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Microsoft Plans to Create Local Language Software

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the xp-language-docious dept.

Microsoft 480

zensufi writes "CNET News has a story stating that Microsoft has announced plans for a program to help governments produce local language versions of key Microsoft applications, giving the software giant a hedge against a growing international threat from open-source software." The piece explains: 'The Local Language Program will provide local and regional governments with "language interface packs" that government and academic developers can use to produce localized versions of the Windows XP operating system and Office 2003 productivity package.'

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Wow translating their software to other languages? (5, Funny)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#8594970)

What antimonopolistic evil behaviour!

Actually customizing their products to different markets. UN FRICKIN BELIEVABLE.

Now throw yer tantrum kids.

Re:Wow translating their software to other languag (0, Troll)

System.out.println() (755533) | more than 10 years ago | (#8594988)

Is being antimonopolistic a bad thing now? OH NO, LOWER PRICES ARE BAD mmkay?

Re:Wow translating their software to other languag (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8595105)

I am writing out of a sense of outrage and frustration at a great injustice that, I believe, threatens the very foundations of these United States of America.

The injustice is the Uniform Controlled Substances Act. Its unintended consequence is the creation of a vast organization that monopolizes the distribution of cocaine. I have been made aware of the Seattle crack "Family" which was able to use its monopoly and the immense resources in manpower and money available to it to illegally surveil me, trespass against my property, physically intimidate and threaten me, try to restrict my freedom of speech, try to poison me, and generally harass me in many other ways. The decisions of the "Family" are not subject to oversight by any publically-elected body. They are able to get away with illegal activity, using their money and their monopoly on crack distribution to keep law enforcement officials at bay.

I invite you to come to Seattle and see for yourself the open dealing on the streets in Belltown, at the bus stop on 3rd and Pine, both inside and outside Deano's on 23rd and Madison, in the Jinsonia apartments at 8th and Seneca (recently the site of two fires). Check out the ownership of radio station KUBE 93.3 FM. Investigate a rumor I heard that Governor Gary Locke is involved. Consider Officer Slaughter of the East Precinct, who was recently convicted of taking drugs from dealers and giving it to his friends, letting them use drugs in his patrol car. Is it so hard to imagine other policemen taking bribes?

My motivation in writing this is outrage and disbelief at the impunity with which the crack "Family" violated my constitutionally guaranteed rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, privacy, freedom of speech, freedom from discrimination, freedom from harassment, etc. First, they hooked me on crack; then, they decide to shut me down, cut off my medicine. They have made me angry, and all I can do is try to expose as much of the crack game as I can, in the hope that if it becomes visible enough people will realize how the illegality of crack is causing far more problems for our society than the drug itself, were it legal.

Repeal the Uniform Controlled Substances Act. Take back our country from hardened criminals whose power derives from crack prohibition.

Re:Wow translating their software to other languag (-1, Troll)

still_sick (585332) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595037)

I love it. Moderated as FlameBait almost instantly, when if you look at the first five comments there's already the crying and whining he's pointing out.

It's called "+1 Insightful", Morons.

Linux forced it. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8595060)

Microsoft didn't even want to support Icelandic,
in spite of the government wanting to fund the
whole project.

Now, with Linux supporting all sorts of weird
stuff like Welsh and a zillion Indian languages,
Microsoft is losing out in places. All those
little annoying-to-support markets add up.

Because, like EF Hutton... (2, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595202)

...when the market speaks, even BeelzeBill listens.

Re:Wow translating their software to other languag (4, Insightful)

DaHat (247651) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595078)

There is nothing monopolistic about making your product available to as many people/organizations/governments that you can.

Where I come from... we call this competition! You know, where different organizations tailor their products to a given market and duke it out to see who succeeds.

Re:Wow translating their software to other languag (-1, Flamebait)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595185)

in other news, you have just proven that paid ms trolls lurk on slashdot waiting to get the first post.

Re:Wow translating their software to other languag (-1, Redundant)

ejdmoo (193585) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595213)

Yeah...those poor OSS trolls never get to eat, because they're not paid. :)

open source challenges?? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8594975)

Please, like it or not, MS is already light years ahead of OSS in terms of localization and supporting foreign languages. We've got a lot of catching up to do before we're even in the ballpark!

That's why.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8595039)

The Israeli government chose OpenOffice.org?

