by Jack Kessler, firstname.lastname@example.org
March 15, 2012 issue. This file presents an archive copy of the issue of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which was distributed via email on March 15, 2012 - and, a little later, on http://fyifrance.blogspot.com/, and at Facebook-Jack Kessler's Notes
Versions of the following have appeared online regularly, since 1992, as a feature of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which is distributed for free via email every month except August. Ejournal subscriptions may be obtained via email request to: email@example.com
Here this file is one of a number made available - hopefully attractively, all in one place, and relevant to libraries and online digital information work in France and Europe - as part of FYI France (sm)(tm), an online service to which anyone can subscribe for 12 months by postal mailing a check for US $45, payable to Jack Kessler, to PO Box 460668, San Francisco, California, USA 94146 (site licenses also are available): please write your email address on the front of your check. And you can pay via PayPal, on the FYI France homepage:
Please email suggestions for improvements to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Multilingual access was the beginning, of my own efforts online here: as I've mentioned, a certain Michael Hart and I plus lots of others all discussed, long ago, whether in online text the French language ought to be depicted "comme ca", or "comme c,a" -- and we both wondered whether it ever would reach the point of appearing "comme ça".
Now that we are there, though, it seems there are even more issues, multilingual access has blossomed: it never has been a mere matter of extended ASCII character sets -- neither of us fooled ourselves, or one another, into believing that -- now comes a book, from Hervé Le Crosnier and his energetic teams at C&F, which elaborates the full panoply of 21st c. multilingual issues and confusions, and they are numerous. Hopefully there is light, here.
Hervé's announcement: [tr. JK] --
> March 4, 2012 3:10 PM
> The latest offspring of C&F éditions is a book devoted to multilingualism, and particularly to the condition of languages on the Internet.
> Net.langue : how to succeed in multilingual cyberspace
> 27 authors and as many articles, evaluating the evolution of languages on the information network, the capacity of technologies to aid in the maintenance, even the revitalization, of languages which are in danger, and to debate the ramifications of multilateral / transnational politics and of the global inclusion of multi-lingualism.
> Net.lang is published under the ægis of the "association internationale Maaya". It is edited by Laurent Vannini and Hervé Le Crosnier. The translators -- from English to French, but also the reverse, the original articles having been received in both languages, and the book appearing now simultaneously in French and in English -- have played a significant role in crafting the final product. They are: Laura Kraftowitz, John Rosbottom, Laurent Vannini, Francisca Cabrera and Alexandre Mussely.
> Initial lesson: dominant today, English is losing ground on the Nets, returning to its normal scale of nearly-equal shares of web pages in English and users of English. English will not be the lingua franca of the Internet and, even more significant, an "economics of languages" has pushed "translation" to the fore as the true language of the Nets.
> Normative efforts in standardization as in digital text, in its written forms but also spoken and signed (sign language for the deaf), enable communication in the digital world comparable to the linguistic complexity of the real world.
> The Net.lang book is supported and made possible thanks to several international institutions: UNESCO, la Francophonie, the Union Latine, l'ANLoc in South Africa and the CRDI of Canada. Personnel of these institutions have reviewed the publication of this book.
> The book is published simultaneously in French and in English. The articles are published under a Creative Commons by-sa (Attribution -- Share-Alike) license, to facilitate translations-to-come in all languages of interest to any editors.
