Hanselminutes Podcast 117 - Sorting out Internationalization with Michael Kaplan
My one-hundred-and-seventeenth podcast is up. Michael Kaplan is a Developer in the Windows International group and the author of the popular 'Sorting It Out' blog that is dedicated it all things '-ization.' That means Globalization, Internationalization, and Localization. Do check out Michael's blog as well as the Internationalization category of this blog.
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Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.
Really impressed by your knowledge about Indian languages. Your pronunciation is perfect.
By the way I work for the same company as you do but not as FT.
Keep up the good work!!!
There are a handful of bloggers that I follow closely and you are one of them.
I have however found recently that you have been covering topics that I am finding more difficult to connect with. I became a big fan during the times when you were blogging about day to day technical topics (i.e. taking current Microsoft technologies and tools and applying them 'today' into production environments).
I am a big fan of new Microsoft technologies and like most active developers are trying to keep up with the flood of new technologies and techniques. So many blogs and even magazines now are way ahead of the current 'active/employed' developer. So many of us are the arena of trying to stay productive while adding new concepts and technologies bit by bit. A large group of developers I believe are working on evolving existing business applications that have been in the company for a few years.
I find that your content is so much more valuable when I can connect to it and learn and become productive as a direct result. If at all possible discuss/talk about things we can apply today and provide a perspective on the technologies that you feel will be around. This type of talk/discussions will really help us navigate the new stuff coming out and help us focus on things that you feel is or will be core skills.
thanks again and feel free to let me know if i can help at all
This time, however, you and Michael lost me a couple of times:
- Around 17:23, when Michael is talking about parentheses in arabic, you suggest specific arabic cultures, but Michael moves on to "something that's actually on the list" -- Chinese.
- Starting 22:10, you ask for the difference between a Language Interface Pack and an MUI. I think that question is never answered.
In both cases, I could guess the general meaning, but expected more specific (help-type) answers. Often your podcasts are really "educational" in a good way, but here things became too anecdotal for my taste.
I would have loved a discussion on why we cannot just get *all* languages that Microsoft supports supplied out of the box for Windows and *Office*. Individual Language Packs for individual users annoy IT, and the Office Multi-Language Pack 2007 is pretty expensive (at $160 it can't be deployed to a whole organization). On the Microsoft side, the cost is in *developing* language support, not in distributing it. I bet the revenue lost would be less then $10M. (Plus, a lot of money seems to go into explaining all the language packs and making sales channels support them).
Developers and technologies can be ahead of the wave, riding the wave or behind further in the wake (sorry for the analogy)
Ahead of the wave: there are plenty of webcasts, podcasts, blogs entries and magazine articles covering technologies ahead of the wave. These are very important and valuable. These try to give us the concepts and the directions 1.5 to 3 years out. Often there are Beta's and other downloads available for individuals in support. I agree that your content is not within this category.
Riding the wave: these are the topics that have been recently released (version 1's) but have very little penetration into the developer community in any sort of production environment. These topics are easily still 9-18 months out from any actual implementation on a project but can be seen as sparks in eyes of developers.
In the wake: I believe this is where the largest population of developers reside. Individuals here are dealing with existing applications that have been in production between 1.5-3 years. Individuals here are including new features and evolving existing applications due to changing business processes and customers needs. While working with business process owners and automating existing processes developers in this area gain a high level of confidence to deliver solid solutions. Developers can provide solid deadlines and raise the confidence of the business managers on the back of technology. Mind you, I think the development teams in this area are quite small 1-6 but in terms of actual population I believe this is a very large group. This is only my perspective and there is certainly room for discussion and my education within this statement.
Now when you cross the above analogy with the plethora of technologies available today you end up with large gaps. In the past (from my perspective) your content helped fill this gap. This gap is the one between 'on the wave' and 'in the wake'.
This gap helps developers in camp 3 while discussing topics in camp 2 and helps establish the road for individuals to get from camp 3 to camp 2. Slightly different in terms of type of technology but take for example the great success of your Tools List. This fell solidly in camp 3 (things that people can pick up and apply today in the production environment while some a little head of the knowledge of some developers). Yes, I realize that camp 3 is not the sexiest however it is the camp most neglected in terms of published information.
Individual developers just don't have enough time to learn all the pitfalls and any content that can help us learn and apply in existing applications or in the next release is of great value.
I have often found that MSDN magazines 18 months old have value. I often keep a bundle of them in the car so that I have material to read while waiting for someone/something. Amazingly, they are topics are very good however I often get odd shivers that I am reading something 18 months old.
Please don't get me wrong. I am a huge fan and advocate of number of new technologies (I can't get enough SL or Entity Framework). In my spare time I love to learn and grow in an effort to stay abreast but I also realize that I probably won't be able to apply for 1-2 years as I get paid for living in camp 3.
I hope this helps provide some sort of context for my comments.
I would personally love to make use of functional programming languages like F# and Ruby or Boo or IronRuby, but its the simple fact that while i could write code in them , the second i submit to source control I am now the only person who can maintain them. This is only one anecdotal example of getting paid to live in camp 3.
I don't have too much else to offer and you have done a wonderful job of clearly explaining the position.
@Scott Thank you for your openness and interest in the opinions of your readers. especially in this case. As always well done... I can honestly still say I wouldn't be where I am today without information I have gained from not only your podcast but your blog.
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One of my team has recently spent some time working on internationalisation in a WPF app and found it an interesting experience, where WPF supports things well, but actually creating the internationalised text involved jumping through a few hoops, using the locbaml tool and making a custom tool to make things easier.