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Of course I'm not kidding. I'm referring to the first probe. A cursory
glance at the problems the Espo Wikipedia has already had shows that
diacritics are a nuisance.
It's a pretty bold statement to say that the two examples I've
mentioned have never, ever turned off a potential new user. The
potential users I speak of are the ones we never hear about, the ones
that do a Google search, give it a cursory glance, see something they
don't like and lose interest right away.
I would get into more detail but that's not the point of the thread.

2006/10/17, Donald J. HARLOW <[log in to unmask]>:
> Je 10.31 atm 2006.10.16, Dave MacLEOD skribis
> >Let's talk about dealbreakers between the two, certain things that you
> >believe the language simply must have and others that are nice, but
> >not necessary. For example, my dealbreakers are:
> >-o on proper nouns, place names and other names. I can't accept that.
> >It takes an originally recognizable noun and morphs it into something
> >else.
>
> Even for country names, this is a custom and not a linguistic rule.
> In fact, if you send a letter abroad in Esperanto, I recommend that
> you write the country name in the address not in Esperanto but in the
> language of the country from which you're mailing the letter (the
> United States Postal Service can get very upset if you don't write
> such names in English -- even, of course, where the name in English
> differs from the true name of the country to which you're mailing the
> letter; I think they'd have an easier time decrypting the Esperanto
> "Hungario" than they would the more correct "Magyarorszag").
>
> >-diacritics. The reason for that is I believe there should only be one
> >writing system
>
> Although Esperanto has _two_ official writing systems, one without
> diacritics (the H-system), the one _with_ diacritics is the standard;
> for some inexplicable reason, just about nobody uses the H-system in
> writing, printing, etc.
>
> >if an IAL is to seriously be used for programming and
> >serious endeavors such as space exploration (I don't want to see $500
> >million probes getting lost because someone forgot to program it to
> >accept the h-sistemo along with the x one)
>
> You have _got_ to be kidding.
>
> Last evening my wife and I went to see Robin Williams's new movie
> "Man of the Year" in which one of the basic plot elements was a
> computer glitch that allowed Williams's character to win the
> presidential election. It seems that in deciding what name to add a
> vote tally to, the computer for some reason looked at the double
> letters in the candidate's name and gave priority to earlier letters
> in the alphabet; specifically, "Kellogg" took priority over "Mills"
> (because of the double-g) and "Dobbs" (Williams's role) trumped them
> both. After the movie, as we were driving home, I told my wife that
> this was the most ridiculous part of the movie. The only way the
> spelling of the characters' names in the voting machine would make a
> difference was if somebody deliberately wrote the software that way
> (and it was quite evident from the plot that this was not the case).
>
> I have heard of two space probes that failed because of problems such
> as you mention. One early American Venus probe (or, more precisely,
> its launch vehicle) blew up shortly after takeoff because of an
> incorrect sign in an arithmetical expression. I presume that you are
> referring, more specifically, to the Mars probe that tried to land
> either fifty miles high or fifty miles underground because there was
> a confusion in programming between Anglo-American and metric
> measurements. None of these have anything to do with _text_. I doubt
> whether NASA bothers to insist that programmers use "flavor" instead
> of "flavour", for instance, since this will have nothing to do with
> the calculations on which a successful mission depends.
>
> The one exception might be in the case of a GUI, but even here I'm
> not convinced. GUIs are intended for people, and I have yet to see
> anybody reading an Esperanto message on the net who gets when a
> slightly different writing system is used (I've seen as many as
> _four_ different systems used in the same message, by somebody who
> was trying to prove something; he proved it; nobody noticed, or at
> least nobody commented). (GUIs come to mind because, some years back,
> I saw a really awful SF film, whose name I have mercifully forgotten,
> about a group of astronauts marooned on Mars; they find an old
> Russian probe and use its computer's GUI, which a real probe would
> likely not have, to reprogram the computer and get off the planet or
> something.)
>
>
>
> -- Don HARLOW
> http://www.webcom.com/~donh/don/don.html
> Opinions (in English): http://www.harlows.org/don/opinions/
> Esperanto (in English): http://www.harlows.org/don/esperanto/
> Literaturo (Esperante): http://donh.best.vwh.net/Esperanto/Literaturo
>