IMUG Past Events Archive: 2006




2006 Events


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2006 Event Announcements:

The IraqComm Speech-to-Speech Translation System
Date: November 16, 2006, 7-9 p.m.
Speaker: Susanne Riehemann, Ph.D. (SRI International)

SRI International's IraqComm translation system performs bidirectional, speech-to-speech machine translation between English and Iraqi Arabic. It was developed under the DARPA TRANSTAC program. In the spring of 2006 the U.S. military started evaluating the system in Iraq, where trained human translators are scarce.

There will be an extensive demo and discussion of the system, including:

  • the speaker independence and noise robustness of the automatic speech recognition (ASR) component
  • the statistical and rule based machine translation (MT) components used in the system
  • the text-to-speech synthesis (TTS)
  • various features of the user interface (selecting or editing the MT input, storing frequently used phrases, saving the conversation history, etc.)
  • the implications of training on particular domains (currently force protection, security, and basic medical services, with about 40,000 English and 50,000 Iraqi Arabic words)
  • the special challenges posed by the Arabic writing system
  • evaluating the quality of the system output

Dr. Susanne Riehemann has been working at SRI International since 2002, after getting her PhD in Linguistics from Stanford University. She was a very early adopter of Mac OS X, having been a NeXTSTEP/ OPENSTEP holdout until then. IraqComm, however, currently runs only on Windows XP.





Windows Vista Localization
Date: October 19, 2006
Speaker: Adam Jones (SimulTrans, L.L.C)

If you are a localization manager, development director, international marketing manager, or anyone overseeing the release of international products, this is the opportunity to understand how Microsoft's upcoming Operating System, Windows Vista, will handle localization elements. We will give you some advice about how to create Windows Vista products and manage updates in a way that minimizes expense while taking advantage of the new features of this platform.

We will cover the following:

  • How does Windows Vista differ from XP? (We will give a short demo of Vista.)
  • What user interface design changes is Microsoft making to standard applications and recommending to developers? How will these modifications impact localization requirements?
  • How can new language-specific resource files (.mui) be used with language-neutral portable executables (LN files) to simplify localization of Vista applications?
  • How are Office 2007 data files structured differently than those in Office 2003? What advantages do these files offer for localizing content?

Some of these topics sound technical, but this seminar will not be engineering-focused. We do not plan to present details of how to write code, but more about the structure and process required for localizing Windows Vista applications. Localization managers, product managers, engineers, and other interested people should all feel comfortable attending.

Adam Jones is Vice President and General Manager at SimulTrans, the software localization company headquartered in Mountain View, where he has spent 13 years directing the company's customer outreach efforts, internal production groups, and other operations. Adam regularly gives training presentations at conferences of the Society for Technical Communications, the American Translators Association, the Software & Information Industry Association, and other groups. Adam previously worked as an International Strategic Account Specialist at Oracle Corporation and a high school English teacher. He holds a B.A. and M.A. from Stanford University, in Public Policy and Education.




Everything You Already (think you) Know About the Internet, but Were Afraid to Ask
Date: September 14, 2006
Speaker: Dr. Andreu Vea (Invited Scholar, Stanford University)

Celebrating the enormous opportunities created by the Internet, this lecture is your chance to hear an international speaker, Dr. Andreu Vea, Internet Research Invited Scholar at Stanford University with the WiWiW Project, unravel some of the fortuitous events and personalities involved in the birth of today's Internet. See

Andreu has contacted over 2,000 people and personally interviewed over 210 of the those whose collective dedication has resulted in today's Internet. He will challenge many of the stories that have become text book 'gospel' -- so here is your chance to hear and meet and question this man!

Andreu is a very engaging speaker and, on the basis of his research, many history books on the subject may need revising!

Recent press has informed us that the World Wide Web is 15 years old and that the PC is 25 years old, but the Internet is considerably more mature. The first ARPAnet connection was transmitted on September 2nd, 1969, so we have picked September 14th as the date for this 37th birthday celebration...

Following undergraduate and graduate studies in several areas of electrical engineering, Dr. Vea received his doctorate in engineering in 2002 from the LaSalle School of Engineering of Ramon Llull University in Barcelona. This thesis topic was: "History, Society, Technology and Network Development."

