A number of early ideas on this topic were set out by Richard Ishida and Yves Savourel in 2000-2001. See for example, a Requirements for Localizable DTD Design and a shorter article in Multilingual Computing magazine entitled Localizable DTD Design. The Working Group was formed partly in response to growing a growing desire in the localization industry to provide solutions to the requirements described in this early work.

The work looks at markup and best practises that will support international use of the format defined by your schema, such as inclusion of bidirectional text markup, ruby markup, etc. There is also good representation on the Working Group for the localization industry, aimed at ensuring that information needed for efficient translation and localization of material is available in the content, and should help standardise that information to make it easier to feed into translation tools and integrate with standard representations of data during the localization process, such as the XLIFF standard.

As of May 2005 we are still developing requirements for well internationalized and localizable schemas. Later in the year we will move to questions of how to implement solutions. We currently expect this to provide a number of alternative recommendations relating to constructs that schema designers should incorporate in their DTDs, XML Schema or RelaxNG formats. There will also be a Note that captures additional guidance that cannot be expressed by simply providing such building blocks.

To see the ongoing work of the ITS Working Group, visit their home page.

We welcome the questions and participation of people currently developing schemas.

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