Internationalization (i18n) Activity

Making the World Wide Web worldwide!

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Activity Statement

i18n WG

i18n Interest Group

i18n Tag Set (ITS) IG

Arabic Layout Task Force

Chinese Layout Task Force

Ethiopic Layout Task Force

Indic Layout Task Force

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July 2011 (13)
July 2009 (10)
June 2009 (10)
June 2008 (13)
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The W3C Internationalization (I18n) Activity works with W3C working groups and liaises with other organizations to make it possible to use Web technologies with different languages, scripts, and cultures. From this page you can find articles and other resources about Web internationalization, and information about the groups that make up the Activity.

Recent highlights

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First Public Working Draft: Ethiopic Layout Requirements

The Internationalization Working Group has published a First Public Working Draft of Ethiopic Layout Requirements.

This document describes requirements for the layout and presentation of text in languages that use the Ethiopic script when they are used by Web standards and technologies, such as HTML, CSS, Mobile Web, and Digital Publications.

By publishing this first Working Draft the editor invites feedback and participation from interested parties. Learn more about other layout requirements initiatives in progress.


New version of Internationalization Checker released

The W3C Internationalization Checker is a free service for web authors and developers that checks web pages and provides:

  • a table listing key international settings for a page, such as character encoding, language declarations, and text direction.
  • a list of errors, warnings and helpful suggestions about the page, with pointers to resources where you can learn more.

Version 2 of the checker moves away from checking against particular specifications to checking how a page will work in a browser. For the most part, it assumes that pages will be parsed using an HTML5 compliant parser. Pages served as application/xhtml+xml have some significant differences with regards to character encoding and language declarations, however, and these are taken into account if the checker detects that the page being checked is served as XML.

See the change log for detailed information about changes. In summary, 18 new checks were added, and the messages for 11 checks were significantly updated.

In addition, the following new rows were added to the information table:

  • All language tags: lists all language tags used in the page. If you click on any of the language tags listed, you are taken to the Language Subtag Lookup tool, which provides information about validity of the subtags used, lists their meaning, and provides additional usage tips.
  • Unicode control codes: lists directional controls used in the document, with a frequency count for each. The list is divided to reflect actual characters vs. numeric character references vs. named character references.
  • Notable attributes: lists attributes used that are typically associated with features needed by an international audience.
  • Notable elements: the same, but for elements.

Please let us know about bugs and missing features using the feedback form.

W3C HTML5 Validator enhanced with language detection functionality

The W3C HTML5 Validator has been enhanced with functionality that detects the overall language of a page. The validator can currently detect a little over 50 languages, but more will be added over time.

This makes it possible to compare the language of the content in a page with language declarations, and issue warnings if the lang attribute does not match the language of content, if no lang attribute is given at all, or if a language using a right-to-left script is detected but a dir attribute is missing from the html tag.

For more information on the lang attribute, see the Why use the language attribute? article, or Declaring the overall language of a page in the technique index.

For review: Time & date, Essential concepts

A draft of a new article, Time & date, Essential concepts is out for wide review. We are looking for comments by 22 June.

This article introduces a number of basic concepts needed to understand other articles that deal with time zones and handling of dates and times on the Web.

Please send any comments as github issues by clicking on the link “Leave a comment” at the bottom of the article. (This will add some useful information to your comment.)

Note that some links don’t work because this is in a test location. No need to report those.

New article: Ruby markup

Ruby is the name given to the small annotations in Japanese and Chinese content that are rendered alongside base text, usually to provide phonetic information, but sometimes to provide other information.

This article discusses how to use HTML5 markup for ruby text. It covers what works and what is still aspirational pending more widespread browser support.

The aim of markup is principally to establish the relationships between the base text and the ruby text (the annotations). Information about how to then apply adjustments to the default styling of ruby text which be covered by Ruby Styling, which is still in development.

Read the article.

Updated article: Changing an HTML page to Unicode

The article was edited to make it easier for non-experts to follow. An example of an encoding declaration was added, and a form to check for HTTP headers, but most of the text was also reworked.

See the updated article.

Publication of the final OntoLex specification: lexicon model for ontologies (lemon)

The OntoLex community group is proud to announce the publication of the final specification of lemon, the lexicon model for ontologies. The aim of lemon is to provide rich linguistic grounding for ontologies, including the representation of morphological and syntactic properties of lexical entries and the meaning of these lexical entries with respect to an ontology or vocabulary. Lemon allows to publish lexica or terminological data on the web as linked data.
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For review: Ruby Markup

A draft of a new article, Ruby Markup is out for wide review. We are looking for comments by 5 May.

The article describes how to mark up HTML for ruby support. (It will later be followed by a similar article describing how to style ruby.)

Please send any comments as github issues by clicking on the link “Leave a comment” at the bottom of the article. (This will add some useful information to your comment.)

Updated Working Group Note: Unicode in XML and other Markup Languages

The WG Note, Unicode in XML and other Markup Languages has been republished with a note at the beginning which explains the following:

  • the document is now owned solely by W3C, rather than a joint production between W3C and the Unicode Consortium
  • the current version of the document is out-of-date, and should be used with care
  • a new version is in preparation.

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