About the Internationalization (i18n) Activity
The mission of the W3C Internationalization Activity is to ensure that W3C's formats and protocols are usable worldwide in all languages and in all writing systems.
The Project RADAR lists current work items for the Internationalization Working Group.
The page Layout & typography lists various initiatives aimed at documenting requirements for typography and text layout on the Web and in digital publications for languages other than English.
The Internationalization Activity aims to ensure universal access to the World Wide Web. The work takes place in the following groups:
The Internationalization Working Group provides a wide range of advice and support for groups developing or using international aspects of the Web. It reviews specifications produced by other W3C Working Groups, looking for any issues that would cause barriers to deployment and use of Web technologies due to language, script, region or culture, and provides discusses issues with those groups. It also produces its own documents and content. This includes requirements, guidelines and proposals for specification writers, as well as educational resources, checkers and outreach to help developers and content authors better understand and more widely implement the internationalization aspects of W3C technology. The group also develops tests for internationalization features on the Web, and produces summaries of their results. [Home page] [Charter]
Join the group
The Internationalization Interest Group is a public group supporting the activity of the Internationalization Working Group. Most of the technical discussion of the WG takes place on the Interest Group list. Anyone can participate in the Interest Group by simply joining one of the mailing lists. There are no teleconferences. The www-international mailing list is used for general discussion about internationalization topics. A number of related mailing lists are used for more detailed discussion of topics related to particular aspects of internationalization. Task forces can be set up within the Interest Group, to focus on a particular topic or deliverable. [Home page] [Charter] [Archive]
To subscribe, send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with
subscribeas the subject.
The Internationalization Interest Group also contains a number of task forces, dedicated to script-specific work.
The Chinese Layout Task Force was created to document requirements for the layout and presentation of text in the major and minority languages used in China when those languages are used by Web standards such as HTML, CSS, Mobile Web, Digital Publications, and Unicode. The task force will report the results of its activities back to the Internationalization Core Working Group for publication, as well as to other relevant groups and to the W3C membership and community at large. The task force also has an interest in identifying gaps in support for these languages, and in support implementation work. It is currently producing layout requirements for Simplified and Traditional Chinese, and hopes to soon address Tibetan, Mongolian and Uighur. [Home page] [Charter]
To become a member of the task force, contact Angel Li or Richard Ishida. To follow and comment on the work, join the Internationalization Interest Group by subscribing to the (publicly archived) email@example.com mailing list.
The Indic Layout Task Force was created to document requirements for the layout and presentation of text in the major languages used in India when those languages are used by Web standards such as HTML, CSS, Mobile Web, Digital Publications, and Unicode. The task force will report the results of its activities back to the Internationalization Core Working Group for publication, as well as to other relevant groups and to the W3C membership and community at large. The task force also has an interest in identifying gaps in support for these languages, and in support implementation work. It is currently producing layout requirements for Devanagari. [Home page] [Charter]
To become a member of the task force, contact Richard Ishida. To follow and comment on the work, join the Internationalization Interest Group by subscribing to the (publicly archived) firstname.lastname@example.org mailing list.
There are currently plans to create an Arabic Layout Task Force, and an Ethiopic Layout Task Force. If you are interested in participating in those, contact Richard Ishida. The Japanese Layout Task Force has completed its work.
The ITS (Internationalization Tag Set) Interest Group aims to foster a community of users of the Internationalization Tag Set (ITS) by promoting its adoption and gathering information for its further development. ITS provides a set of concepts that can be mapped to markup and that make it easier to internationalize and localize documents. The Interest Group supports the MultlingualWeb-LT Working Group. There are also a set of Best Practices for XML Internationalization. The group works through a public list and wiki, and monthy teleconference calls. [Home page] [Charter] [Archive]
To subscribe, send a mail to email@example.com with
subscribeas the subject.
The Internationalization Activity Statement introduces some concepts relating to internationalization, and describes the current status of Internationalization Activity.
There are also some related Community Groups, such as the following. (New CGs can be started at any time, and this list may not be up to date. See the full list of CGs.) Note that these are not run under the Internationalization Activity. Anyone can join a CG – follow the links below for more information.
The MLW-LT (MultilingualWeb Language Technology) Working Group defined the Internationalization Tag Set (ITS) 2.0. This delivers metadata for web content (mainly HTML5) and "deep Web" content (or example a CMS or XML file from which HTML pages are generated). The metadata facilitates interaction with multilingual technologies and localization processes. They also produced reference implementations. The group was closed on 17 January 2014, having successfully published the Internationalization Tag Set (ITS) 2.0 specification as a Recommendation. the Working Group has started discussing ITS 2.0 best practices topics within the Internationalization Tag Set Interest Group. This is an open forum aiming to generate discussion around future possible work in this area. To participate contribute to the ITS IG wiki and the ITS IG mailling list. [Home page] [Charter]
The Japanese Layout Task Force created a document about requirements for general Japanese layout realized with technologies like CSS, SVG and XSL-FO and eBooks. The group worked internally in Japanese. The document was mainly based on a standard for Japanese layout, JIS X 4051, however, it also addresses areas which are not covered by JIS X 4051. The group is no longer active, however many of the participants still subscribe to the public-i18n-cjk mailing list. [Home page]
The Internationalization GEO Working Group worked to make the internationalization aspects of W3C technology better understood and more widely and consistently used through guidelines, education and outreach. This WG was closed when the work was merged into that of the Internationalization Working Group in 2007. [Home page] [Charter]
The following mailing lists allow members of the public to participate in or track the work of the Internationalization Activity. The various groups in the Activity also use member-only lists (mostly for adminstration) that are listed on the group home pages.