Re:open source challenges?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8595046)

Yeah because using qt you can't put tr("Translate me") and then write translations for as many languages as you want.

Re:open source challenges?? (5, Informative)

System.out.println() (755533) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595056)

Open source, bad? HOW DARE YOU!!!11one!!!! ....but seriously, Apple has M$ completely stomped. Not only is almost every app multi-language, but they make it very easy for the third-party developers to make their own apps multilingual - it's as easy as creating a Spanish.lproj file (or whatever language). Although you do have to actually translate it....

Re:open source challenges?? (2, Interesting)

el-spectre (668104) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595131)

Out of curiousity... how does that work? Does an error message (say, "file not found") point to message #XXX, which is then just referenced in the language specific file? Is it that simple?

Re:open source challenges?? (1)

houseofmore (313324) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595234)

Nha, MS just pipes everything to http://www.google.com/language_tools

Re:open source challenges?? (0, Insightful)

bangular (736791) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595132)

Modded insightful? Office doesn't even support right to left languages. Microsoft has fought localization kicking and screaming and it wasn't until competing products were stealing this market that they have decided to respond. Consider also the fact that some governments are localizing distro's themselves and have helped the OSS community greatly. If MS had it their way the entire planet would be speaking American English.

Re:open source challenges?? (3, Informative)

Vicegrip (82853) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595141)

A vague unsupported statement by an AC moderated to +4 ..... But hey, MS astroturfers like to shoot fast and make a lot of noise, so I guess I'm starting to get used to it. Anyways, when was the last time you used KDE [kde.org] ?
FYI: KDE now supports 49 languages [slashdot.org] and the list is actively growing. On an other note, I seem to recall a story just recently about Microsoft refusing to update Microsoft Office for Hebrew on the Mac...

Re:open source challenges?? (4, Funny)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595211)

FYI: KDE now supports 49 languagesand the list is actively growing.

I don't think it's fair to count Elvish and Klingoln.

Re:open source challenges?? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8595157)

>>Please, like it or not, MS is already light
>> years ahead of OSS in terms of localization
>> and supporting foreign languages

I'm sorry. I can't figure out if you are trying
to be a troll or are trying to be a paid shill.

Can you throw me a clue which one it is?

Re:open source challenges?? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8595179)

Hmm I'm not sure about that, but anyway, Linux-on-the-desktop has not done localisation very well. It seems to be one seriously strenuous effort to translate KDE to another language, let alone the actual applications. The problem with Microsoft's approach is it will only yield translations into official languages.

Syllable's [sf.net] (freesoftware desktop OS, fairly mature, hardly anyone has heard of it I know) translation system will work along the lines of having external content catalogues. This means both the OS and software apps won't need to be altered or recompiled in any way in order for text and images etc to be translated to another language. You could create a new translation and have the app switch languages without having to restart the program. This is good because you won't need a programmer to perform translations, and there's a great deal of fexability in the system. You could create your own contructed language and character set, translate the OS and all your apps, and just use it.

Northern Californian Localization (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8594976)

The NorCal local language pack will add the words hella and and shit in as many places as it can.

"Ah man, now I get it. The help files are hella easy to understand 'n shit. So if you wanna shut down, click the start button, and select Shut Down And Shit"

Meanwhile, the Southern Californian Localization will feature such items as "Shut Down - It's Just Called Shut Down"

Re:Northern Californian Localization (5, Funny)

Eberlin (570874) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595122)

SoCal could use a stereotypic smattering of "Dude" and Valleyspeak's "Like" and "Totally" if not the "Foshizzles" and "Shizznits"

On a "Help" tab that nobody uses, I wrote:

"You, um, push buttons and like stuff happens. Sometimes it's like totally cool stuff but sometimes it's like 'oh man, there's no undo button? Mega bummer!'"

Not sure if anyone has noticed it here yet.

FP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8594978)

FP biatch! Ohh, my balls are humming...

Re:FP! (0, Offtopic)

AvengerXP (660081) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595006)

You could have at least said "Premier commentaire!" to be on topic or something. These guys don't even try anymore.

erm (1, Insightful)

negacao (522115) | more than 10 years ago | (#8594980)

language packs?

creating them now? i've already got one, it's called "Windows XP Multilingual User Interface" kit.

Well (3, Informative)

CptChipJew (301983) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595000)

Countries like China have local regions which don't speak either Mandarin or Cantonese, yet these are most likely the only 2 Chinese languages that Microsoft localizes their products for.

