The presentation of this document has been augmented to identify changes from a previous version. Three kinds of changes are highlighted: new, added text, changed text, and deleted text.


W3C Working Draft 27 April 2007

This version:
Latest version:
Previous version:
Yves Savourel, ENLASO Corporation
Diane Stoick, Boeing Corporation

This document is also available in these non-normative formats: XHTML Diff markup to publication from 18 May 2006.


This document provides a set of guidelines for developing XML documents and schemas that are internationalized properly. Following the best practices describes here allow both the developer of XML applications, as well as the author of XML content to create material in different languages.

This document is still in an early draft stage. Feedback is especially appreciated on the general concept of ITS, the guidelines listed, and when applicable, the mechanisms defined for the selection of ITS specific information in XML documents.

Status of this Document

This section describes the status of this document at the time of its publication. Other documents may supersede this document. A list of current W3C publications and the latest revision of this technical report can be found in the W3C technical reports index at

This is a First Public Working Draft of "Best Practices for XML Internationalization (XML i18n BP)". The document wasprovides best practices developed by the Internationalizationto Tag Set (ITS) WorkingXML that Group, partdevelopers of the W3Capplications Internationalization Activity.well A completecontent list of changesuse to thisensure that their XML documents and schemas document is available.

Thisadaptable is an updatedinternational audience. WorkingThese are Draft of "Besttechniques Practices for XML Internationalization".addressed A completethe list of changescontent development if unnecessary costs and is available. The Internationalization Tag Set (ITS) Workingon.This Group does intends to publish thisInternationalization document as a Working Group, part of the W3C Internationalization Activity. Note.

Feedback about the content of this document is encouraged. Send your comments to Use "[Comment on xml-i18n-bp WD]" in the subject line of your email, followed by a brief subject. The archives for this list are publicly available.

Publication as a Working Draft does not imply endorsement by the W3C Membership. This is a draft document and may be updated, replaced or obsoleted by other documents at any time. It is inappropriate to cite this document as other than work in progress.

This document was produced by a group operating under the 5 February 2004 W3C Patent Policy. The group does not expect this document to become a W3C Recommendation. This document is informative only. W3C maintains a public list of any patent disclosures made in connection with the deliverables of the group; that page also includes instructions for disclosing a patent. An individual who has actual knowledge of a patent which the individual believes contains Essential Claim(s) must disclose the information in accordance with section 6 of the W3C Patent Policy.

Table of Contents


A References (Non-Normative)
B Revision Log (Non-Normative)
C Acknowledgements (Non-Normative)

Go to the table of contents.1 Introduction

This document is a complement to [ITS]. Not all internationalization-related issues can be solved with special markup described in [ITS]; there are a number of problems that can be avoided by designing correctly the XML format, and by applying a few guidelines when designing and authoring documents. This document and [ITS] implement requirements formulated in [ITS REQ].

Go to the table of contents.1.1 Who should use this document

This document is divided into two main sections:

  • The first one is intended to the designers and developers of XML applications.

  • The second is for the XML content authors. This includes users modifying the original content such as the translators.

Go to the table of contents.1.2 How to use this document

Designers and developers of XML applications should read Section 2: When Designing an XML Application. It provides a list of some of the important design choices they should do in order to ensure the internationalization of their format. The techniques are usually illustrated with examples for XML Schema, RELAX NG and XML DTD.

Users and authors of XML content should read Section 3: When Authoring XML Content where they can find a number of guidelines on how to create content with internationalization in mind. Many of these best practices do not require the XML format used to have been developed especially for internationalization.

Section 5: ITS Applied to Existing Formats provides a set of concrete examples on how to apply ITS to existing XML based formats. This illustrates many of the guidelines in this document.

Each guideline is illustrated by one or more techniques (identified with a sequential number through-out the document).

Go to the table of contents.2 When Designing an XML Application

Designers and developers of XML applications should take in account the following best practices:

IncludeUse the xml:lang inattribute to your DTD or schema to allow to specify the natural language the content of the content.

Howdocuments is . See the toLanguage doIdentification this

Makesection sure the XML Specification for more information on xml:lang. It is attribute is available for the root element of your document, and for anyxml:lang element where a change of language may occur.

Foras details on how to add an attribute suchwould diminish the interoperability as xml:langyour to a DTD, an XSD schema, or a RELAX-NG schema, see: Section 4.2: Adding an Attribute to an Existing DTD or Schema.applications.

Note: The scope of the xml:lang attribute applies to both the attributes and the content of the element where it appears, therefore one cannot specify different languages for an attribute and the element content. ITS does not provide remedy for this. Instead, it is recommended to not use attributes for translatable text.

Note: If Include notxml:lang the language ofschema. Import the content, but a natural language value as data or meta-data about something externalreferences to the document has to be specified, an attribute different from xml:lang should be used.

Example 1: Language information not applicable to content ofyour element where it is used

In this exampleinclude the XHTML hreflang attribute does not indicate that thedocument, content offollow the element a isprovided in German.

<a xml:lang="en" href="german.html" hreflang="de">Click here for German</a>

For existing DTD and schema:.

If you are working with an existing DTD or schema where there is a way to specify content language that is not implemented usingOnce the xml:lang attribute (but still uses the same values as xml:lang),declared, you should provide an ITS rules document where you use the its:langRuleelements element to specify what attribute or element is used instead of xml:lang.schema.

