Re: [SML] Preliminary EBNF for SML
From: Don Park <donpark@d...> >The reverse is not true. I dare say that every engineer >in the world knows enough English to understand English >tag names and attributes names with the aid of readily >available dictionary. Ask any foreign engineers if they >use names in English or their own language when they name >C or C++ identifiers. Ask any foreign engineers if they >did not have some English training even before College. You would be entirely mistaken in this. Engineers in Africa may have French as their second language; engineers from ex-Eastern Bloc countries will have Russian as their second language. Engineers in China will have Mandarin as their second language. And the skills of reading and writing are different: many people can recognise English words in context but cannot recall them. Asking professional people in America if they speak English hardly proves anything. And are you saying that SML is a language that only engineers should read and write? >Internationalization is also less of a problem than you >think. This is utterly bogus. Every different language and domain area has different problems. > Translating English name to foreign words usually >results in a weird words. Just ask any foreigner with >foreign version of Windows if the menu commands made good >sense to them when they first started using it. The fact >is that when a person learns how to use computers in non- >English speaking countries, they have to learn a whole new >set of words consisting of old or uncommon words overloaded >with new meanings. So we should perpetuate this and make it worse? And it is not correct to suggest that a foreign version of Windows has menu items that are simply the English words transliterated or directly translated. Of course there is a set of meanings of words to learn; but why should their be a foreign vocabulary as well? >Also, we are going to have a big problem with schema >differences in the future and I would rather not have >foreign language variations of common tags like <name> and ><address> in the pot as well. Is this any difference from saying "I don't care how difficult it is for losers who find English difficult, as long as it is convenient for me?" Furthermore, there are many terms that do not have exact translations. What is the English equivalent for the Japanese address unit "cho"? I helped an accountant at my work try to develop standard English translations for payroll deduction terms here in Taiwan, and there are many which simply are not found in English: without a really complicated explaination with multiple English words there is no way to give the same markup: looking up words in a dictionary is not a productive use of time. Such systems would require an extra layer of software to provide UI help, in which case the advantage of "simplicity" is lost. I agree that it is good to have standard terms for common things, and that English is the best choice at the moment, but unfortunately not every word exists in English and most people in the world do not speak it or read it. Why reduce markup to mere nmemonics rather than be able to use names? One reason for allowing native language markup is that it can enfrachanchise the great proportion of the world who are literate but not in English. The goal of markup systems should not be to make life easier for programmers, but to reduce the requirement for extraneous-to-the-task skills as markup is used instead. These extraneous skills should include both programming and English-knowledge. Rick Jelliffe Taipei, Taiwan xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev@i... Archived as: http://www.lists.ic.ac.uk/hypermail/xml-dev/ and on CD-ROM/ISBN 981-02-3594-1 To unsubscribe, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; unsubscribe xml-dev To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; subscribe xml-dev-digest List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa@i...)
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