Re:Well (3, Funny)

kdb003 (705035) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595051)

So now they can pirate copies in their own language!

right.. (2, Funny)

SillyNickName4me (760022) | more than 10 years ago | (#8594981)

Heh.. that sounds liek them wantign the OSS kind of workforce without payign the price...

Re:right.. (1)

fitten (521191) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595015)

Heh.. that sounds liek them wantign the OSS kind of workforce without payign the price...

And what price is that?

Re:right.. (1)

Ackmo (700165) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595158)

What language is that?

Re:right.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8595067)

Isn't Microsoft just getting their users to do localisations for them at no cost to Microsoft? Kinda like how they get users to debug their products.

Remember... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8594982)

This summer, when it gets hot outside, and your
hemmoroids gets even hotter, just look to the cool
relief of Preparation-H to get you on your way.

And the catch is .... (1, Interesting)

Mr Very Angry (758914) | more than 10 years ago | (#8594983)

...pause... for 1000 nerds to think up devious MS policies :)

Re:And the catch is .... (0)

Mr Very Angry (758914) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595058)

Now I don't who is moderating, but what exactly is baiting about the PARENT - why is it "Flamebait"?

I thought it is probably quite accurate, after all since we know MS has a track record for underming the market, and the nerds have a track record for pointing this out.

Now there's a job I wouldn't want... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8594984)

...the schmoe who has to translate all the stupid shit Clippy says into other languages.

Re:Now there's a job I wouldn't want... (-1, Troll)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595030)

Hi! I see you're trying to karma whore on slashdot!

Would you like to:
- see a list of dopey corporate conspiracy theories
- view a collection of really tired and lame BSOD and Clippy jokes

Re:Now there's a job I wouldn't want... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8595065)

Kinda hard to Karma Whore when you post AC. Don't you think?

Re:Now there's a job I wouldn't want... (1)

el-spectre (668104) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595104)

Moreover, being funny does precisely _jack_ to Karma. Dude just wants to be a dick to someone, that's all.

Re:Now there's a job I wouldn't want... (4, Interesting)

Chief Technovelgist (759322) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595108)

The open source article says "The language spoken by most Rwandans has no word for "computer" ... the Rwandan [open source] developers created their own: "mudasobwa," which roughly means "something or someone that does not make mistakes."

Microsoft should have no problem localizing in Rwanda ;)

Has to be asked: (4, Funny)

irokitt (663593) | more than 10 years ago | (#8594993)

Where can I get my hands on these development tools so that I can start on a ROT13 version of Office?

Vg nccrnef lbh ner gelvat gb glcr n yrggre. Jbhyq lbh yvxr zr gb uryc?

Re:Has to be asked: (2, Funny)

el-spectre (668104) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595074)

V'z na naablvat navzngrq cvrpr bs gva. Jnag zr gb trg orag?

First post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8594994)

First post! Woo hoo!

DrTiTus represent

Hedge? (2, Informative)

zensufi (743379) | more than 10 years ago | (#8594995)

I don't know exactly what this "hedge" is. Open-source software has been translated by locals for a long time already. It seems that something even more important to these locals would be the price and reliability of their machines. GNU/Linux might be the better system for them to run, given limited resources.

Re:Hedge? (2, Interesting)

el-spectre (668104) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595044)

Right. Acknowledging that OSS has a decent international presence, MS is trying to compete, hence the "hedge" comment.

Makes me laugh (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 10 years ago | (#8594996)

Well thats what happens when we tout diferent laguages as an opensource strength.

On the other hand, this kinda shows Microsoft could be getting worried about open source software.

The thing is.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8594999)

Of course they already translate their products, but now what they are trying to do is make the governments do it instead, saving huge amount of money.

Can't resist..... (5, Funny)

the.jedi (212166) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595001)

How Do you say General Protection Fault in swahili?
EEEEeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

Re:Can't resist..... (1)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595070)

How Do you say General Protection Fault in swahili?
EEEEeeeeeeeeeee!!!!


How do you say General Protection Fault in Australian?

BUGGER!

Re:Can't resist..... (1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8595106)

how do us say it in USAian: "Bomb the FUCKING BASTARDS"!!

Re:Can't resist..... (2, Funny)

Maserati (8679) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595225)

[image of computer flying out an upper-story office window]

Australian for "reboot".

