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Poll: Would you like to see ProZ.com migrate to Unicode?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 00:36
SITE STAFF
Jan 28, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Would you like to see ProZ.com migrate to Unicode?".

This poll was originally submitted by Mihai Badea

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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xxxMihai Badea  Identity Verified
Luxembourg
Member (2004)
English to Romanian
+ ...
A definition of Unicode Jan 28, 2006

Hi!

For those who don’t know about Unicode, here is a definition of it:

“A code similar to ASCII, used for representing commonly used symbols in a digital form. Unlike ASCII, however, Unicode uses a 16-bit dataspace, and so can support a wide variety of non-Roman alphabets including Cyrillic, Han Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Korean, Bengali, and so on. Supporting common non-Roman alphabets is of interest to community networks, which may want to promote multicultural aspects of their systems.”
teladesign.com/ma-thesis/glossary.html

Why would we want to migrate to Unicode? Because it would allow us to speak the same digital language, to say so. Unicode would spare us pages like this one http://www.proz.com/kudoz/1235924, where you have to use two different encodings in order to read all the content.

I hope I managed to give you an idea about what Unicode is, but I would be grateful if someone with better technical knowledge would come and explain it more in detail.


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Konstantin Kisin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:36
Member (2004)
Russian to English
+ ...
an issue of much interest to the community... Jan 28, 2006



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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:36
English to Polish
I voted YES Jan 28, 2006

Without Unicode I can't even see my name screened properly on some of sites on ProZ Sometimes it's ok, sometimes weird things happen to 2 of letters and finally I have to set up proper coding manually.

I use Firefox and it "gets lost" while choosing coding when showing some of pages, on which there are many different languages, which don't share the same way of writing. And sometimes it's very hard to read things (especially on language forums), because the browser can't decipher some characters at all (I suppose it's also caused by different coding of browsers of authors of posts).

So - I would see Unicode as improvement


Anni


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JaneTranslates  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 03:36
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I'm pretty much lo-tech Jan 28, 2006

I don't know a thing about the technical issues involved, but if Unicode can improve multilingual communication, Proz is obviously the right place for it. I haven't experienced any difficulties between Spanish and English, but clearly there's a daily hassle for my colleagues in many other languages. Keep us posted, Proz staff!

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Ines Garcia Botana  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:36
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
An article on Unicode Jan 28, 2006

I would like to know about Unicode. It would be interesting. Who can write it?

Inés


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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:36
Member
English to Turkish
Yes Jan 28, 2006

was my vote, too, because we Turkish speakers have the same problem Anni described. I also understand those who chose "What's Unicode?" and "I don't care" options perfectly well, but I would like to hear the opinions of those who chose "No". Being another lo-tech on board, I wonder if there would be any problems due to Unicode migration.

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Ford Prefect  Identity Verified
Burkina Faso
Local time: 07:36
German to English
+ ...
I vote yes Jan 28, 2006

I think we should change, it's a pain in the proverbial having to guess which of the dozens of different codes the browser offers you have to use just to view non English characters. Even simple accented characters are affected, let alone Russian and other languages.

And another thing, whenever you change in Internet Explorer, it never sticks - even worse it then seems to pick different codes at random for different pages, on proz and elsewhere!


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xxxMihai Badea  Identity Verified
Luxembourg
Member (2004)
English to Romanian
+ ...
A sense of community Jan 28, 2006

Konstantin Kisin wrote:

an issue of much interest to the community...



Obviously, most colleagues don’t know about the encoding-related problems because they are not affected by them. However, if they knew that Unicode would make Proz.com more user-friendly for some of us, I’m sure they would vote yes.


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Lily Waters  Identity Verified

English to Tagalog
+ ...
Yes to unicode! Jan 28, 2006

Unicode will be very useful in Proz.com.

The Unicode Standard is an industry-standard, worldwide character set specification designed to allow for the global interchange of multilingual digital information. The inventors of the standard had the goal of supporting all the world’s scripts while accommodating existing national and international character sets. The Unicode Standard has been endorsed by all major hardware and software companies in addition to the International Organization for Standardization. In fact, the Unicode Standard and the international standard ISO 10646 have been in tandem for several years. Since both standards support the same character repertoire, companies can confidently embrace the Unicode Standard without worrying about competing specifications.


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Heidi C  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:36
English to Spanish
+ ...
Voted "don't know", but now would change to YES Jan 28, 2006

It does make sense; after all, we are a community of translators.

Actually, sometimes these problems also affect Spanish: in some cases, the accents and Ñ's don't appear and we also get the weird character combinations...

Would we have to make changes to be able to read Unicode?

Saludos,
heidi


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Heidi C  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:36
English to Spanish
+ ...
An example how this affects even English! Jan 28, 2006

Mihai Badea wrote:

Konstantin Kisin wrote:

an issue of much interest to the community...



Obviously, most colleagues don’t know about the encoding-related problems because they are not affected by them. However, if they knew that Unicode would make Proz.com more user-friendly for some of us, I’m sure they would vote yes.


well, here you see it! obviously apostrophes become ’


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KathyT  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 17:36
Japanese to English
YES PLEEEEEEEEASE!!!! Jan 28, 2006

We have been having encoding problems in language pairs that include Japanese for some time now. Naturally, this is compounded when combined with other Asian or European languages.

ProZ.com staff initiated a trial run using Unicode in the Japanese forums recently and so far this looks very promising.
Even such as in Heidi's post above, my default encoding makes words that contain apostrophes such as "don't" and "I'm" initially come out with Chinese characters (not slashes, etc.), but if I change my encoding to Unicode, everything is as it should be.
In fact, the only glitch I could see after switching to Unicode (on the entire page) was the accent in Ines' name.

I might add that the ProZ.com staff configured everything (in the Japanese forum trial) so that no special encoding changes were required at our end - very User-friendly.

Finally! A light at the end of the tunnel!
(Audible deep sigh of relief!)
Thanks for the bandwidth.

Kathy


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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:36
Member
English to Turkish
Unicode Jan 28, 2006

And for the benefit of the 52.2% -for now- of voters, as well as everyone else: The Universal Code.

[Edited at 2006-01-28 22:42]


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Konstantin Kisin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:36
Member (2004)
Russian to English
+ ...
yes from me Jan 29, 2006

Mihai Badea wrote:

Konstantin Kisin wrote:

an issue of much interest to the community...



Obviously, most colleagues don’t know about the encoding-related problems because they are not affected by them. However, if they knew that Unicode would make Proz.com more user-friendly for some of us, I’m sure they would vote yes.


Mihai,

I certainly voted yes because it would make the life of all the people working in my pairs far far easier...I was simply amazed at how few people know or care about this issue!

Konstantin


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