The problem is that the vast majority of Americans don't deal with
anything but English (and Anglicized spellings) in their everyday lives,
so i18n truly is an afterthought. Worse, most of them can't read or
write any other languages either.
As for a conservative software culture, part of it is developers who
don't (have time to?) keep up with current issues, but there's also a
strong culture of backward-compatibility. Enough people have old stuff
that developing for the latest and greatest isn't necessarily a good
idea. The trick is to be able to develop for both old and new at once,
and that's often difficult (requiring even more learning than for just
the new) or impossible.
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