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on June 5, 2004
Why do not provide order for the Chinese version of "CJKV Information Processing"? I think it's more useful for Pan-Chinese customers.
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on July 31, 2002
I agree with all the postive comments posted here. Working in Japan, this book has saved me repeatedly.
But I have a serious concern about the size, of 1000 pages there are 400 pages of tables, huge lists of Chinese characters which are of very little value and makes the book difficult to use.
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on December 29, 2001
Lunde's book is essential to anyone in the software localization or internationalization business. It simply covers everything. Want to know how to do regular expressions in Japanese? Page 445. The actual definition of "Mincho" (as in the Mincho font)? Check the Glossary. Postscript clones that handle Chinese? page 391.
The book is intended primarily for software engineers, but the subject matter is treated so comprehensively that it is an essential desk reference for translators, information developers, project managers, production managers, and marketing executives.
Just get it, Ok?
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on November 27, 2001
I recognize that this book is really definitive on this topic. So I cannot help but assume that if I had the patience to figure out how to use it properly it would be worthwhile. BUT...
Being somebody already reasonably familiar with using eastern languages on a computer, I have no desire to read the text in the book from the beginning. The majority of the book is code-page tables, which is an important reference. (They are actually of limited utility, since they are only indexed one way: code to character, with no reverse indexing. Understandable, since that would be very difficult, but still limiting.)
But worst of all, the code page tables are laid out in a way that I do not understand. And I could not find an explanation of how these tables corresponded to byte-values in a data stream.
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on December 19, 2000
This book is an excellent guide to the pitfalls to avoid when doing software internationalization. Most books on the subject will warn you about the unwritten assumptions in coding for a single human language. This one also warns you about the many places you may be assuming that your characters are each 1 byte in length. Some of these are obvious enough, such as actual declarations. Some are subtler, such as regular expressions being one byte off in matching multibyte characters.
If you are involved in software internationalization, buy this book. Even if you aren't shipping a product to Asia yet, it will save you from writing code that is just to painful to modify for multibyte character sets.
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on June 12, 2000
Truly the complete guide to the subject. As an introduction to Asian languages and their contents and usage this book as proved to be an excllent guide. From the streight forward and understandable explanination of the character and symbol sets to useful guidelines for implementation to the exhaustive list of characters and symbols. I don't see how you can try and deal with these language sets without using this book.
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on December 21, 1999
The programming world owes Ken Lunde a debt of gratitude for his masterful book on issues of internationalization.
The information he has gathered is not easily found and it is indispensible.
Internationalization is one of the hardest of all computer problems. Thanks to Ken Lunde's book one can approach this task, forewarned and forearmed.
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on February 9, 1999
This is an outstanding guide for English-speaking developers who must target Asian languages. For those of us who do not read or speak these languages, it tackles some of the scariest issues: different types of characters, when they are used, how they relate to each other, and how they are encoded in software.
Lunde's explanation of the structure and history of Asian written languages is fascinating reading in its own right.
If developing on the Windows platform, I would also recommend "Developing International Software for Windows 95 and Windows NT" by Nadine Kano (Microsoft Press). Lunde's book contains crucial background information regarding Asian character sets, as well as some general algorithms; the Kano book focuses on implementation details specific to the Windows environment.
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on January 13, 1999
The previous edition of this book was so useful that I had two copies, one at work and one at home. I work in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, and the previous edition, which only claimed to cover Japanese, was still the most useful book on Chinese and Korean info processing that I ever found. With this new edition, the author has extended coverage to all Asian languages that use Chinese characters, or used to do so in the case of Vietnamese, as part of their writing systems.
Thank goodness he has. The author, Ken Lunde, has an encyclopedic knowledge of this material. In addition, he is one of those people to whom anything less than strict, literal correctness is intolerable. Authors of this sort usually write in a style reminiscent of the federal tax code. Lunde manages to avoid this, creating one of those rare and delightful computer books that serve as a lucid tutorial the first time through, and as a strict and comprehensive reference thereafter.
The principal reason I consider this book the bible for Asian language information processing is the extreme difficulty of getting most of this information via any other source. In fact, I'd be hard pressed to think of another computer book whose original source material is as scattered, poorly documented, and often unreliable as that Lunde had to gather to produce this book. His job of ferreting out the details, cross-checking, error correction, and organization into a single book makes this almost a work of journalism. If you do CJKV work, you'll need more than just this book, of course, but the book is full of references to other material, so this is the place to start.
Lunde also provides a lot of usable source code in the book. This is not unusual in a computer book, but this code is special in two ways. First, it's available in C, Java, and Perl, not just in C. This is refreshing, given the increasingly prominent roles played by Java and Perl on the Internet--the place where multilingual computing arguably matters most.
Second, his code serves as a great checklist for what has to be done by any similar code. This is one of those difficult types of programming where many bugs aren't easy to see, because of the large number of obscure "gotchas" and arcane details. Lunde doesn't miss much, and he revels in these arcane details. His code is not highly optimized, and he admits as much, but if his code does something, you need to do it, and if it doesn't, you (probably) don't need to, either. This fact alone justifies the cost of the book for any developer to whom bugs might have financial consequences.
If you're going to do CJKV work, this is the bible. As I said, it's not the only thing you'll need, but it's where you should start.
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on January 3, 1999
I've been trying to educate myself on international processing issues for a while now (including Programming for the World : A Guide to Internationalization by Sandra Martin O'Donnell) and CJKV is by far and away the best book on the subject. Although this is not a beginner's book on internationalization (for example, it doesn't completely address cultural issues on internationalization - O'Donnell's book is better at this), Ken Lunde's book is the clear reference on internationalization, and belongs on anyone's bookshelf who is producing software for the global market (that should be anyone who writes software!). Do not assume that this is only a book for Asian computing. It's a book about many of the issues you will face in creating global software. This is a very detailed book which lives up to its promise of educating, and informing anyone involved in global computing.
Buy it - and thoroughly read it!
Like all O'Reilly books - this book is well-written, and easy to digest. Kudos to Mr. Lunde for a great book, and to Tim O'Reilly for recognizing this need.
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