"English isn't good enough" UN Summit declares on Internet Language

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by JustJeff, Nov 1, 2006.

  1. JustJeff

    JustJeff www.youtube.com/thisisjustjeff

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    Wednesday (today), a summit decided that english characters were not good enough for internet domains. The article explains:

    "On Wednesday, delegates to a United Nations summit here complained that the ASCII-only choice was representative of an Internet culture that is far too English-centric and that fails to respect other languages."

    "Internationalized domain names work something like this: Nonstandard characters are translated into ASCII through algorithms called "Nameprep" and "Punycode," with a special "xn--" prefix attached that signals that it's an encoded domain name."

    "Some of the participants during Wednesday's discussion--not one was from North America--called internationalized domain names a singular achievement that would resolve many concerns about supporting other languages."

    "But other participants quickly lodged additional complaints: That U.S. software makers were not moving quickly enough to support other languages, and that English was still far too prevalent on the Web."



    Do you think that programmers will soon have to code in multiple languages? Should an international coding language be discussed so that everyone can code the same language? How will we bridge the language barrier between all of our languages?

    I'm afraid that computer engineers and computer science programmers may have to learn multiple languages to provide information on the internet. Do you think this may be troublesome for the newer batches of programmers and engineers coming out in the technological sense? Should we start studying multiple languages or what languages should we study?

    Is it okay for english to be a dominant language on the internet?

    Discuss!

    (Article = here: http://news.com.com/U.N.+delegates+English+isnt+good+enough/2100-1028_3-6131394.html?tag=nl )
     
  2. 7960

    7960 New Member

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    Yes.

    Coding can happen in any language but english is the most common. Why spend what would end up being millions (if not billions) "fixing" a problem that doesn't exist?
     
  3. Tom93R1

    Tom93R1 Member

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    Only the people who are not writing the programs have a problem with engineers and programmers doing all their work in English. If the computer was created in Germany then computer programming would be in German. Screw this PC crap about the PC.
     
  4. ady

    ady New Member

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    What a great way to cause massive problems for domain owners, with all the alternative spellings that would arrise. Maybe these people should log into an online game that allows every character under the sun and see what a mess it is.
     
  5. JustJeff

    JustJeff www.youtube.com/thisisjustjeff

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    Unless we create an internet language that everyone understands, taking in characters of different languages, or creating its own unique language... that you must learn to understand the internet...

    I think that would be pretty sweet... though it would require revamping the whole system.
     
  6. 7960

    7960 New Member

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  7. mondaynightmike

    mondaynightmike New Member

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    :ugh: fuck this. Hard enough doing it in english let alone other languages.
     
  8. MAD PUNK inDC

    MAD PUNK inDC Sic Semper Tyrannis

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    :rofl: It's funny when the UN tries to control the internet. We invented it, we built it, we produce the overwelming majority of software and hardware that runs the fucking thing, they can eat shit! It's ours, the most successful american invention, and they can get over it.
     
  9. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    Uhhh... wasn't the web invented in (gasp) FRANCE? :)
     
  10. 7960

    7960 New Member

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    uhh, the internet was invented by the US military, "the web" wouldn't exist without it.
     
  11. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Programming languages are already available in multiple human languages. All you have to do is change the table that translates between keywords and assembly code so that the keywords are in French (for example) instead of English, and you've got yourself a French version of Visual Studio. Using an interpreted language like Java or HTML? No problem -- just convert the Javascript into pseudocode before you publish it, so the user's Java Machine will be able to run the code regardless of the language it was originally written in.

    Now, if you want to change the grammar of the programming language, that's a big problem. Not only will you have to change the compiler, you won't be able to read code written by someone raised speaking a language with a different grammatical structure. That's not going to work well at all.

    - - -

    Web content is also written in multiple languages. I don't know how many times I've searched for information about my car and had to wade through German websites, or searched for information about my computer and had to find the one English site out of a hundred Chinese ones. No discrimination in the content world.

    - - -

    Using accented characters in internet addresses is going to be a pain for english-speaking people (just like not using them is a pain for non-english speakers) because it will introduce all sorts of problems with not having the necessary keys on your keyboard. Services will eventually arise (both legit and fake) that will search for foreign domain names and automatically purchase and register versions of them spelled in every possible character set, so people will have a better chance of finding the foreign website they want.

    What's really needed is a Universal Translator. (no, it's not Star Trek, it's quite possible, we just don't understand our own languages well enough to make one yet.)

