Mac Snow Leopard International Bug

I recently got around to upgrading to Snow Leopard.

Along the way, I discovered a rather interesting bug.

It’s not a huge deal, but a bug nonetheless. And one likely to cause a fair amount of confusion.

First of all, if you have never modified your language settings (The “International” button on the System Preferences menu)  then you won’t hit this bug.

If, however, you have made some changes to your language settings, read on…

Here is what my International settings menu looked like before the upgrade:

You’ll notice that I have U.S. English at the top of the list, followed by Japanese, followed by a “neutral” English. Normally, U.S. English would be followed by neutral English, which is the source of the bug.

When I began upgrading to Snow Leopard, I was presented with the usual legalese page — except that this one was in Japanese:

Apparently, Apple ignored my U.S. English setting and figured I had my computer set up for Japanese, hence the Japanese text.

To fix this, I simply bumped up the neutral English language setting ahead of Japanese.

NOTE: The same bug will appear if you have British English at the top of the list followed by a language other than English.

UPDATE: This bug may also impact the results of Spotlight as well. That is, you could see results in Japanese mixed with English. I haven’t been able to repro it myself but have encountered a few blog posts related to this issue.

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Author: John Yunker

John co-founded Byte Level Research in 2000 and is author of The Web Globalization Report Card. He also co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.