> Finally, Net.lang is available in both digital and print versions. The digital versions -- currently in pdf, and soon in ePub -- are distributed free-of-charge on the site http://net-lang.net
> Orders for the print version, in French or in English, as always are possible at bookstores and on the website of C&F éditions, http://cfeditions.com
> Happy reading
> Hervé Le Crosnier
Table of Contents
Irina Bokova, General Director, Unesco
Abdou Diouf, General Secretary, La Francophonie
José Luis Dicenta, General Secretary, Union Latine
Dwayne Bailey, Research Director, ANLoc
Daniel Prado, Executive Secretary, Maaya Network
* Part 1 -- When Technology Meets Multilingualism
Language Presence in the Real World and Cyberspace
English Won't Be the Internet's Lingua Franca
Technological Innovation and Language Preservation
Preserving the Heritage of Extinct or Endangered Languages
Cyberspace and Mother Tongue Education
* Part 2 -- Digital Spaces
Multilingualism and the Internet's Standardisation
Mikami Yoshiki & Shigeaki Kodama
Measuring Linguistic Diversity on the Web
How Language Technologies Support Multilingualism
The Use of Facebook by the Eton of Cameroon
Pann Yu Mon & Madhukara Phatak
Search Engines and Asian Languages
Hervé Le Crosnier
Software Localization: Open Source as a Major Tool for Digital Multilingualism
Mélanie Dulong De Rosnay
Translation and Localization of Creative Commons Licenses
* Part 3 -- Digital Multilingualism: Building Inclusive Societies
Viola Krebs & Vicent Climent-Ferrando
Languages, Cyberspace, Migrations
Annelies Braffort & Patrice Dalle
Accessibility in Cyberspace: Sign Languages
Tjeerd de Graaf
How Oral Archives Benefit Endangered Languages
Linguistic Policies to Counter : Languages Marginalization
Multimedia and Signed, Written or Oral Languages
Adel El Zaim
Cyberactivism and Regional Languages in the 2011 Arab Spring
Multilingualism, the Millenium Development Goals, and Cyberspace
* Part 4 -- Multilingualism on the Internet : A Multilateral Issue
Isabella Pierangeli Borletti
Describing the World: Multilingualism, the Internet, and Human Rights
Multilingualism and Internet Governance
Ethical Principles Required for an Equitable Language Presence in the Information Society
The Internet in China
The Economy of Languages
Daniel Prado & Daniel Pimienta
Public Policies for Languages in Cyberspace
Adama Samassékou, President of Maaya
The Future speaks, reads, and writes, in all languages
And a note:
NISO just treated me and I guess many others -- yesterday, for an hour and a half -- to a fascinating Webinar introduction to the immense efforts now pouring into the new & exciting & for-some-distressing "ebook" --
-- and I see that Hervé and his team(s) as described above are issuing their new text in the following formats --
* in print (french or english)
446 pages, 17×22.5 cm, softcover
Price: 34 euros
French: ISBN 978-2-915825-08-4
English: ISBN 978-2-915825-09-1
In bookstores or at http://cfeditions.com
* ebook (french or english)
French: ISBN 978-2-915825-25-1
English: ISBN 978-2-915825-26-8
* Pdf (french or english)
French: ISBN 978-2-915825-23-7
English: ISBN 978-2-915825-24-4
-- and, covering-all-contingencies -- there assuredly will be other new formats coming... KF9?... -- C&F adds --
* for other versions and translations visit http://net-lang.net
So: is all of this nowadays what we must do, to "publish"?
It makes the bad-old / good-old days of print(only)-publishing sound simple...
And for an editor in Caen wishing to reach readers in California, now, is all this really to be mastered? More English-only "instruction manuals" to puzzle through, then... which we all now know from long experience mostly are unreadable to even a native-speaker of that language, much less to someone saddled with a non-English linguistic structure, and maybe working laboriously via GoogleTranslate... you say "potato" and I say "potato"...
'Sounds like a lot. 'Sounds, too, as though regional and commercial variations -- the former called "nationalism", the latter "product differentiation" -- will be having a field-day with all of this -- thousands of local "varieties", "flavors", aggressively and sometimes belligerently-competing "products" & "services"...
I remember sort-of-fondly that we had flavors of ASCII, long ago: first came "just plain ASCII" -- the then-new digital world's equivalent of Henry Ford's famous, "You can have any color you want as long as it's 'black'" -- then came "extended ASCII", and strange things like "IBM ASCII" and "Microsoft ASCII". Later on the Internet folks brought us TCP/IP & OSI, and the US / European "protocol wars" between the two: which TCP/IP won, in case that's at all unclear to anyone now.
