly whenever I used the macedonian (virtual as there are no hardware ones on sale, thank god : ) keyboard (I hope you won't write FYROM anyomore) there was an issue with a letter (I think it was accented è and/or accented и but I'm not shure).
    I can't be sure as I'm writing this on a Italian keyboard but I wasn't able to find accented и or e. I wrote è using the italian e grave.
    One nice feature when using a US keyboard is that if I press the tick or backtick I can have è or é in italian, could we have the same thing on a macedonian keyboard?
  • michkapmichkap Sorting It All Out
    Thanks for wandering on over, Robert.

    And don't forget that there are probably some others in the group who wouldn't mind an interview (like the other typography team!).

    I could probably find something else to blather about (it's like the blog only less typing!).
  • michkapmichkap Sorting It All Out
    Hi schrepfler,

    The easiest way to look at a keyboard layout is to open up MSKLC and look at it by using File|Load Existing Layout... functionality.

    The name of the manifest is still Macedonian (FYROM), sorry. Sad 

    Though the keyboard layout name is "FYRO Macedonian". I may blog about that one some day....

    I am not sure what you mean by the  è and the é though.... they are not available on the US keyboard as keys or dead keys, though they are available on both Italian keyboard layouts we ship....

    Oh, and neither of those two characters you mentioned are on the FYRO Macedonian keyboard layout.

  • The thing is that macedonian has both и and е as accented letters yet there is no shortcut to write them as there is no keyboard that has these letters so a shortcut would be nice (for instance if I have a us keyboard and my language switching bar I set it to international I can use the backtick and e o a and it'll write me those letters accented. This is something that is broken in the NT/XP lifecycle and I am hoping will be fixed in Vista.
    Tell me more about the name issue Smiley just be carefull not to inflame the forum Smiley)
  • If I wasn't clear please mail me individually. Also the US (and more than  100 other countries) officially recognized the Republic of Macedonia with it's constitutional name and not the FYROM acronim so that might be a good reason to change it.
  • michkapmichkap Sorting It All Out
    No, I understood -- and I will forward the info on to our keyboard PM.

    As for the name, that is a different story and has nothing to do with the U.N. or the US or the 100 countries. Like I said, maybe I will cover it in the blog some day. Smiley
  • CatatonicCatatonic You're not shy one horse. You brought two too many
    It's great to finally see you on Channel 9. Keep on blogging. You're up there with Raymond Chen in terms of stuff that I can actually use.
     
  • michkapmichkap Sorting It All Out

    Hi ploe!

    Having to learn to speak fluent question mark and fluent null glyph is one of those exciting occupational hazards that I must admit is nice to see so much less often in Vista. Smiley

  • michkapmichkap Sorting It All Out
    Hi Catatonic!

    It is nice to hear from people who find me entertaining, it is fun to hear from people who find me to be educational, but it is awesome to hear from people who find me useful! Smiley

    Be sure to put questions you run across in the Suggestion Box....
  • "For the US we have all these different, like the Dvorak for left-handed ice-miner who lost his right thumb in an accident..."
    That made me laugh. Big Smile
  • MinhMinh WOOH!  WOOH!
    I thought Unicode was implemented with 2 bytes -- so that it can only represent about 65,000 unique characters. Sounds like you can stuff more than that into Unicode.

    If it's using more than 2 bytes, how does that work with current programs if they're using 2-bytes representation?
  • amotifamotif No Silver Bullet
    Minh wrote:
    I thought Unicode was implemented with 2 bytes -- so that it can only represent about 65,000 unique characters. Sounds like you can stuff more than that into Unicode.


    Nope, see the FAQ: I understand that all Unicode characters are 16 bits, and that the high byte is used to switch between code blocks. Is that correct?

    Minh wrote:

    If it's using more than 2 bytes, how does that work with current programs if they're using 2-bytes representation?


    I'm wondering how any Unicode character can be expressed in 16 bits, myself.


