Subject: Re: Beginner question: performance problems with a simple program
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Wed, 02 Jan 2002 00:59:11 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Thomas F. Burdick
| Certainly the idea of locales can be (and is) taken to a silly extreme.
| However, there are a few languages that are really important, and being
| able to deliver applications in them is important.  English, Spanish,
| maybe French, Arabic, Chinese, and Japanese, should all be usable.  We
| should be able to assume that all programmers have at least basic English
| skills, but the same is not true of users.

  Well, you cannot write a program that works in English, Spanish, French,
  Arabic, Chinese and Japanese unless you know _all_ these languages and
  _prepare_ for the translation.

  The only way to make a program work in more than one language is to make
  it work in _none_: formalize a protocol and write user-interface front-
  ends to it.  Let those who understand the application _and_ the target
  language write that user-interface front-end.

  English happens to be the _common_ language of the field of computer
  science.  It no longer has the role of a natural language in computer
  science.  That this leaves a large number of people "handicapped" by
  being misled to believe that _their_ language is the common language, is
  nothing but unfortunate.

  Forget the whole locale business and write software that speaks about
  objects and units and internal stuff, and let several user-interface guys
  handle the user-interface portion that talks to people in various
  cultures.  This is not hard at all, once you get past the misguided
  notion that all computer programs should talk directly to users.