    - - -

    The root issue underlying all of this crap is the concern that globalization is wiping out local cultures. If you're concerned about local cultures, then this will bother you. I, for one, being an American citizen, am used to seeing all manner of different cultures scattered around me, and yet I can communicate with all of them because (almost) everyone is willing to internationalize themselves when communication is necessary. Do I speak other languages? I try to -- I know some Italian and Spanish -- but I don't try as hard as people who don't speak English. Is that unfair? Not really. English is popular because it's the most flexible language on Earth (which is also why it's complex, granted), and I was merely lucky enough to be born to a family that speaks it.

    The internet is not an engine for forcing everyone to be uniform, and it doesn't need to be changed such that it stops doing that; the internet is an engine for facilitating communication between people who might otherwise never understand a word the other is saying. Should we discourage that by artificially forcing diversity where there is uniformity? Hell no; we need to be able to understand each other. Funny how the UN believes in that ideal everywhere except online.
     
  12. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    No. The internet was invented by academics. They were funded by DARPA.

    But the Web was invented at CERN, in France ;) Without the web, nobody would give a shit about internet governance.
     
  13. crontab

    crontab (uid = 0)

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    e-dick-sword fighting time!!!!!
     
  14. piratepenguin

    piratepenguin New Member

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    The Internet Is Minee!!
     
  15. GunboatDiplomat

    GunboatDiplomat New Member

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    This is an utter non-issue. No one really cares about the implementation of the systems. The content is already multilingual, as are many programs (certainly the important ones). Programming languages can be implemented in any language and the current ones can be used with any language that share English's character set (like most of Europe's). The grammar of current programming languages is certainly not English, so there's no bias there, either! I don't forsee any real problems with multilingual domain name servers so, after that's implemented, what's the big deal?
     
  16. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    How are you going to type a russian website address, GBD?
     
  17. illmaceyougood

    illmaceyougood New Member

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    We need a world where eventually everyone will speak the same language. The internet is one thing that can help get us closer to that goal, so no, they shouldn't mess with it.
     
  18. J

    J Active Member

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    "lol" will replace "keke" someday
     
  19. Sexual Vanilla

    Sexual Vanilla New Member

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    I thought Al Gore invented the internet :dunno:
     
  20. JustJeff

    JustJeff www.youtube.com/thisisjustjeff

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    So, do you think that moderm keyboards will have to be modified to type Russian, Chinese, and Korean symbols? Will there be a setting to change the letters so that it will be easier for some of the english keyboardists to change into a Russian or Chinese based setting?

    Will we just be restricted to copy & paste? Maybe, we could translate the symbols and have them redirect?

    So, which do you think is the best idea:

    1. Conforming to One Language for the Internet
    2. Create a new keyboard that modifies to allow other characters such as Chinese and Russian to be typed
    3. Create equivalents to Russian and Chinese characters that you can type to get to the same address, as it will just redirect you.
    4. Other...


    I think that 3 (create equivalant domains for Russian and Chinese Characters) is our best bet at making this work. It will be the cheapest and hold no real strain on the millions of internet users who don't speak the language. It also requires no modification of hardware, just domain and database manipulation.
     
  21. GOGZILLA

    GOGZILLA Double-Uranium Member

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    I will forward the reports of this thread to the UN council. Thank you all.
     
  22. 7960

    7960 New Member

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    DARPA didn't invent the internet, they just funded the academics' work. Great.

    But if you're going to be that picky then the french didn't invent the web, the englishman Tim Berners-Lee did while working as a contractor at CERN. It was his idea to marry the internet and hypertext. The french were riding on his idea.
     
  23. piratepenguin

    piratepenguin New Member

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    For nearly all of us, it won't matter because we won't need to go to any Russian sites with Russian TLDs...

    The only time I see .ru about is from spam, and I bet I ain't the only one.
     
  24. GunboatDiplomat

    GunboatDiplomat New Member

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    Well, you're not going to do that with current domain name servers, that's true. However, it would be trivial to set up another donaim name server protocol and run a unicode, multibyte or, indeed, any other multilingual service on it. This came up when the UN was complaining that control over ICANN (and, thus, domain names) was fundamentally American (although they have yet to exercise national interests). The obvious solution is to simply create a different and separate DNS protocol and run that over the network (exactly like how the current one is) and control that. That was just as much a non-issue as this one since, indeed, they are the same issue...
     
  25. GunboatDiplomat

    GunboatDiplomat New Member

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    You act as if only English speaking countries have computers. How do you think people in Russia, China, and Korea input data into their computers? Do you think all their computer users speak English? There are already input methods for other languages and most of the important software supports it, including the operating system that you are running...

    My contention is that whole debate is a non-issue. I hardly even know what they're complaining about...
     

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