From 1992 to 1995, Andreu served as a teaching assistant at LaSalle and in 1995 co-founded the Catalan chapter of the Internet Society (ISOC).

From 1994 to1998, he co-founded and served as chief technology officer at ASERTEL, the 4th Spanish ISP. From 1999 to 2002, he was the Internet marketing manager for Auna, where he developed many innovative products and services, as well as ISP traffic peering strategies.

Dr. Vea also served as an adjunct professor at LaSalle from 1992 to 2003, before coming to Stanford. For further details, see:




Nastaliq Style through OpenType
Date: August 17, 2006
Speaker: Kamal Mansour (Monotype Imaging)

Noori Nastaliq is a calligraphic Arabic-script typeface originally devised for use on a Monotype image-setter in the 1970s. Once this proprietary equipment became obsolete, Noori Nastaliq could not be readily implemented for many years with then-current technology of digital fonts. With the advent and maturation of OpenType technology, Noori Nastaliq is once again alive. In spite of the many graphic complexities of Nastaliq style such as its oblique alignment to the baseline and its midair cursive connections, OpenType proved sufficient for the task, yielding results that far surpassed the capabilities of the original product.

Nastaliq is a complex calligraphic style used primarily as a display style in many countries, but as the preferred, everyday text style in Pakistan. When looking at a page written in Nastaliq, one has the impression of seeing words suspended from the ceiling by an invisible thread. It has always been a challenge to duplicate the calligraphic intricacies of Nastaliq through mechanized type. The advent of photo- and digital typesetting made it possible to consider a fresh implementation. In the 1970s, Monotype commissioned Pakistani calligrapher Mirza Jamil to create a large collection of Urdu words in Nastaliq style for use on a computer-controlled image-setter. The resulting typeface was called Noori Nastaliq, and is used to this day by the Jang Newspaper in Pakistan. In the early systems, as long as the typed text matched one of the stored word patterns, the imagesetter was capable of producing authentic-looking Nastaliq text. Whenever there was no match, a calligrapher would have to make repairs manually. Such an approach was tolerable in settings where many calligraphers were employed, but could no longer be contemplated today for most environments.

Through the 1990s, Noori Nastaliq could only be supported within the confines of specialized proprietary word processors since the then-available technology for digital fonts did not offer the necessary capabilities. In its current OpenType implementation, Noori Nastaliq style is produced through a judicious mix of ligature-based techniques along with contextually controlled forms. While the use of ligatures ensures faithful reproduction of the original design, the use of contextually based glyph shapes guarantees full coverage for any potential sequence of characters in many different languages.

An early multilingual education served to stimulate Kamal's interest in languages, alphabets, and typography. His studies have spanned Computer Science, Linguistics, and Product Design. At Monotype, his work has focused on OpenType implementations for various scripts including Arabic, Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Thai, and Lao.




Solving the Gaiji Problem: How Adobe's Creative Suite 2 Helps Japanese and Chinese Authors Publish Their Texts
Date: July 20, 2006
Speaker: Jim DeLaHunt; Yuki Ishioka; John Renner

Authors writing in Japanese, Chinese, or Korean frequently need to write "gaiji", which are characters that are part of the written language, but not available in the publisher's software or in their fonts. This makes gaiji difficult and expensive to process and publish. But sooner or later every serious publisher in these languages has to tackle gaiji.

The SING Gaiji Architecture from Adobe Systems, as shipped in the Creative Suite 2, provides an innovative new approach to solving the gaiji problem in computer-based publishing of Han ideograph texts. Just to add danger and the chance for humiliation, there will be live demos of the SING software in action.

This talk builds on two previous IMUG talks on gaiji:

SING: Adobe's New Gaiji Architecture (9/16/2004)
Gaiji: Characters, Glyphs, Both, or Neither? (1/16/2003)

This talk is aimed at a general audience. It does not require knowledge of Han ideographs, their languages, or of computer science. It aims to expose interesting deep issues to the specialist, but be meaningful to the non-specialist.Recommended audience: those who are interested in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean languages; in computer science; in language and text; in publishing; and in the intersection of technology and culture.