To post to public lists, you need to first subscribe. You do not need to be subscribed to follow the links to the archives.
www-international is where the Internationalization Activity discusses most of its technical issues by default. This is also the main list of the Internationalization Interest Group (i18n IG), and by subscribing to the list you become a member of the IG. [Archive] [Subscribe]
There are also a number of specialized lists in use:
public-i18n-bidi is for discussions about bidirectional text and other issues related to support of right-to-left scripts, such as Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Urdu, Thaana, etc. You should also send comments to this list about w3c documents related to right-to-left scripts. This list is managed as part of the Internationalization Interest Group (i18n IG), and by subscribing to the list you become a member of the IG. [Archive] [Subscribe]
public-i18n-cjk is for discussions about issues related to support of Chinese, Japanese and Korean languages and scripts. You should also send comments to this list about w3c documents related to these scripts, such as the Japanese Layout Requirements document. This list is managed as part of the Internationalization Interest Group (i18n IG), and by subscribing to the list you become a member of the IG. [Archive] [Subscribe]
public-i18n-indic is for discussions about issues related to support of South Asian languages and scripts, such as Hindi, Tamil, etc. You should also send comments to this list about w3c documents related to indic scripts. This list is used the by Indic Layout Task Force, part of the Internationalization Interest Group (i18n IG), and by subscribing to the list you become a member of the IG. [Archive] [Subscribe]
public-i18n-its-ig is for discussions about the Internationalization Tag Set (ITS) and related topics. You should also send comments to this list about the ITS Recommendation and related publications. This list is managed as part of the ITS Interest Group, and by subscribing to the list you are a member of the IG. [Archive] [Subscribe]
public-iri is the public mailing list of the IETF IRI Working Group. IRI stands for Internationalized Resource Identifiers. IRIs extend URIs beyond ASCII. The Working Group will update the IRI specification, RFC 3987 (see http://tools.ietf.org/wg/iri for charter, scope, work items.) [Archive] [Subscribe]
www-i18n-comments was used in the past for comments on various documents produced by the Internationalization Activity. If your comments are likely to involve discussion, we would encourage you nowadays to subscribe to and post your comments to one of the lists above, rather than to this list. [Archive] [Subscribe]
public-multilingualweb is also hosted by the W3C. This list is provided as part of the MultlingualWeb project for discussion of standards and best practices work needed to support deployment of the Multilingual Web. [Archive] [Subscribe]
The Internationalization Activity welcomes the participation of individuals and organizations around the world to help improve the appropriateness of the Web for multiple cultures, scripts and languages.
See the list of groups listed in the previous section, for how to sign up.
- Join the discussions on the www-international mailing list.
- Follow the discussions on the public-i18n-core mailing list.
- Review articles prior to publication and send comments.
- Review W3C specifications for internationalization issues, and send comments to the Working Group.
- Provide information about language or script usage in response to our feedback requests.
- Write articles and plan and discuss content for forthcoming articles.
- Volunteer to help us maintain topic and techniques indexes to the information on the site.
- Review best practices for content authors, implementers, or specification developers.
- Get your web i18n blogs aggregated at Planet i18n
- Translate some of the Internationalization Activity's articles.
Participation can benefit the participant and his or her organization in the following ways.
- Significantly develop your understanding of how W3C technologies are used in a global Web and bring that knowledge back to your organization.
- Review the state of the art in a range of Web technologies and develop understanding of key internationalization issues by reviewing specifications.
- Raise your profile and that of your organization by developing best practices, and education and outreach materials.
- Contribute your and your organization's ideas and needs for the development of new specifications.
- Discuss and explore ideas alongside other leaders in the field.
- Gain exposure to internationalization issues in a wide range of technologies.
- Lay claim to contributing directly to making the World Wide Web more worldwide.
The groups need people with a wide range of skills, from technical authoring to specialised knowledge of particular technologies.
- Addison Phillips (addison @ amazon com), I18n Core Working Group Chair
- Richard Ishida (ishida @ w3. org), Activity Lead, Staff Contact for Core Working Group
- Yves Savourel (ysavourel @ translate. com), ITS Interest Group Chair
- Martin Dürst (duerst @ it.aoyama.ac.jp), Interest Group Chair
- Liaisons (member only)