Position Statement for the W3C Internationalization Workshop

1.  Locales

I am interested in having some convergence and consensus on locale names, and separation between languages and locales.  I would like to see some guidelines for the combination of language tags inside a locale name, if at all possible.  For example, to identify a Canadian French interface in China, one might use fr-CA_CN.  It is particularly important for the platforms to come to some sort of agreement.

While it would be nice to see the convergence of the locale formats, it would likely be a very long, arduous task.  However, if the various parties providing formats would be willing to work together, it could be a worthwhile pursuit.

2.  Internationalization guidelines

In general, guidelines are an excellent idea.  In order to be able to successfully share data on the Web, some sort of uniformity would help.  In particular, HTML and XML guidelines would be useful.  Discussion of interface point i18n would be very instructive.  Even a guideline stating that i18n info must be provided for every interface point would serve to help others write internationalized compatible components.  I would be happy to participate, but am not including any details in this paper.

3.  Internationalization engineer certification

If others are interested, some sort of i18n engineer certification would be helpful in the industry.  Right now anyone can claim to be an i18n engineer, and there's little coursework and training, and few if any certificate programs to indicate a level of proficiency.  This is a topic proposed for discussion.

4.  Standard terminology

My pet peeve.  I would like to see a statement on terminology, particularly on the writing of the words internationalization, i18n, internationalized, and all related abbreviations.  It may sound trivial, but many folks writing about i18n have no reference point, and it would be nice to provide one.  My special preference is that i18n is not capitalized, since there is no precedent for capitalizing an abbreviation.  Obviously it can have an initial capital when it starts a sentence or appears in titlecase.  I would be more than happy to write this up, but would like at the very least agreement from the WG.
Andrea Vine
iPlanet Internationalization Architect
Sun Microsystems
January 9, 2002