About the speakers:

  • Jim DeLaHunt is a consultant in world-ready business and technology development, and was Adobe's engineering leader for SING through mid-2005.
  • Yuki Ishioka was Adobe's product manager for SING, and left Adobe early in 2006.
  • John Renner was the architect and lead engineer for SING. He left Adobe in late 2005.




Telling Time Internationally
Date: June 15, 2006
Speaker: Bill Hall (Globalization Consultant, MLM Associates)

Developers as a group would rather not think about the problems ofwriting code that supports worldwide use. Yet, some of the most interesting problems occur here, and those of us that teach this subjecttry to combine 'ordinary' development steps with internationalizationcoding to show that the two are closely intertwined and are essentiallyindistinguishable.

In this talk, I will demonstrate how to build asimple program that introduces date, time, and calendar handlingcapabilities using the latest version (2.0) of Microsoft .NET.Specifically, the program uses the Internet to access the NationalInstitute of Standard and Technologies' very accurate clock to renderthe local time and date in as many standard formats as are available inany locale on the system.

Along the way you will see a bit of socketprogramming, direct operating system calls from .NET, the origin and useof the Julian Day, date and time classifications and formatting, customcontrols, and how XML can help in managing a list of time serviceproviders. You will also see how nicely the system handlesright-to-left languages. If time permits, I will show how stronglytyped resources work in .NET along with a demonstration of a similarapplication written in Java by John O'Conner of Sun.

Bill Hall has worked since 1985 as a developer and consultant on Microsoft Windows with experience going back to Windows 1.0, which he ported at the OEM level to AT&T/Olivetti computers. He has also been a Windows application programmer and internationalization engineer for companies such as Olivetti, Novell, NetCom, SimulTrans, and eTranslate/Convey Software.

In the early 1990's he became interested in language and locale issues on computing machines. He wrote a book chapter in 1992 for Microsoft Press on the topic and a series of articles on Win32 internationalization in 1993 for the Microsoft Systems Journal. Over the years he has taken products into European and Far East languages for Novell, Netcom, and other companies. He also taught a course at UC Santa Cruz extension on Internationalization for about four years.

He continues to write on the engineering aspects of creating world-ready software with most articles today appearing in Multilingual Computing, where he also serves on its editorial board.

Currently, he is writing a book on the internationalization model developed for Microsoft.NET. Two of four parts are published on-line, the third is about to go live, and the fourth is in progress. Details are at

In past lives, Bill has been a military and civilian aviator, an associate professor of mathematics at the University of Pittsburgh, and served for three years as an associate editor with Mathematical Reviews. He still holds FAA certifications as a commercial pilot, single and multiengine, and is also rated as an instrument instructor. However, he suggests that if you want to learn to fly, you should probably find someone else as he has not been in the front left seat of an airplane since 1982!




How to Get your Project to Greenlight
Date: May 18, 2006
Speaker: Brad Lyon (SDL International)

By focusing on Process Analysis and linking your project to yourorganization's Strategic Plans and Goals, you can get your projectapproved. When you follow industry best practices of analysis andplanning, you will capture the correct metrics and values yourorganization uses to prioritize projects for implementation. When youcan tie your project to one of the CEO's strategic initiatives, canclearly communicate both the hard dollar and soft dollar value of yourproject and detail a clear and concise plan for achieving theimplementation on a minimum of powerpoint slides your project will beapproved.

Brad Lyon is the Vice President of North American Enterprise Sales for SDL International. Brad has been selling software and managing teams of experts in the field of software and localization for over 10 years, with a distinguished career managing sales teams in other industries for the prior 15 years. A consistent part of Brad's experience is in creating and positioning value propositions for Business Process Re-engineering projects. He has been working in a team environment, assisting organizations in evaluating their operations for inefficiencies and applying solutions to streamline their operations for multiple million dollar value projects for many years. As a sales and marketing expert, he brings a successful track record to the process of selling internal and external processes that assist businesses achieve their goals.




Migrating PayPal to Unicode: A Case Study
Date: April 20, 2006
Speaker: Scott Atwood, PayPal

PayPal, with 100 million registered users, is a high volume website that processes millions of financial transactions every day. In 2003 PayPal was only localized for the United States and the United Kingdom and used US-ASCII from the browser all the way to the DB. In 2004 PayPal embarked on an ambitious project to completely revise all string handling to use Unicode end-to-end without disrupting PayPal's business or its terabytes of existing data.