  • moofishmoofish Living in Scotland, UK
    Check this, Microsoft make physical Keyboards and you do this stuff in the video, now what about the following - it is from a Russian design group but they need funding, can you please talk to some people to make it a reality thanks!!!

    http://www.engadget.com/entry/1234000873050764/

    Samuel, UK
  • Seems interesting as i am a learner of japanese Tongue Out
    I need to watch the video once i get home Smiley i havent watched channel 9 since september, damned network here Sad
  • michkapmichkap Sorting It All Out
    Hi moofish,

    See http://blogs.msdn.com/michkap/441227.aspx and http://blogs.msdn.com/michkap/441819.aspx for prior postings I have done about this particular keyboard. There is a lot more needed than funding....
  • michkapmichkap Sorting It All Out
    amotif wrote:


    I'm wondering how any Unicode character can be expressed in 16 bits, myself.


    Hmmmm.... all of the Unicode code points from U+0000 to U+FFFF fit into sixteen bits, and many of them are indeed characters (though not all of them are).....
  • moofishmoofish Living in Scotland, UK
    I just read those pages, pretty much, its a bit boring (sorry). I'm more interested in just the nice factor of it, you know a k/b with images and they can change etc...

    So what's the conclusion are you pro or anti, I couldn't tell. You must have suggested it to the hardware dpt, what did they think, I did post when there was a video for them but I don't think there was a reply.

    Samuel, UK
  • michkapmichkap Sorting It All Out
    moofish wrote:
    I just read those pages, pretty much, its a bit boring (sorry).


    Sorry, but what is possible/feasible often can be more boring than what looks cool. Smiley

    moofish wrote:
    I'm more interested in just the nice factor of it, you know a k/b with images and they can change etc...


    It is definitely nothing new -- I have seen efforts from Microsoft Research and other places that have attempted similar prototypes. It has never yet proven cost effective -- the one exception being the TabletPC soft keyboard, which changes faces to match the layout....


    moofish wrote:
    So what's the conclusion are you pro or anti, I couldn't tell. You must have suggested it to the hardware dpt, what did they think, I did post when there was a video for them but I don't think there was a reply.


    It is not a matter if being pro or anti, it is a matter of technical feasibility (and the fact that the company in question does not have a track record of finished products so much as they do of ideas that never come to fruition....

  • moofishmoofish Living in Scotland, UK
    But you'd get one if they made it?
  • michkapmichkap Sorting It All Out
    Me personally?

    Probably not.

    But I can understand why some people might.... Smiley
  • Great video, anything that opens Windows Vista up to new users can only be a good thing.

    Do you do any work on the IME side of things? I do a lot of Japanese work on mine, and any updated would be a great.

    Also, what about the mysterious ScrLk, SysRq, Break and Pause keys? what do they do under Vista, now that we no longer live in the world of ANSI TTYs?.

    Finally, i have often wondered what the difference in localisations wwre between en-US and en-UK, aside from dates and times?
  • michkapmichkap Sorting It All Out
    MarkPerris wrote:
    Great video, anything that opens Windows Vista up to new users can only be a good thing.
    Thanks! And yes, I agree completely....

    MarkPerris wrote:
    Do you do any work on the IME side of things? I do a lot of Japanese work on mine, and any updated would be a great.
    I do not work on IMEs myself. But I can say a lot of work has happened there to move them out of the legacy IMM model and into the more flexible and easier to create TSF model. I'll probably blog on this more in the future, especially after Beta 2 is out.

    MarkPerris wrote:
    Also, what about the mysterious ScrLk, SysRq, Break and Pause keys? what do they do under Vista, now that we no longer live in the world of ANSI TTYs?.
    They don't do anything mysteriously new or anything like that....

    MarkPerris wrote:
    Finally, i have often wondered what the difference in localisations wwre between en-US and en-UK, aside from dates and times?
    I think you mean en-GB (en-UK would mean English (Ukraine), after all!).

    There is not nearly as much difference as there ought to be, in my opinion. If you ask me there should be a separate localization if for no other reason than to make sure the localisation of English is appropriate to the market. The locale support is there, but the actual UI of Windows could definitely do better....
  • amotifamotif No Silver Bullet
    michkap wrote:
    amotif wrote:

    I'm wondering how any Unicode character can be expressed in 16 bits, myself.


    Hmmmm.... all of the Unicode code points from U+0000 to U+FFFF fit into sixteen bits, and many of them are indeed characters (though not all of them are).....