Re:Can't resist..... (1)

CycoChuck (102607) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595096)

I think this is a learning experience. We all can learn new languages to cuss the Blue Screen of Death in.

Re:Can't resist..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8595115)

Try Babblefish next time.

Freeloading (4, Insightful)

chrispyman (710460) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595007)

So Microsoft is giving us the priviledge of letting us translate their products for them. For some reason I don't think this will work well commercial product. You paid for it, why should you work more? Obviously for open source, it's diffrent.

Re:Freeloading (2, Interesting)

abscondment (672321) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595144)

sounds like a good opportunity for some mistranslations, too

>:D

Re:Freeloading (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595229)

Google does this already. Granted, most users of Google don't have to pay for it, but a country needs this software translated -- I'm pretty sure it will find volunteer translators.

What Gall (4, Insightful)

bstadil (7110) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595017)

that government and academic developers can use to produce localized versions of the [snip] Office 2003 productivity package

For $400 a pop you would have thought they could have done this themselves.

Re:What Gall (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8595072)

Government and academic developers buy site licenses so they can have unlimited use. In the end it comes out to much less than "$400 a pop."

Who modded this fool Insightful?

HTH, HAND.

Re:What Gall (3, Funny)

irokitt (663593) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595087)

Government and Academic institutions would be more than happy to pay extra. It isn't their money.

This Is News to Slashdot??!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8595018)

Wow..Microsoft creating new features in its software so it can be a superior product and make them more money.

Is there any Microsoft news thats relevant to slashdot anymore?

Next story: Bill Gates has constipation. This gives OSS a chance!!

This site is pathetic.

Uhhh, how is this news? (3, Insightful)

still_sick (585332) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595019)

The MUI (Multi-Language User Interface) Pack has beena available for the US-English version of Windows for years.

Localized versions of Windows have been available for years as well.

Now they DARE to Localize Applications?! THOSE BASTARDS!!!

Credit where credit is due (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8595022)

Give them some credit where it is due. Microsoft has always pushed multi language support at every level long before OSS was a serious contender. All their OS API's support unicode, multi language versions of their OS's and many applications have been around a long time.

Re:Credit where credit is due (3, Interesting)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595139)

"Give them some credit where it is due. Microsoft has always pushed multi language support at every level long before OSS was a serious contender."

Isn't it cool how profit can drive a company to make their products more accessible to break into new markets?

Re:Credit where credit is due (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8595170)

You are kidding right?

The Win32 API was entented to support 16bit unicode a long while after the origonal win32 API existed.

And what about those languages that use characters that aren't supported by this 16bit limitation?

The only real multi-lingual capability started in win2k, and only when displaying utf-8.

And dont get me started on on how characters are rendered for any given localisation of a script.

Re:Credit where credit is due (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8595184)

>> Microsoft has always pushed multi language
>> support at every level l

Ignorant or troll?

Why don't you tell that to the Israelis who
wanted support for their language for Office
on Macs? I'm sure they'll be happy to hear you
inform them that they were misinformed by
the local Microsoft representatives about
hebrew language support.

Think "Redneck" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8595029)

ala the old RedHat installer.

Good on Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8595032)

For doing this. Not all people speak English, and this just helps them to get their productivity up to speed.

Re:Good on Microsoft - mod PARENT UP (2, Insightful)

Mr Very Angry (758914) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595164)

Yes, very witty PARENT ... however, it really goes to show how Open Source has really rocked the industry (especially Microsoft),

I think this will be the first of a whole series of changes, which should be good for everyone who doesn't depend of closed IP.

future misery (3, Interesting)

segment (695309) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595033)


I wonder if somewhere down the line MS will turn around and lock up users into only opening files made under a certain language something a-la DVD "scheme" (yea dual use term that word scheme). So user Wong in China creates files in China to send to his brother Ming in America. Will user Wong also have to buy an addon somewhere in the future?

Re:future misery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8595093)

No offense, but did this come out of the Random Anti-Microsoft Comment Generator? (OK, I guess I intended some offense.)

mod this guys up (1)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595206)

Yeah I mean really, does everything they do translate into a cynical prediction?

Remove tin foil and step away from the computer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8595175)


there is sky and people and stuff if you get outside a bit more, even if its only for munchies at the 24hr store

As Will Smith would sing..... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8595040)

......your mom does the men that are black!

