W3C Architecture Domain International


Internationalization Core Working Group Charter

Addison Phillips, webMethods, Inc., Chair,
Martin Dürst, Team Contact and Internationalization Activity Lead
last revised $Date: 2004/12/23 16:19:14 $ by $Author: rishida $
Note: This is a proposal that is undergoing review by the W3C Advisory Committee and W3C Management. It has not yet been approved and, if the group is rechartered, may not accurately reflect the final nature of the group after the reviews are completed.

This Working Group follows the rules and requirements of the latest operative version of the World Wide Web Consortium Process Document. In the event of a conflict between this document and the W3C Process Document, the W3C Process Document shall take precedence.

  1. Mission
  2. Scope
  3. Deliverables
  4. Duration
  5. Expected milestones
  6. Coordination With Other Groups
  7. Voting Procedure
  8. Confidentiality
  9. Meetings
  10. Communication
  11. Group Participation
  12. Patent Policy


To enable universal access to the World Wide Web by proposing and coordinating the adoption by the W3C of techniques, conventions, technologies, and designs that enable and enhance the use of W3C technology and the Web worldwide, with and between the various different languages, scripts, regions, and cultures.


The World Wide Web is by name and by actual extent worldwide. Enabling people from all parts of the world to make full use of Web technologies requires support for their languages, writing systems and cultures. The W3C is firmly committed to making sure that its specifications and other outputs are adequately internationalized.

W3C work generally proceeds at a rapid pace and in many different areas. Since Internationalization is a continued concern for the W3C (as part of the W3C goal of Universal Access), the Internationalization Working Group helps ensure that the rapid pace of innovation does not compromise the cultural and linguistic needs of global users.

The W3C Internationalization Activity was created in October 1995. In February 1998, the Internationalization Working Group was created, and has been rechartered regularly.

This charter, together with the other charters in this Activity Proposal, represents the renewal of the Internationalization Activity at the W3C and is based on requirements identified by the former Task Forces along with continuing work. In particular, this charter proposes new work on Web Services Internationalization and Language and Locale Identifiers for the World Wide Web based on use cases and requirements identified by the former Web Services Internationalization Task Force. It is crucial that this work be started and completed quickly to make sure that the necessary technology for the internationalization of Web services and other Web technology involving or implying processing of data is available in a timely manner to the industry at large.


The Internationalization Core Working Group (I18N Core WG) concentrates its activities on technical issues related to internationalization and universal access across the globe. It develops recommendations and notes related to internationalization and encompassing work related to international, linguistic, cultural, and writing system variations affecting W3C technologies.

The WG also reviews W3C technologies for internationalization issues as these technologies develop. This encompasses a broad array of cultural, linguistic, technical and accessibility concerns. Review work may also include standards created by external standards bodies and organizations related to internationalization, if it is thought to be relevant to W3C technology. The Working Group maintains liaison relationships with these groups to ensure coordinated, consistent development of these standards.

This WG will be successful if it completes its deliverables within the charter's life; promotes their wide, consistent adoption; and provides timely and effective reviews of specifications produced by other Working Groups.


The I18N Core WG has a combination of Recommendation Track, Working Group Note, liaison, and review deliverables. Some of these deliverables are carried over from the previous I18N WG. Others are new and based on requirements identified internally or from public feedback.


Review of W3C specifications is not a time-bound activity and is a crucial deliverable of the Internationalization Core Working Group.

The Core Working Group reviews specifications of other W3C Working Groups for issues related to internationalization, global usage, and cultural sensitivity. Reviews are done as early as possible, but in many cases Last Call is the best stage for an in-depth review.

The exact schedule of these reviews depends on the progress of other Working Groups and the availability of resources in the Internationalization Working Group.

Web Services Internationalization

Deliver to Recommendation a specification or specifications for the exchange of preferences and configuration information that enable Web services to provide culturally sensitive or multi-lingual operation.

This work will define SOAP and WSDL data structures and features that can be implemented in a composable manner similar to other Web services standards. This will allow service descriptions to convey the capabilities of a specific service, including language selection and sensitivity to user- or runtime-selected configuration options, as well as the mechanisms that allow language and locale negotiation, routing, and localization of the Web service interaction.

The inputs for this work are:

This specification is important and must be produced in a timely manner.

Language and Locale Identifiers for the World Wide Web

In order to enable multi-locale operation of Web services and to create the ability for locale negotiation, there need to be standardized methods for identifying locales and locale and/or language preferences on the Web, including non-normative guidelines for implementation. This is called out in Requirement R005 of Requirements for the Internationalization of Web Services (Working Group Note).

The WG will deliver to Recommendation a specification for Language and Locale Identifiers for the World Wide Web. This specification will be designed primarily, but not only, for use with Web services internationalization. It should be based on and make use of an updated version of RFC 3066. RFC 3066 is the IETF specification for language identifiers that is used widely in W3C specifications already. An update is being developed in the framework of the IETF. The specification for Language and Locale Identifiers for the World Wide Web may also allow the identification of locales or aspects thereof with URIs, and may use URIs to point to more detailed locale or preference data. However, it will not deal with formats for locale data, or actual locale data. It is expected that the resulting specification will also include policies and guidelines for the interoperable implementation of the described technology.

