W3C | Submissions

Team Comment on the EGIX Submission

W3C is pleased to receive the EGIX Submission from GLOCOM, Infoteria, and Media Fusion.

Embedding Glyph Identifiers in XML Documents (EGIX) proposes a new XML namespace with a single attribute containing a glyph identifier. This allows distinguishing different glyph variants of the same character, or to identify glyphs where the corresponding character has not yet been encoded. This is of importance in particular for East Asian Ideographs (漢字), but also for other areas.

EGIX relates to the following W3C Activities and events:

Internationalization Activity:
Being able to distinguish different glyph variants of the same character is more important in certain languages and scripts (in particular in East Asia) than in others. The Internationalization Activity, with low but constant frequency, is contacted about solutions in this area. A Web page has been set up to focus discussion. This page also lists some technologies outside W3C that attempt to cover similar needs.
Graphics Activity:
Careful rendering of glyphs is important for high quality Web graphics. Therefore, SVG has support for alternate glyphs, allowing the selection of particular glyphs for ligatures and other purposes while keeping the identity of the characters in the text intact.
Math Activity:
Mathematicians occasionally create new symbols for new concepts. The <mglyph> element in MathML 2.0 addresses this need.
Device Independence Activity:
Pictograms are quite popular on mobile phones, in particular in East Asia.

The Submission uses FPIs, but the Web uses URIs as identifiers. FPIs can be used as URIs through RFC 3151, A URN Namespace for Public Identifiers. Technology designed for the Web should not limit itself to a subset of URIs.

The Submission only provides an identifier for a glyph. Means for rendering glyph variants, and means for providing metadata (e.g. pronunciation, meaning, usage, kind of variant, related variant,...) are also relevant to an overall solution.

Next Steps

The EGIX submission will be brought to the attention of the Internationalization Working Group/Interest Group, the SVG Working Group, the Math Working Group, the CSS Working Group, the XSL Working Group, the Device Independence Working Group, the XML Core Working Group, the relevant WAI Working Groups, and the Hypertext Coordination Group (links Member-only).

Feedback on this technology is encouraged on the www-international mailing list (public archive). There is also a member-only mailing list devoted to this topic (archive). In particular, we would like to know whether there is a need for creating an unified solution from the different existing approaches, what the requirements for such a solution should be, and how such a solution might look.

Disclaimer: Placing a Submission on a Working Group/Interest Group agenda does not imply endorsement by either the W3C Team or the participants of the Working Group/Interest Group, nor does it guarantee that the Working Group/Interest Group will agree to take any specific action on a Submission.

Martin Dürst, Internationalization Activity Lead <duerst@w3.org>
$Date: 2002/12/19 20:44:57 $