Michael J. Radwin

Tales of a software engineer who keeps kosher and hates the web.

Monthly Archives February 2005

Ten years of Yahoo! Inc

The 10-year anniversary of Yahoo! Inc’s incorporation is this week. We’re having a party at work on Wednesday to celebrate. They put a big tent up on campus this morning. Apparently Sugar Ray is going be giving a private concert, and the weather has been threatening rain. Rumor has it that the www.yahoo.com site will have a special look on the anniversary. In the meantime, you can read about the company’s history.

I heard another rumor (so far unsubstantiated) that as part of the 10-year celebration, the company would be offering sabbaticals for long-time employees. SGI, for example, offers 6-week paid sabbatical every 4 years. Alas, we don’t have that perk (although we do have three espresso bars staffed with full-time baristas).

I’ve been at Yahoo! for more than half of its 10 years. I’ve often dreamed of taking a short break to try something else for a change of pace. If the sabbatical rumor proves to be true, I’d be sure to use mine for a semester at the Jerusalem School of Kosher Culinary Arts.

Yahoo == Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle? I don’t know.

Perl or PHP modules for XLIFF?

Do you know of any good Perl or PHP modules for parsing XLIFF?

I’ve gotten a couple of emails from folks asking about making a French version of my Jewish Calendar Tools website. They’ve volunteered to do all of the translation work themselves if I send them a file to be translated.

Most of the site uses Perl CGI.pm, although parts of it are written in PHP.

The way I see it, I have a few options:

  1. GNU gettext message catalogues. Easy interface with CPAN Locale::gettext module and PHP gettext extension.
  2. Hack something together myself. Send the nice French people an Excel spreadsheet of all of the strings on the site and have them send it back to me. Export to CSV file, then import into whatever format I want (probably BerkleyDB or maybe some custom XML format). Repeat the exercise for a future Hebrew version.
  3. Use XLIFF (XML Localisation Interchange File Format), which is a hip new standard and happens to be what ICU (International Components for Unicode) uses for its message catalogue format.

Option #1 has been around for a long time, but has its warts. Option #2 is what I would’ve done back when I wanted to write everything myself. But I want to learn more about ICU anyways, so I figured XLIFF would be the right place to go.

I expected to find a Locale::XLIFF module on CPAN or a Translation_XLIFF package on PEAR, and was surprised when my searches turned up 0 results.

Cygwin vs. UWIN

I got an email last week from AT&T Labs saying that UWIN 4.0 had been released.

I must’ve signed up for the uwin-announce mailing list a long time ago, because there hasn’t been a message sent to that list in over four years. Last I remember, UWIN 2.2 was hot off the presses during the summer of 2000.

Does anyone actually use UWIN anymore? At one point, you had to pick between UWIN, the MKS Toolkit, and Cygwin. They were all brand new technologies, and all competing for mindshare. But it seems to me that Cygwin has developed the largest community over the years. It’s what I still use on my Windows laptop.

Someday I’ll be like all of the other cool kids and have a Mac laptop. Then I won’t care about things like Cygwin or UWIN.