Character Model for the World Wide Web

The Character Model for the World Wide Web ("CharMod") is an item of continuing work for the Core Working Group. This specification has been split into three parts, which are in different stages and therefore require different kinds and amounts of work:

Test Suites

This WG will produce and maintain test suites for the specifications on Web Services Internationalization and on Language and Locale Identifiers for the World Wide Web to demonstrate interoperable implementations during the Call for Implementations phase and to encourage high-quality interoperable implementations in general.

See Policies for Contribution of Test Cases to W3C for information about patent, copyright, and liability issues.

Errata and Maintenance Activities

The I18N Core WG is responsible for several documents that were created under previous charters for which there is occasional need for maintenance, clarification, errata, or updates. Notably these documents include:


The expiration date of this charter is 31 October 2006.

Expected Milestones

These are subject to revision due to editorial needs and external scheduling issues; updates will be negotiated with the related groups and recorded on the Internationalization Core Working Group home page.

2004 Milestones
Month Milestone
December [1st Working Draft: Web Services Internationalization]
2005 Milestones
Month Milestone
January [Last Call #3: Character Model: Normalization]
February [1st Working Draft: Language and Locale Identifiers for the World Wide Web]
April [Candidate Recommendation: CharMod: Normalization]
May [2nd Working Draft, Last Call, Web Services Internationalization]

[2nd Working Draft, Last Call: Language and Locale Identifiers for the World Wide Web]

November [Candidate Recommendation: Web Services Internationalization]
2006 Milestones
Month Milestone
January [Candidate Recommendation: Language and Locale Identifiers for the World Wide Web]
March [Proposed Recommendation: Web Services Internationalization]
April [Proposed Recommendation: Language and Locale Identifiers for the World Wide Web]

Coordination with Other Groups

W3C Groups

Some dependencies between the following W3C Working Groups and the Internationalization Core Working Group require close cooperation during the development process; requirements posed by these other Working Groups may change during the development process, which means the interdependency between this Working Group and these other Working Groups must be managed actively:

The Core WG will participate in the Hypertext Coordination Group for coordination within the Interaction Domain and with related Activities. This participation may occur through the mediation of the chair of one of the other two WGs in the Internationalization Activity.

The Internationalization Core Working Group will try to maintain contact with all W3C groups working on issues potentially related to internationalization. The following groups have been identified as having work items or activities of interest to or interrelated with the work of Core, but this list is in no way exhaustive (some links are Member-only):

External Groups

Expected contacts with external organizations include:

Voting Procedure

The group will attempt to resolve all issues by consensus where possible. In some cases a formal vote may be required. These cases are: where consensus is not possible to achieve, when the Chair is petitioned by a Working Group member for a vote, or at the discretion of the Chair with the approval of the Working Group.

A formal vote on a question or motion may be approved by a two-thirds vote in favor by the participants in Good Standing. Each participating organization in Good Standing shall have one vote, regardless of the total number of participants from that organization. Votes by less than half the participants of the Working Group may be appealed to the Chair on the grounds of lacking a quorum.

Since more than one individual from a given W3C Member organizations can participate in the Working Group, a W3C Member organization must designate one person to vote on any issues that require it. An alternate can serve as a fallback when their main representative is temporarily unavailable.


The proceedings of this Group are Public, subject to exceptions made by the Chair with the Group's agreement. In order to facilitate work with other Member-confidential groups some discussions involving the work of other groups may take place on member-only lists.


The Group will have both distributed and face-to-face meetings. It is expected that the face-to-face meetings will occur about three times per year and distributed meetings will consume about one hour per week. Some work on Recommendation or Note-track deliverables may require additional time commitments on the part of the participants. Although not yet finalized, the first face-to-face meeting is currently being planned during the W3C Technical Plenary Week 28 February to 4 March 2005, in Boston, MA, USA.


The Internationalization Core Working Group (principals and alternates) will communicate using a variety of mailing lists. These include:

Group Participation

Each participating W3C Member organization participates with one main representative. A W3C Member organization can designate one or more alternates for additional work. An alternate can serve as a fallback when the main representative is temporarily unavailable. The chair can accept additional alternates to allow a W3C Member organization to provide more resources to the Working Group.

All Working Group participants should be prepared to spend up to 20% of their working time on the WG. If a W3C Member organization designates one or more alternates, the 20% is to be understood as the total time devoted to the WG by the main representative and alternates, excluding the time needed by them for internal coordination. For more details about participation requirements, please see the Process Document.

Members of the Working Group must produce deliverables as agreed by the WG, and attend face-to-face meetings and regular (generally weekly) teleconferences. Between meetings and teleconferences, the Working Group maintains several mailing lists for appropriate discussion.


The initial Chair of this Working Group is Addison Phillips (webMethods, Inc.).

W3C Team Contact

The initial W3C Team contact is Martin Dürst. It is expected that this Group will consume about 0.5 FTE, including administrative logistics.

Patent Policy

This Working Group operates under the W3C Patent Policy (5 February 2004 Version). To promote the widest adoption of Web standards, W3C seeks to issue Recommendations that can be implemented, according to these policies, on a Royalty-Free basis.

For information about patent disclosures or exclusions regarding specifications produced by this Working Group, please refer to the Working Group home page.

Work onCharacter Model for the World Wide Web 1.0: Fundamentals and Character Model for the World Wide Web 1.0: Resource Identifiers is carried out under the 24 January 2002 CPP as amended by the W3C Patent Policy Transition Procedure.

Addison Phillips (webMethods, Inc.), Chair, W3C I18N WG

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