This case study will discuss that project from inception to completion, exploring the challenges we faced, the choices we made both good and bad, as well as the final outcomes. A testament to success of the project is that nobody noticed we did it.

Scott Atwood is a software engineer at PayPal where he is currently working on the China localization team. Prior to that he contributed to PayPal’s Unicode migration project, and he continues to be a key source of Unicode expertise at the company.




Client-Tier Globalization - The New Frontier
Date: March 16, 2006, 7-9 p.m.
Speaker: Weiran Zhang (Oracle Corporation)

This presentation discusses client-tier globalization challenges and solutions based on a common deployment architecture using J2EE application with open standard DHTML/JavaScript technology as the front-end. We will examine how to leverage JavaScript and Java technologies to build a complete client-side framework for simplifying the development of rich Web clients to support multiple languages and locales consistently across different browsers. We will illustrate approaches to tackle client-side internationalization issues including locale determination, translation resource management, locale-sensitive data processing, performance, and so on. Demonstrations and code examples are included to showcase concepts and best practices.

Weiran Zhang is a Development Manager in Server Globalization Technology group at Oracle Corporation. He received his M.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University and his B.S. with honors in Computer Science from State University of New York at Buffalo.




What’s on your CEO’s mind?
CEO-level business issues to consider when going to China
Date: Thursday, February 16, 2006, 7-9 PM
Speaker: Terry Shidner (Director of Business Development, SymbioSys)

If you want to become more strategic to your organization by understanding the concerns of upper management, this presentation is for you. We will cover the top-level concerns that the C-level team faces when considering making the move to China. We will discuss evaluating the market potential, setting up operations, determining the best in-country structure, joint-venture considerations, pricing, sales channels, and the omni-present cultural considerations. You will also receive a readiness checklist that helps determine whether your organization is really ready to consider setting-up shop in China. Join us to learn how the needs of the localization group fit into the big picture when a company goes to China.

Terry Shidner is the Director of Business Development for SymbioSys, based in San Mateo, CA. Prior to joining Symbio, Terry held Business Development positions with Berlitz GlobalNet and Moravia Worldwide. In addition, he was also the Asian regional manager, based in Hong Kong, for another US based Globalization firm.

Terry graduated with honors from Michigan State University in 1996 with a double major in Computer Science and Asian Studies (China). His perspective on the Globalization industry is broad having worked from both the operations and sales side with experience in a number of different disciplines.

In addition to Globalization issues, Terry also has a passion for Asia and is a frequent speaker on the subject at events around the US. In addition, Terry has lived and traveled extensively throughout Asia.




International Features of GMail
Date: January 19, 2006, 7-9 p.m.
Speaker: Katsuhiko Momoi (Testing Services i18n Consultant, Google)

"How is webmail different from standalone mail programs? What sort of mail standards webmail needs to support? What are international challenges webmail must address? This talk introduces GMail and its unique features focusing on international features and support that GMail has been implementing since its international debut in April, 2005.

International Mail presents interesting problems and challenges to developers and testers. The basic requirements consist of sending correctly formatted messages in various languages and correctly displaying messages from a variety of mail programs in different languages. But supporting these basic functions is by no means an easy task. In sending messages, we must address the issue of compatibility with other webmail services and standalone mail programs. In receiving messages, we must be generous enough to support variations in formats and yet at the same time stay within the bounds of mail standards.

There is also an issue of supporting local standards while promoting international standards. This is particularly true in supporting various mail encoding standards in use around the globe. Is there a single standard for each language/script? The answer is not an easy one and standards may be shifting or may not exist. In the meantime, mail has emerged as the key software in web based communication. GMail offers enriched features and conveniences to its users. Challenges are many but webmail promises to be an exciting tool for communication."

Kat Momoi began his career in the software industry as an Internationalization Evangelist at Netscape Communications in 1996. He then continued his work at Netscape/AOL as Internationalization QA, Technology Evangelist for Web Standards, Developer Support Engineer for Mozilla Technologies and finally again as Internationalization Evangelist. In 2005, he joined Google's Testing Services group. He is currently acting as i18n consultant and test lead for various international projects at Google.

His publications include:





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