It's funny, who's the follower now? (0)

saberworks (267163) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595048)

It's funny how they always use their "innovation" to support the idea of closed source software. However, it seems like all the stories I see nowadays is how they're scrambling to catch up to what open source software has been doing for years.

Is MS 'Seeing th Light'? (4, Insightful)

femto (459605) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595063)

It almost sounds like the begginings of a 'bazaar' development model (albeit a miniscule step in that direction).

So, what license is to be used for these translations, written by third parties? Will Microsoft try and demand ownership, or at least commandeer a right to unlimited use of the translation?

If it is legally possible, it would be a really interesting experiment to write a translation and release it under the GPL, then sit back and watch the reaction.

Re:Is MS 'Seeing th Light'? (1)

el-spectre (668104) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595194)

Release a translated MS app under the GPL? Can't be done agains MS's will.

Re:Is MS 'Seeing th Light'? (2)

femto (459605) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595228)

Not the whole app. Just the translations you wrote.

You would have to distribute the translations on their own and let each individual user pair it up with their copy of the MS application. It would just be a curly situation for MS if your translations became a 'defacto standard', then MS decided it wanted to officially distribute its own translated application. (Or if MS, or a local distributor, mistakenly distributed a copy of your translations with their application.)

the question is (0)

Petronius (515525) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595064)

...is is a free upgrade?

Aren't they just outsourcing (4, Insightful)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595066)

This sounds to me like they're just outsourcing the task of translating their software to different languages to other small countries that wouldn't make it financially worth it for microsoft to do it.

Isn't that backward? (4, Insightful)

YouHaveSnail (202852) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595069)

Microsoft has announced plans for a program to help governments produce local language versions of key Microsoft applications

Shouldn't that be the other way around? Why should governments be doing Microsoft's work? If Microsoft wants to sell in upper Mongolia, it ought to make the effort to localize its own damn software for that market.

If you ask me, this is just one more example of Microsoft's incredible hubris.

Re:Isn't that backward? (1)

Spetiam (671180) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595161)

otoh, it is very much in the United States' interest to promote US businesses overseas

it increases our market share in the global economy, and that is a good thing for us as a Nation, which is why the government is getting involved

Profit abroad (5, Informative)

DryBaboon (706101) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595073)

I'm in China and I've never seen a non-pirate version of any piece of software, including on computers of reputable companies. Not only is there no respect for copyright, there is no understanding of the concept. The increase in profit will not be that great because everyone will use the new localised software... but in pirate copies with no money going to MS... but I guess that's ok if you rate it by convenience to humanity.

Re:Profit abroad (1)

Toxygen (738180) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595155)

I doubt Microsoft is ignorant to that fact. That's probably why they're getting them to do most of the work.

Just translating may not be enough... (5, Interesting)

soullessbastard (596494) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595102)

Disclaimer: I work on OpenOffice.org for MacOS X

Unfortunately MS fails to realize that simple translation may not be enough. Take Office v.X on the Mac for example. It's lack of full RTL and Unicode support means some languages can't be supported, even if just the interface is translated. Rubi for Japanese is another language feature that may require access to the source code itself. Not to mention other tasks like modifying their English grammar checker to support new languages...


Merely providing the ability to make a "Language Pack" and translate the strings on the screen does not provide enough access to really support foreign languages. Without full access to the source code, foreign languages will still remain second class citizens


ed

Dialectizer Office? (5, Funny)

PetoskeyGuy (648788) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595109)

Dialectizer Wizard

Please choose a language...

( ) Elmer Fudd
( ) Redneck
( ) Jive
( ) Cockey
( ) Sweedish Chef (my favorite)
( ) Moron
( ) Pig Latin
( ) Hacker

(BTW, this is from The Dialectizer [rinkworks.com] site - Microsoft currently blocks them - no sense of humor)

OH MY GOD MICROSOFT SUCKS BECAUSE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8595119)

Oh wait, they're competing with us. ...durrrr, THATS ILLEGAL!! MICROSOFT SUCKS!

At least Microsoft has a fucking usable desktop, instead of two teams of squabbling jackasses who cant agree on how to make a flea market knock-off.

Lick some ass... (1)

xot (663131) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595142)

I think what they intend to do is lick some govt ass and trick them into using localized language software and what happens eventually is that the govt files an anti-trust kind lawsuit againt MS! that would be nice.