    Clearly I'm missing something. From the above FAQ:

    faq wrote:
    A: No! No conformant Unicode implementation can use the un-encoded values outside of the private use area.Only the values in the private use areas (E000..F8FF, F0000..FFFFD, and 100000..10FFFD) are legal for private assignment. However, this is over 137,000 code points, which should be more than ample for the vast majority of implementations. [F0000..FFFFD and 100000..10FFFD are represented by surrogate pairs with private-use high surrogates (DB80..DBFF).]


    So how do over 137,000 code points fit in UTF-16's 16 bits? Do we just not use anything over FFFF?

  • michkapmichkap Sorting It All Out

    Ah, you aren't missing anything. Smiley

    If you are using UTF-16 (which for the most part Microsoft does) then for beyond U+FFFF, you use the surrogate pair mechanism.

    I have a big blog entry on this here that tries to explain a whole bunch about it....

  • Very interesting. I have a doubt about globalization: How does Microsoft choose the languages a beta product as Windows Vista will be shipped? I heard Vista Beta 2 will be in German and Japanese. How have these languages been chosen?

  • bonkbonk Ich bin der ​Wurstfachve​rkäuferin !
    Is there any way we can get hold of the the .NET 2.0 sample application sourcecode shown first in that video (the one that listed all the cultures). It seems a good app to get to know .NET globalisation.
  • michkapmichkap Sorting It All Out
    Gianakopoulos wrote:

    Very interesting. I have a doubt about globalization: How does Microsoft choose the languages a beta product as Windows Vista will be shipped? I heard Vista Beta 2 will be in German and Japanese. How have these languages been chosen?
    The initial languages are pilot languages, ones that are done early to find localizability issues. This is actually an excellent topic, one that I will put on my list for a future blog post to try to give more detail....
  • michkapmichkap Sorting It All Out
    bonk wrote:
    Is there any way we can get hold of the the .NET 2.0 sample application sourcecode shown first in that video (the one that listed all the cultures). It seems a good app to get to know .NET globalisation.
    Ah, the Culture Explorer that Francois Liger wrote is indeed an excellent sample for viewing locale data!

    The original one is a GotDotNet sample that was posted some time ago in both VB.Net and C# forms. It is still there, in fact.

    The one that better supports 2.0 (based on the one I demo'ed in the video) will be available shortly; Francois is working on it and promises it will be done soon. I will post about it in my blog when it happens.
  • amotifamotif No Silver Bullet
    michkap wrote:

    Ah, you aren't missing anything. Smiley

    If you are using UTF-16 (which for the most part Microsoft does) then for beyond U+FFFF, you use the surrogate pair mechanism.

    I have a big blog entry on this here that tries to explain a whole bunch about it....



    Great, thanks for the link!

  • michkapmichkap Sorting It All Out
    michkap wrote:
    As for the name, that is a different story and has nothing to do with the U.N. or the US or the 100 countries. Like I said, maybe I will cover it in the blog some day. Smiley
    Ok, it is now covered (as much as I really can!) right here.

    You can actually compare the LOCALE_SENGLANGUAGE to the LOCALE_SNATIVELANGNAME to see what I mean....
  • Who is that on your shirt, Michael?
  • michkapmichkap Sorting It All Out
    JillianLang wrote:
    Who is that on your shirt, Michael?
    Hi Jillian,

    Long time no talk!

    You know perfectly well who is on the shirt since you and I both saw her at a show several years back -- she was opening for the Kinks in Boston, I believe? And you said you had a nice time, to boot!

    For everyone else, it was Aimee Mann on the shirt. My shirts are at this point divided evenly between singer/songwriters and US intelligence agencies; the shirt I was wearing that day fell into the former category, obviously!
  • MauritsMaurits AKA Matthew van Eerde
    Yes, there is a Fijian language

    Chording system... I want this!  But I thought the keyboard interface was limited to a certain number of simultaneously pressed keys?

  • Thanks for the great Job you're doing..
    However I do some times encouter bugs in your localisation ..
    Having to deal with the Arabic localised versions of Windows and MS Products .. I tried to post various bugs and issues via various MS feedback forms , but never had a professional reply , and if there was a reply it seemed that our issue was mis-understood ...

