[RFC] Octave and internationalization

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[RFC] Octave and internationalization

CdeMills
Hello,

a recurrent topic on this list and #octave is how to use accentuated letters and special symbols in Octave. I started a specific page on the wiki [1], stating the evolution of encoding, the main norms, how it works as of today, as well as plans for future development.

IMHO utf-8 support should be easy to achieve, it is a matter of ensuring that every char manipulation is 8-bits clean. Locales and complete support (isalpha, strlen, manipulating two strings with different encoding) is another story.

Could the persons interested please complete ? We should define the needs, their priority, and have a idea about the complexity of the implementations.

Regards

Pascal
[1] http://wiki.octave.org/International_Characters_Support
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[RFC] Octave and internationalization

Alan W. Irwin
On 2014-04-02 00:24-0700 CdeMills wrote:

> Hello,
>
> a recurrent topic on this list and #octave is how to use accentuated letters
> and special symbols in Octave. I started a specific page on the wiki [1],
> stating the evolution of encoding, the main norms, how it works as of today,
> as well as plans for future development.
>
> IMHO utf-8 support should be easy to achieve, it is a matter of ensuring
> that every char manipulation is 8-bits clean. Locales and complete support
> (isalpha, strlen, manipulating two strings with different encoding) is
> another story.
>
> Could the persons interested please complete ? We should define the needs,
> their priority, and have a idea about the complexity of the implementations.
>
> Regards
>
> Pascal
> [1] http://wiki.octave.org/International_Characters_Support

Hi Pascal:

I am not an Octave developer so I don't want to get involved with
that wiki, but I do have some comments concerning what it says now.

<quote>Octave "by accident" supports UTF-8, meaning that the vast majority of
functions for text display and graph manipulations are using 8-bits
chars, passing them unmodified to the underlying layers in charge of
rendering.</quote>

I am sure you are already aware of this since "by accident" was in
quotes, but I want to emphasize for others here that these good
results for UTF-8 are _not_ an accident.  Instead, UTF-8 was designed
to be a logical extension to 7-bit ascii which is why there are a lot
of automatic benefits to using this encoding of unicode. Furthermore,
gaining additional benefits is normally simply a matter of making the
relevant Octave code 8-bit clean. For example, the recent solution of
one such 8-bit clean issue <http://savannah.gnu.org/bugs/?41965> now
allows UTF-8 to be used in function help strings without any need for
wide characters.  This has big positive implications for help string
translation efforts as I have emphasized in another thread concerning
that Octave bug fix.

In fact, the superiority of UTF-8 to all other unicode encodings (such
as UTF-16 and UTF-32) is so clear that UTF-8 is really the only widely
supported unicode encoding on Unix, and UTF-8 is also well-supported
on Windows. So for PLplot we have explicitly decided to never support
any unicode encoding other than UTF-8 in our public API.  This
approach has been successful on all platforms and has greatly
simplified our development life.  Therefore, I would advise the Octave
developers to take that same approach as well.  If you do make that
decision it would immediately follow that your future unicode plans as
outlined in the above URL would be considerably simplified.

Alan
__________________________
Alan W. Irwin

Astronomical research affiliation with Department of Physics and Astronomy,
University of Victoria (astrowww.phys.uvic.ca).

Programming affiliations with the FreeEOS equation-of-state
implementation for stellar interiors (freeeos.sf.net); the Time
Ephemerides project (timeephem.sf.net); PLplot scientific plotting
software package (plplot.sf.net); the libLASi project
(unifont.org/lasi); the Loads of Linux Links project (loll.sf.net);
and the Linux Brochure Project (lbproject.sf.net).
__________________________

Linux-powered Science
__________________________

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Re: [RFC] Octave and internationalization

Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso-2
On Wed, 2014-04-02 at 09:32 -0700, Alan W. Irwin wrote:

> I am not an Octave developer so I don't want to get involved with
> that wiki,

That wiki is editable by everyone. If we wanted to make it only for
Octave developers, we'd password-protect it or something. Just edit
the wiki.

- Jordi G. H.




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Re: [RFC] Octave and internationalization

Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso-2
In reply to this post by Alan W. Irwin
On Wed, 2014-04-02 at 09:32 -0700, Alan W. Irwin wrote:
> I am sure you are already aware of this since "by accident" was in
> quotes, but I want to emphasize for others here that these good
> results for UTF-8 are _not_ an accident.

What is an accident is that sometimes Octave keeps the bits and
sometimes doesn't (when it does, that's the accident).

Octave was never built with any kind of encoding in mind other than
ASCII.

- Jordi G. H.





