It has been a while since anything internationally interesting has been here, a fact worth remedying a bit.
So on Wednesday night, Conan O’Brien will start televising from his trip to Cuba, in the aftermath of Barack Obama’s moves to start regularizing diplomatic relations between the two countries. I don’t know about you, but with most of the various forces behind that time in our shared history behind us, it really might make sense to have more of the non-government people thinking in that same direction as well.
Which puts us somewhere weird.
The es-CU aka Spanish – Cuba locale is not one of the official ones in any shipping version of Windows, which means that it would only be able to be supported via custom locale. Due to initial design decisions made many years ago and never changed, there are no per-user custom locales (despite the fact that the bulk of the user locale data is stored under HKCU anyway), so any attempt to query such a custom locale’s LCID would lead back to 0x1000, which unless you had such a custom locale would be mapped back to whatever the default user locale was anyway.
A random attempt of an inspired developer to use es-CU in a named locale-based function call if one is Cuban or has/will have Cuban customers will fail unless you have such a locale installed. Never mind the fact that anything Barack or Conan or others might be doing might inspire one to look up the 639 and 3166 names in the Unicode CLDR or elsewhere and try to use.
I’ve met and worked with Spanish-speaking people all over Central and South and even North America many times over the last 18 years, and have consistently seen a pride in the language and culture beyond many others, which is perhaps why I’m not so willing to assume that customers will just figure it all out.
The process of becoming an official Microsoft locale is a complex one involving subsidiaries and PSS/CSS and other complex issues that have to be figured out first. And while many Cubans might find the longstanding Microsoft user interface locale choice of Spanish - Latin America to be good enough to get things done the lack of intuitive nature of the choice may leave many Cubans feeling unrecognized no matter what Mr. Obama or Mr. O’Brien or whoever might think or say about recognition.