Re: A non technical perspective on GNOME goals and future work

On 10.04.2001 14:05:59 Daniel Veillard wrote:
>   GNOME need to reach new users to sustain its growth, the goal
> is to get a large enough user base to be an interesting development
> platform for the ISV. There is a few directions we need to look at
> in order to expand to new users:
>    - fix the internationalization (I18N) and localization (L10N)
>      problems. The first problem is a lack of good support in the
>      Gnome framework, unfortunately it is not a good use of
> resources
>      to try to patch the 1.X framework, the best we can do is get
>      2.0 rolled out as soon as possible and make sure through
> serious
>      testing that it actually works without problems. One of the
>      unsolved problem in this area is having a set of decent fonts
> for
>      X-Window which covers the full Unicode set. The L10N work
>      has too sides, tools and people. Getting better tools seems a 
>      urgent problem, the current framework is sligthly broken, and
>      don't provide the effective diff informations to help the
>      translators do their job efficiently; looking at the KDE tools
>      seems a good idea. Getting more translators is a 2 step
> process,
>      first avoid loosing them by giving them time and tools to do
> their
>      work in a reasonable fashion and second grow the regional Gnome
>      communities, the idea of having a European and Asian GNOME
> foundations
>      is a first step to organize our project regionally.
Yes, i18n is a seriouse problem. It's strange but GNOME 1.4 was out
with two main components totally broken in i18n stuff. GTK 1.2.9 was
unable to display and exchange through clipboard non-latin chars.
Nautilus still cannot display non-latin for smooth fonts because has
no non-latin glyphs in its font pack and cannot use any other font.
Unfortunately it seems to me
a) many developers don't know about existence of any language other
from English (or other from latin alphabet). May be they don't know
how to deal with i18n/l10n issues
b) many developers have opinion: "Yes, my program don't work with
Russian (Chinese, Japan) but what's now? It's not my problem." 
We have expirience that any problem which may cause troubles on US
market solves very quickly but any i18n problem has most lower
priority. Tell me why GNOME 1.4 was released with i18n broken? Why 1.4
release was held when problem with medusa was found but GTK guys was
not want to release GTK 1.2.10 with i18n fixes since such fixes
already was in CVS for week or more (it was told: "It's necessary to
have more time to test fixes"). Why GNOME 1.4 was not held in second
Some example of developers attitude to i18n problem is below
>On 29.03.2001 04:16:40 Dan Mueth wrote:
>        Some locales, such as Japanese and Korean, require smooth
>        fonts which are not typically present on standard
> distributions.
>        Without these fonts, the sidebar will show "???" in place of
>        the correct characters.  This is not a bug in Nautilus.
Like one of our team members sadly joked: "If my program cuts all
consonants, it's not bug, it's a feature since I've reported about


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