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whats wrong with internationalization

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  • User profile image
    twoelfer

    well, one more... Smiley

    so just imagine.... you're in a strange foreign country like that one. folks have a strange language, umlauts and stuff... so - you're working with vs running ontop of a german language xp, debugging a .net app running ontop of a localized version of net framework.

    somethings just plain wrong with that app, cause from time to time you end up in the debugger with an exception that was thrown somewhere deep inside windows forms, possible because of some strange interop behaviour... and guess what: the exception-message has be localized to german.

    and whats more: there isn't any way to find out what the original message (the english one, that is) ever was. however, the only way to find out what that exception is all about is to go ask google - but this is kind of hard if all you'Ve got is a damned translated message that (almost allways) return zero search results.

    this has to stop. the original exception text (or id, whatever) absolutely needs to be available for debugging purposes, no matter what locale you're in. if its not, you're making it really hard for developers outside the us to track down problems.


    WM_MY0.02$
    thomas woelfer   

  • User profile image
    JerryP

    [quote user="twoelfer"]well, one more... Smiley

    so just imagine.... you're in a strange foreign country like that one. folks have a strange language, umlauts and stuff... so - you're working with vs running ontop of a german language xp, debugging a .net app running ontop of a localized version of net framework.

    Oh man you are so right, I hated this "feature" in every VB Runtime I used so far. But ever came across some problems where bool values have been translated false = falsch and true = wahr help !

    And of course you have some Windows Strings they promise on MSDN that they do not translate them - and what happens try French Windows and search the OS Name Smiley I guess the original MSDN Document has been removed or edited already,...

  • User profile image
    CumpsD

    Or when you come across a computer where someone has Italian DAO 3.5 controls... Don't ask me why the admin installed those instead of an english version, but it sure isn't fun to press F1 to quickly find something when you don't understand italian Wink

  • User profile image
    irascian

    Not to be frivolous but the "international" thing that has annoyed me for years (and it's still there in the Longhorn beta) is that you tell the system what country you're in and what language you use and what keyboard layout and then it STILL sets the system clock to something ludicrous like -8.00 GMT so that you have to go in and manually set it after a Windows installation.

    OK so maybe it's not that big a deal for people who only install an operating system once in several years but it irks me all the same.

  • User profile image
    steel0r

    I do not understand why MS simply has not stopped manufacturing international versions of Windows.

    For Windows 2000 there are 26(?) Language Add-On's (MUIs) for lots of languages out there - which only need an english Operating System to be installed on.

    There are even more and better MUIs for Windows-XP.

    Having only one code base must be a huge advantage.

    But i guess they haven't done this for backwards compatibility reasons... Wink stupid!

  • User profile image
    lars

    What drives me nuts is when there are localized errors in the event viewer. I had one especially amusing experience after installing an USB2 adapter. The original message complained that the current limit was being exceeded. (as in draining too much power to run something connected) However it was translated into "the limit set right now".

  • User profile image
    Shining Arcanine

    twoelfer wrote:
    well, one more... Smiley

    so just imagine.... you're in a strange foreign country like that one. folks have a strange language, umlauts and stuff... so - you're working with vs running ontop of a german language xp, debugging a .net app running ontop of a localized version of net framework.

    somethings just plain wrong with that app, cause from time to time you end up in the debugger with an exception that was thrown somewhere deep inside windows forms, possible because of some strange interop behaviour... and guess what: the exception-message has be localized to german.

    and whats more: there isn't any way to find out what the original message (the english one, that is) ever was. however, the only way to find out what that exception is all about is to go ask google - but this is kind of hard if all you'Ve got is a damned translated message that (almost allways) return zero search results.

    this has to stop. the original exception text (or id, whatever) absolutely needs to be available for debugging purposes, no matter what locale you're in. if its not, you're making it really hard for developers outside the us to track down problems.


    WM_MY0.02$
    thomas woelfer   


    If I recall an article at winsupersite.com correctly, in Windows Longhorn, Microsoft is modularizing windows to the point where you can swap out the English language module for any other language module. This hopefully will carry over to Microsoft's other applications.

  • User profile image
    mindragon

    Localization is something that is actually very hard to do. L10N (Localization) takes up a significant amount of resources during alpha and beta stages of software development and timing is rather critical on the whole process. In addition, it adds significantly to the project costs and one does risk delays in the process (on the order of months) when a L10N issue is uncovered.

    The fact that Microsoft has as many L10N applications as it does points to the fact that they are trying to meet the global challenge more so that many other companies have tried. However, as always, there will be glaring errors. They have invested many billions on the L10N effort since 1996 going as far as opening up offices in other countries to try to understand the local markets and respond to those local needs. In addition, they have partnered with some of the biggest L10N companies and they worked hard to push the L10N effort forward to the point of where it is today.

    Even in Microsoft Research, they are trying to address some of these issues. Longhorn having L10N plug in is one of the products from MSR (from what I remember reading back in 2001).

    But still, this is a very complex area for software as there are many L10N issues that just drives software developers nuts. It's hard enough to write software that behaves one way for one class of users, now imagine 54 different classes of users and cultural issues to boot.

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