    Here are some issues regarding the Arabic Localization of Windows and specificlly as applied to choosing an "Arabic- Libya" regional settings :

    1) Microsoft wrongly assumes that we in Libya use "AZERTY" keyboards  WHICH is WRONG.. but in fact we only use "QWERTY" keyboards.

    2) Microsoft wrongly assumes that we in Libya use French as a secondary language WHICH is WRONG.. but infact we commonly use "English" as a secondary language...

    3)  Microsoft wrongly assumes that we in Libya use the "Hindi" numerials  WHICH is WRONG.. and in fact we use "Arabic Numerals" as used in europe an all over the world..

    I hope that such issues would be looked at and put right in next releases of Windows..
    I'm sorry that I posted such a comment here , but I found this place to be the right place to bring attention to such issues as we tried other means and none worked..

    Smiley
  • michkapmichkap Sorting It All Out
    Hi LibyanGuy,

    You can take a look at http://blogs.msdn.com/michkap/508595.aspx where I have tried to give an answer to the question thats that you have posted. We'll see what  can happen here....
  • michkapmichkap Sorting It All Out
    Maurits wrote:
    Yes, there is a Fijian language

    Chording system... I want this!  But I thought the keyboard interface was limited to a certain number of simultaneously pressed keys?
    Yes, keyboard layouts that can be produced are limited to four UTF-16 codepoints

    But don't tell everyone bout Fijian, or I won't ever be able get that research trip comp' d! Smiley
  • bonkbonk Ich bin der ​Wurstfachve​rkäuferin !
    So did I understand it right, that when I buy my german Windows Vista at my local store I will get all the other different localizations right with it on the DVD ? So I can switch the whole UI and everything that is related to that culture to Latvian, Mongolian or whatever? If so, does that mean that the only real difference between an USA Windows Vista and a German Windows Vista is the carton around it ?
    I am asking because, we could then test our localized applications, without having tons of different windows installations on our testmachines.
  • michkapmichkap Sorting It All Out
    bonk wrote:
    So did I understand it right, that when I buy my german Windows Vista at my local store I will get all the other different localizations right with it on the DVD ? So I can switch the whole UI and everything that is related to that culture to Latvian, Mongolian or whatever? If so, does that mean that the only real difference between an USA Windows Vista and a German Windows Vista is the carton around it ?
    I am asking because, we could then test our localized applications, without having tons of different windows installations on our testmachines.
    Hi Bonk,

    The exact SKU packaging has not yet been announced, so it is unclear exactly what it will look like. Though it is unlikely that every single UI language will ship in the one releaze, for several reasons, such as:

    * not all of them are done and ready at the same time.
    * customers who do not want all languages will want a "cheaper" version without all languages bundled (this happens now with Proofing Tools)

    But the truth is that the architecture now supports the idea of packages that can be installed to add languages easily, and there are several targeted SKUs that many OEMs will want for multgilingual locations like Canada and Switzerland, and several other scenarios are being considered as the SKU decisions are being made....

    For developers, the traditional mechanism for such things has been MSDN, so they are a good place to keep an eye on for future plans in this area.
  • schrepfler wrote:
    If don't remember wrongly whenever I used the macedonian (virtual as there are no hardware ones on sale, thank god : ) keyboard (I hope you won't write FYROM anyomore) there was an issue with a letter (I think it was accented è and/or accented и but I'm not shure).
    I can't be sure as I'm writing this on a Italian keyboard but I wasn't able to find accented и or e. I wrote è using the italian e grave.
    One nice feature when using a US keyboard is that if I press the tick or backtick I can have è or é in italian, could we have the same thing on a macedonian keyboard?
    ghsthettttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt
  • Dear Michael, Can ya plz tell ma about Urdu Language Support in Vista and Vista Urdu Localizationz..........Smiley THankz 
  • DuckDuck Electronic Medical Duck
    Great video and I learned a lot here.  Answered a few questions I had kicking around about Vista. 

    I still use the TSI synchronizer and thanks for keeping it active.
  • michkapmichkap Sorting It All Out
    drloc wrote:
    Dear Michael, Can ya plz tell ma about Urdu Language Support in Vista and Vista Urdu Localizationz.......... THankz 
    Hey drloc!

    Sorry for the delay there. But see this post on my blog for info on the XP LIP for Urdu, which is a first step!

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