blog100,000 new Eiffel programmers?

colin-adams's picture

How can we attract many more programmers to the Eiffel language. I have zero confidence that the ISO standard will make any difference here (its value is in other areas).

I have just written a suggested proposal on Internationalizing Eiffel as a possible way forward.


International Eiffel

Hi Colin,

as I guess you're a native english speaker. I am not. I've always programmed using "english language" programming languages (as Lisp, Cobol, Java etc. are). Since programmers tend to name their own procedures and variable names using their own native language, these are always easy to spot between the "english language" syntax of the programming language. I would find it a very bad idea to internationalize programming languages! But that's quite personal of course. Obviously many, many developers who are native english speakers use "english language" PL's; so they would be not aware of the "advantage" that non-native english speakers have ;-) Probably you have a point for those people having a different character set, like the Russians, Chinese and Japanese. And of course, amongst those there is a big market to conquer. So, maybe it is good to attract some groups, but a lot of others won't like the idea, I think. I, for one, would be using the "english version" of my favorite PL ;-))

Just my 2 cents!


Documentation translation is more important

As a Chinese who did suffer from language issues in the past, I feel that whether or not the language itself is written in Chinese is not very important, because:

1) Programming language keywords tend to be not that many and most of them are commonly used English words. They are very easy to remember.

2) Typing Chinese version of keywords may not be convenient. Chinese input methods shine with long words with a lot of characters. For example, a good Chinese input method allows you to type the Chinese version of "the United States" with 3 keystrokes. But they suck for small words such as if, then, else, each of which needs 3 keystrokes or more. I think this is the general issue of eastern input methods.

3) Words for identifiers seem to be useful but this will bring the problem of translating identifiers back and forth when you are using libraries written in different languages.

Compared to the problem of language issue in program text, documentation translate are far more important and appreciated. Microsoft's MFC was very popular in China, partly because the Chinese documentation of MFC appeared years before that of other frameworks.

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