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Subject: re: United Nations Universal Networking Language (UNL)

Message text written by "Martin Bryan"
At the Internationalization meeting at the WWW9 meeting in Amsterdam today
(Thursday) a speaker linked to the United Nations University in Tokyo
presented the role of the Universal Networking Language (UNL). He described
this language as being targetted as providing universal semantics for small
businesses. However, he was unable to explain the relationship between this
and EDIFACT, ISO BSR or any other well known business groups. Is anyone in
our group aware of this initiative, or have any knowledge of how their
semantics link to those used for trading? (See http://www.unl.ias.unu.edu/
for more details - but I have yet to get time to look at this myself.)

Martin Bryan



This seems to be aimed at the plain text content - sort of Esperanto - or
could we coin the term Netperanto?

While the aim is laudable, where is the business traction?  Yahoo and
Excite may see value in Netperanto based searching, and small 
businesses in India being able to post catalogues in Urdu and have
customers in Nepal or Thailand by products...

The danger is in the transliteration.  Coca Colas' slogan 'Bringing it
transliterates into Chinese as 'Raises dead relatives'.

In UNL I see components like 'Universal Word Dictionary' - great
in theory - but a ten-life times work to actually approach.

See http://babelfish.altavista.digital.com/   for current state of the art.


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