So this same embarrassment-of-riches variety again descends upon us -- or explodes around us, like a cluster-bomb or minefield -- just the way it did back in the late-80s and early-90s.
The maelstrom had a good result, back then, and this one can have a good result this time too. Per the above links, NISO in the US, and its opposite numbers overseas, once again boldly are trying to pull these things together, to create the much-valued "invisibility" which characterizes truly-successful technologies -- the theory being, certainly in telecoms, that if you can see it then it's complicated... For users, that's true: few of them want to know how the thing works, they just want to drive it -- so to get us there we need format integrations, standards normalization, some degree of uniformity.
But the very forces bringing innovation to us now work against that normalization, as well: a commercial firm must do "product differentiation" -- show how its particular widget or technique is better than and therefore different from that of Apple, or Amazon, or Google or any other competitor -- so the firms both want and don't want everything to look the same, it's an ongoing tug-of-war, among one another and with the "standards" bodies and also internally -- it's the "development" war, in which the hope is that nobody ever really wins, because then the process would stop and all would lose.
I'm not sure how understood this process is, overseas. I know many in France who understand but do not embrace it. In other places I have friends who simply do not comprehend: it's expensive, they tell me, a small or poor nation or economy cannot afford the vast amounts needed for such duplicative R&D -- "First industrial innovation, then standardization, then more innovation which invalidates that? The sheer inefficiency of it...", they say, "the waste".
"Yes, but look at the results", Americans reply, "they make the risks worth running." I hope so. We got our Internet, and now The World has it too. So perhaps an Epub standard will do the same, for ebooks, as TCP/IP and others have done for networking -- one approach, rather than the acronym-chaos now reigning. Or maybe that single standard becomes the, "One ring to rule them all... and in the darkness bind them." I hope not. Not that last, anyway...
For now it looks as though there's little danger, of either too much chaos or becoming too narrow: normalization is proceeding steadily, and the untamed lions still are healthily out-there but at least are collared and less-destructive than before -- Amazon's Kindle(tm) still doesn't speak "standard ebook", so well, but Apple's iBook(tm) does, and apparently Google's books do too.
I can't help wondering, however, whether there is some format somewhere in China slowly awakening, and stretching, before it languidly arises and sets out, its hour come round at last, slouching toward Bethlehem to be born?
For it's the Chinese, not the Americans, who will be the readers and text-producers before this century is through: "Ruby" apparently can arrange characters in columns, in an ebook... -- that and much more will be needed and, per this C&F Éditions book about things-multilingual, I can't help thinking that the eventual standards and even the innovations will have to come from China, too.
Jack Kessler, email@example.com
FYI France (sm)(tm) e-journal ISSN 1071-5916 * | FYI France (sm)(tm) is a monthly electronic | journal published since 1992 as a small-scale, | personal experiment, in the creation of large- | scale "information overload", by Jack Kessler. / \ Any material written by me which appears in ----- FYI France may be copied and used by anyone for // \\ any good purpose, so long as, a) they give me --------- credit and show my email address, and, b) it // \\ isn't going to make them money: if it is going to make them money, they must get my permission in advance, and share some of the money which they get with me. Use of material written by others requires their permission. FYI France archives may be found at http://listserv.uh.edu/archives/pacs-l.html (PACS-L archive), or http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/Collections/FYIFrance/ or http://www.fyifrance.com -- also now at http://www.facebook.com ("Jack Kessler" My Notes), and at http://fyifrance.blogspot.com/. Suggestions, reactions, criticisms, praise, and poison-pen letters all gratefully received at firstname.lastname@example.org . Copyright 1992- , by Jack Kessler, all rights reserved except as indicated above.
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