User friendly Free Software Desktops (was: Very Worried at MS .net)

Josef Dalcolmo dalcolmo at
Wed Jul 18 16:02:16 UTC 2001

markj at said:

> I thought the l10n teams had done a good job?  Don't we just make sure
> LANG is set (hopefully installation systems do this right for their
> target country) and away we go?  Certainly, things like -ize just wind
> me up, so I notice them.  I admit that I work in a fairly dominant
> language, though, so I may be very wrong. 

I hope the MS mistakes are not repeated here. I for example live in Germany, 
type on a US keyboard often in English but also in German, Italian, even mixed 
I user ISO date display and switch between German and English style of decimal 
point (which is a comma in German). I prefer the English help pages, since I 
recognize the keywords there.

I would much rather see an comprehensive easy configuration page, which can be 
overwritten by document than one single "LANG" switch for the system. It is 
still a rather difficult task to adjust the keyboard table so one can type the 
German ÄÖÜäöüß, in all the applications on a US keyboard (I figured one out, 
but it might break with the next XFree release, and I don't think a normal 
user would go to the lenth I did.

This is something, by the way, I could never get right in the Windows world.

MS Excel is stupid enough to have renamed even one function call: in the 
German version it is SUMME instead of SUM (breaking code that runs on the US 
version). Interestingly it is the only function that got renamed.

I also recall that one US Windows application did not let itself be installed 
on a German Windows system!

- Josef

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