W3C Architecture Domain Internationalization Activity

Internationalization Guidelines, Education & Outreach (GEO) Working Group Charter

Richard Ishida, W3C, Chair and Team Contact
Martin Dürst, W3C, Internationalization Activity Lead
last revised $Date: 2004/11/24 14:10:31 $ by $Author: rishida $

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


The mission of the Internationalization Guidelines, Education & Outreach Working Group (GEO WG) is to help to make the internationalization aspects of W3C technology better understood and more widely and consistently used.


The W3C Internationalization Activity was created in October 1995. In February 1998, the Internationalization (I18N) WG was created, and has been rechartered regularly. In 2002 the WG divided its work across three task forces, one of which was the GEO task force. This charter proposes that the GEO task force become a separate Working Group.

The GEO WG will continue to work closely with the Internationalization Core Working Group (I18N Core WG) and the Internationalization Tag Set Working Group (ITS WG).

The World Wide Web is by its name and by its actual extent world-wide. 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. Overall W3C work has moved on at a high pace, and is expected to continue to do so, but internationalization is a continuing concern for W3C, as part of the W3C goal of Universal Access.


The GEO WG will try to ensure that specification writers, web masters, content authors, and others involved in developing and implementing the Web understand the issues involved and the techniques available with regard to supporting international use of Web technology.

Scope will center on use of W3C technologies, but may also include more general Web internationalization and localization topics.

The GEO WG will also provide assistance to other WGs in the Internationalization Activity for publication of educational and outreach materials.


The GEO task force has already produced a good deal of information to support content authors. The GEO WG will continue that work. The major deliverable sets proposed are as follows:

Web internationalization resources

The WG will continue to publish web pages on the Internationalization Activity site to assist users of W3C and related Web technologies to internationalize their approach. These will include:

Techniques documents

The WG will build on existing work to create a series of techniques documents providing internationalization-related advice for users of Web technologies. These documents, aimed at Working Group Note status, make the information available in a task based fashion, at the point of need. The information in these separate documents will be drawn together by higher level web pages, targeted at specific user types and activities, that group and link to all relevant information in summary form, with an organization that aids their use.

Internationalization tests

The WG will build on the existing foundation to create additional test pages and a summary of results for major browsers. These tests explore support by user agents for internationalization related features, but also serve an educational role. They are initially intended to support the development of techniques documents and articles, but are not limited to that. The audience will be content authors as well as QA testers. In addition, other W3C WGs have found these tests of interest for their own test suites, and user agent development teams have found these tests valuable in terms of identifying, fixing or enhancing internationalization features or bugs.

Outreach activities

The WG will seek to regularly present knowledge developed by the WG at conferences and meetings where Web internationalization topics are relevant, and to maintain a presence in internationalization and localization related publications. It will also seek out key opportunities to present the internationalization message to content authors and implementers.

Topic areas

The GEO WG will attempt to respond to the needs of the Web community as they arise, so the final set of deliverables cannot be listed in detail at this stage. However, the WG will aim to develop work in the following areas.

Note, in addition, that the GEO WG will assist in the development of guidelines by the ITS WG relating to DTD and XML Schema internationalization.


The expiration date of this charter is 31 October 2006.

Expected milestones

GEO WG deliverables are produced on an ongoing basis throughout the life of the charter, and the specific topics to be addressed by the working group and schedule information cannot be determined in advance, but are driven by the needs of the Web community.

Coordination With Other Groups

W3C Groups

Some dependencies to and from the following W3C Working Groups will require close cooperation during the development process. The interdependency of this Group with these Working Groups must be managed actively.

There are no requirements for co-development of features with the following Working Groups, but there are points of contact between their work and this Group, and thus logical dependency between their deliverables and those of this Group.

The GEO WG will participate in the Hypertext Coordination Group (member-only link) 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 WG in the Internationalization Activity.

External Groups

Voting procedure

The group will attempt to resolve all issues by consensus where possible. In the unlikely event that a formal vote may be required (ie. 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), the following will apply.

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.


The Group will have distributed and face-to-face meetings. It is expected that face-to-face meetings will occur about twice per year and distributed meetings will occur weekly for about one to two hours. 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 GEO WG (principals and alternates) will communicate using the following mailing lists:

The Group will also maintain a Working Group Home Page and share the Internationalization Activity Home Page with the rest of the Internationalization Activity.

See also section 6.2.7, "Working Group "Heartbeat" Requirement" in the W3C Process Document.

Group Participation

Participation in this Group is expected to consume up to half a day per week of each participant's time, though the time commitment for the Chair and editors may require additional time. If there is more than one participant from a W3C Member organization each participant will be expected to contribute up to 10% of his/her time, excluding the time needed by them for internal coordination. For more details about participation requirements, please see the Process Document.

Those who cannot commit to the time required of a WG participant may participate as time or interest allows on the IG mailing list.


The initial Chair of this Working Group is Richard Ishida (W3C).

W3C Team Contact

The initial W3C Team contact is Richard Ishida. It is expected that this Group would consume about 0.5 FTE, including administrative logistics.

Patent Disclosures

The GEO Working Group provides an opportunity to share perspectives on Internationalization. This Working Group is not chartered to produce Recommendations with associated licensing obligations as described by the W3C Patent Policy. W3C reminds Working Group participants of their obligation to comply with patent disclosure obligations as set out in Section 6 of the W3C Patent Policy. While this Working Group does not produce Recommendation-track documents, when Working Group participants review Recommendation-track specifications from other Working Groups, the patent disclosure obligations do apply.

Richard Ishida, Chair and Team Contact