Stick to English, Jim

Bitter, bitter, bitter. That’s all we are these days. We have a policy, here at the red-hot NUblog, of refusing to name commentators cited en passant in stories quoted here. (We simply remove the name. Author bylines are preserved.) If they’re famous and established enough to get quoted, they don’t need our help, and the number of consultants we’ve encountered with more than a petri dish of brain cells to rub together is one: Ian Angus of Angus Telemanagement. (Knocks against Ian: Omnipresent in Canadian media. Web site demands Java and frames.) And “analysts” are all in thrall to Microsoft in one way or another.

The most famous Internet consultant in Canada, JimCarroll, banged out a column off the top of his head for a BellGlobeMedia property yesterday. His topic? Multilingualism online. Ever heard the axiom ‘a little knowledge is dangerous”?

[C]orporations that plan to do business worldwide will find they need multiple versions of their Web site. For an example of what major companies are doing, look at Microsoft, which has done a tremendous job at providing ‘localized” Web sites. (Visit Belgium and its neighbours at for an example.)

Oh, dear. The Benelux site is in fact not even remotely localized; it is the Dutch Microsoft site, speaks to you only in Dutch, and, very far down on the page, provides a link As far as Microsoft is concerned, operating system equals browser and Benelux equals Netherlands. So much for the Be and Lux.

The issue of how to install support for different language character sets is a bit beyond the scope of this column. Suffice to say it can be fairly easy. Just click on ‘View,” then‘Encoding,” and you’ll be led through a processby which you can install what is needed.

Love those assumptions, Jim!

De toute façon, we gather that Jim was too busy recommending Microsoft ‘solutions” to his clients to read even our intro course in corporate Web localization. We love it when Internet experts get all excited over the multilingual Web. Even though they can’t tell good from bad.

And did we mention Jim’s miserably slow-loading, buggy, standards-flouting, Java-applet-laden personal site?

Stick to English, kiddo.

Posted on 2001-01-13