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Re: [RFC] Octave and internationalization

Alan W. Irwin
In reply to this post by Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso-2
On 2014-04-02 17:24-0400 Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso wrote:

> On Wed, 2014-04-02 at 09:32 -0700, Alan W. Irwin wrote:
>
>> I am not an Octave developer so I don't want to get involved with
>> that wiki,
>
> That wiki is editable by everyone. If we wanted to make it only for
> Octave developers, we'd password-protect it or something. Just edit
> the wiki.

Understood, but this is a special case. How Octave developers approach
internationalization is their decision.  As an outsider to Octave
development there is no way I should be editing their blueprint for
that which is why I confined myself to some suggestions here based on
my experience with another project.

Alan
__________________________
Alan W. Irwin

Astronomical research affiliation with Department of Physics and Astronomy,
University of Victoria (astrowww.phys.uvic.ca).

Programming affiliations with the FreeEOS equation-of-state
implementation for stellar interiors (freeeos.sf.net); the Time
Ephemerides project (timeephem.sf.net); PLplot scientific plotting
software package (plplot.sf.net); the libLASi project
(unifont.org/lasi); the Loads of Linux Links project (loll.sf.net);
and the Linux Brochure Project (lbproject.sf.net).
__________________________

Linux-powered Science
__________________________

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Re: [RFC] Octave and internationalization

Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso-2
On Wed, 2014-04-02 at 16:29 -0700, Alan W. Irwin wrote:

> On 2014-04-02 17:24-0400 Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso wrote:
>
> > On Wed, 2014-04-02 at 09:32 -0700, Alan W. Irwin wrote:
> >
> >> I am not an Octave developer so I don't want to get involved with
> >> that wiki,
> >
> > That wiki is editable by everyone. If we wanted to make it only for
> > Octave developers, we'd password-protect it or something. Just edit
> > the wiki.
>
> Understood, but this is a special case. How Octave developers approach
> internationalization is their decision.

It is everyone's decision. There isn't a secret cabal that makes
decisions. Whoever writes the code is the one who makes the decision.
That's how everything works around here.

> As an outsider to Octave development

You are only an outsider if you choose to make yourself one. If you
think you know how i18n should be done and we have no idea how to do
it (and we probably don't), tell us about it. And edit the wiki. It's
not a super-secret developers-only wiki. Instead of putting your
thoughts in this mailing list, put them in the wiki. They're much more
useful for posterity there.

- Jordi G. H.



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Re: [RFC] Octave and internationalization

Sergei Steshenko




----- Original Message -----

> From: Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso <[hidden email]>
> To: Alan W. Irwin <[hidden email]>
> Cc: [hidden email]
> Sent: Thursday, April 3, 2014 5:16 PM
> Subject: Re: [RFC] Octave and internationalization
>
> On Wed, 2014-04-02 at 16:29 -0700, Alan W. Irwin wrote:
>>  On 2014-04-02 17:24-0400 Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso wrote:
>>
>>  > On Wed, 2014-04-02 at 09:32 -0700, Alan W. Irwin wrote:
>>  >
>>  >> I am not an Octave developer so I don't want to get involved
> with
>>  >> that wiki,
>>  >
>>  > That wiki is editable by everyone. If we wanted to make it only for
>>  > Octave developers, we'd password-protect it or something. Just
> edit
>>  > the wiki.
>>
>>  Understood, but this is a special case. How Octave developers approach
>>  internationalization is their decision.
>
> It is everyone's decision. There isn't a secret cabal that makes
> decisions. Whoever writes the code is the one who makes the decision.
> That's how everything works around here.

Utter nonsense.

It doesn't work this way anywhere.

If several people implement parts of common goal, interfaces have to be defined first - be it code or HW. In HW M4 nut won't hold on M3 screw, and M4 screw won't fit M3 nut.

All this is the bazaar concept propaganda, and no more than that.

>
>>  As an outsider to Octave development
>
> You are only an outsider if you choose to make yourself one.

_Exactly_ because of the (bazaar concept) propaganda it's better to be an outsider. If you still don't get it, face the _facts_: "GCC steering committee" - http://gcc.gnu.org/steering.html .

Jordi, IMO you _personally_ are the most effective Octave project underminer.


>If you
> think you know how i18n should be done and we have no idea how to do
> it (and we probably don't), tell us about it. And edit the wiki. It's
> not a super-secret developers-only wiki. Instead of putting your
> thoughts in this mailing list, put them in the wiki. They're much more
> useful for posterity there.
>
> - Jordi G. H.
>
>

--Sergei.


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Re: [RFC] Octave and internationalization

Francesco Potortì
>Jordi, IMO you _personally_ are the most effective Octave project underminer.

Well, I think that mostly everyone else thinks the opposite here :)

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