As if that was going to change a thing!!! (3, Informative)

Goeland86 (741690) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595143)

Funny that it took so long for MS to realize they'd been had... I remember a friend of mine translating KDE documentation in french about 4 years ago... Not to mention the fact that asian fonts have been almost constantly present under linux, as far as I can remember. Besides, China already has Dragon Linux, and they wouldn't switch back to windows for anything else than a nuclear war threat... and even then it'd be a tough challenge! So guess what: that's not going to make a difference in the long run. MS has lost the initiative, and they're trying to make believe they still have it... I hope we can prove they're behind the Opensource community, and have been ever since linux came to being!

OSS or best practices challenged? (2, Informative)

fermion (181285) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595156)

I have worked on a couple projects that allowed language localization. If the code is designed with modern standards in mind, it was quite easy to localize (at least for western languages) as all text was kept kept in separate resource files. The same for icons, et al. On the Mac such things could be changed, from day one, by resedit, a free and very usable application. This resulted in various themes based on Bloom County and other topics. It also allowed offensive icons to be modified. Of course, Unix has been providing packages at customizable levels of complexity for more years than MS has exists.

So one wonders what kind of antiquated practices MS is using that requires a 'special' program to allow localization. Could it be that perhaps MS is not competing against OSS, but is continuing it's fight against best software engineering practices. [And I know that many at MS know how to write code. I have their books. OTOH, we see many cases where corporate and monopoly market interests contraindicate best practices.]

What about other software? (2, Interesting)

leandrod (17766) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595159)

When Alpha was struggling, MS helped kill it by porting only part of its portfolio, and making difficult for other people to port theirs.

Now, MS WXP and MS Office... what about countless other apps? And is it as easy for ISVs to translate theirs? Then, can they ship a binary with multilanguage built in as in POSIX systems?

And even if people could translate all that mass of software, will they do proprietary software vendors' work? Perhaps for MS Office and WXP, but I doubt for anything else.

In the end, we still have an edge here. MS actually progressed just a little.

BSOD (3, Funny)

enrico_suave (179651) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595169)

pantalla azul de la muerte!

e.

unless i'm missing something (4, Interesting)

ozric99 (162412) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595177)

The Amiga did this over a decade ago with it's "locale" settings. Anybody could produce a localised translation of application menus etc. In fact there are hundreds of such "locale" settings on aminet. [uni-paderborn.de]

What languages? (4, Funny)

tuxlove (316502) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595186)

Their language packs wouldn't be complete without these languages/alphabets:

- Ebonics
- Pig latin
- Esperanto
- Elvish
- Klingon
- Linear B

I guarantee you Microsoft won't support any of these. But the open source community is certainly not above it, and will surely be the only recourse for anyone needing to localize software in those languages. And I'm sure there's more I haven't named here.

If windows localization is so good (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8595191)

why does localization in .NET suck so hard? compared to how Java handles internationalization (not perfect by the way), the support in .NET feels weak. In fact the project I'm on now has completely foregone internationalization because it isn't sufficient. Instead, there's development teams in other countries, who localize it for other languages. Often, they end up rewriting most of the application. Internationalization is hard and isn't simple, but having a good framework isn't just supporting Unicode. Supporting Unicode is the minimum requirement.

.net feels weak because it is not mature like java (1, Insightful)

codepunk (167897) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595219)

These are the pains one feels when writing software using a beta version language.

This was finally got me off Microsoft. (4, Interesting)

wltack (103314) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595193)

I read an account in 1999(?) detailing how the government of Iceland wrote to M$ about when they expected to develop packages to run the OS in Icelandic. M$ replied "Well, hmm, never". Not enough by itself, but I just remember that this was the straw that broke the camel's back for me.

In Soviet Russia... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8595195)

Microsoft works for you

Qt Linguist? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8595207)

So this is a lot like the Qt Linguist [trolltech.com] , right? Only Qt Linguist is here already, open source, and good for any Qt/KDE application.

Once again, Microsoft at the forefront...

And efficient! (0, Flamebait)

houseofmore (313324) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595209)

The Local Language Program will provide local and regional governments with "language interface packs"

Yep, and they will seamlessly be installed at no extra cost by a worm.

Translate Everything Except.... (2, Funny)

ptelligence (685287) | more than 10 years ago | (#8595226)

The BSOD. It's universal.
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