Example 2: Non-standard way of declaring languageAdditional information

In this documentnot the langcodelanguage element is used to specify the language of an entry.

  <msg id="1">
   <text>Cannot find file.</text>
  <msg id="2">
   <text>Fichier no trouvé.</text>

[Example'sdata source code]

Example 3: Associatingmeta-data non-standard language information to ITS

Use the following rule to specify that the langcodedifferent element holds thethan same values as the xml:lang attribute.

  xmlns:its=""  version="1.0">
 <its:langRule selector="//text" langPointer="../langcode"/>

[Example'sshould source code]

Whyused. doing this

Itexample is notthe recommended to use yourhreflang own attribute or element to specify the language content. XHTML. The xml:langhreflang attribute is supported by various XML technologies such as XPath and XSL (e.g. the lang() function). Using something different would diminish the interoperability of your documents and reduce your capability to take advantage of some XML applications.XHTML


Background information

Reference links

TODO Include the its:dir attribute in your DTD or schema to allow to specify text directionality.

How to do thisTODO

Make sure theinclude its:dir attribute is available for the root element of your document and for all elements with content that may be rendered..

For Make details on how to addhave an attribute such as its:dir-like to a DTD, an XSD schema, or a RELAX-NG schema, see: Section 4.2: Adding an Attribute to an Existing DTD or Schema.


For existing DTD and schema:TODO

If you are working with, an existing DTD or schema where there ishas a way to specify textvalues directionality that is not implemented using thewith its:dir attribute, you should provide an ITS rules document where you use the its:dirRule element to associate the different directionality indicators with their equivalent in ITS..

Example 4: Non-standard way of specifying text directionality

In this document the textdiryour attribute is used to specify directionality of a text run.

<text xml:lang="en">
  <par>In Hebrew, the title <quote xml:lang="he" textdir="r2l">פעילות הבינאום, W3C</quote>
     means <quote>Internationalization Activity, W3C</quote>.</par>
[Ed. note: TODO:with Need to get the correct display (or not? ...)]

[Example's source code]

Example 5: Associating non-standard text directionality information to ITS

Use the following rulecategory, to specify the relationships between the textdir attribute of the format andusing the ITS "Directionality"dirRule data category.

  xmlns:its=""  version="1.0">
 <its:dirRule selector="//*[textdir='l2r']" dir="ltr"/>
 <its:dirRule selector="//*[textdir='r2l']" dir="rtl"/>
 <its:dirRule selector="//*[textdir='lro']" dir="lro"/>
 <its:dirRule selector="//*[textdir='rlo']" dir="rlo"/>

[Example's source code]

Why doing thiselements.

[Ed. note: TODO]

Do not put translatable text in attributes.

How to do this

Make surethat all translatable text is stored as element content.

For example, do not allow this:

Example 6: Bad design

The alt attribute contains translatable text.

<image src="elephants.png" alt="Elephants bathing in the Zambezi River."/>

Instead, design for this:

Example 7: Better design

There is no more translatable attribute.

<image src="elephants.png">Elephants bathing in the Zambezi River.</image>

For existing DTD and schema:

The default assumption in ITS is that attributes are not translatable. If you are working with a DTD or a schema where there are translatable attributes, you should provide an ITS rules document where you use the its:translateRule element to specify what attributes are translatable. See: Best Practice 1: Indicate the translatability of elements and attributes for more information how to do this.

Why doing thisattributes.

There are a number of issues related to storing translatable text in attribute values. Some of them are:

  • The language identification mechanism (i.e. xml:lang) applies to the content of the element where it is declared, including its attribute values. If the text of an attribute is in a different language than the text of the element content, one cannot set the language for both correctly.

  • In some languages, bidirectional markers may be needed to provide a correct display. Tags cannot be used within an attribute value. One can use Unicode control characters instead, but this is not recommended (see: [Unicode in XML]).

  • It is difficult to apply to the text of the attribute value meta-information such as no-translate flags, designer's notes, etc.

  • The difficulty to attach unique identifiers to translatable attribute text makes it more complicated to use ID-based leveraging tools.

  • Translatable attributes can create problems when they are prepared for localization because they can occur within the content of a translatable element, breaking it into different parts, and possibly altering the sentence structure.

All these potential problems are less likelynot to occur when the text is the content of an element rather than the value of an attribute.

Note: InDo many occurences, movingput translatable text from attribute value to element content can result in having a sentence embedded within another one. For instance, in the example above: the description of the image will be embedded inside the text of the paragraph where the image is. In such cases, do not forget to declare the relevant element (here image) as 'nested', as described here: Best Practice 1: Provide texta way to override segmentation-related information


Reference links

Define whether elements and attributes are translatable.

HowMake to do this

Youtranslatable should provide an ITS rules documentelement where you use its:translateRule elements to indicate which elements have non-translatable content.

If you are working with a DTD or a schema where there are translatable attributes (something that isdo not recommended),allow you should also use its:translateRule to specify these translatable attributes.this:

Note: Because a rule hasBad precedence over the onesalt before, you want to start with the most general rules first and progressively override them as needed. Some rules may be more complex to take in account all the aspects of inheritance.translatable.

Note: Try to keep the number of nodes to bedesign overriden to a minimum for better performances. For example, If most of a document should not be translated, it is better to set the root element to be non-translatable than to set all elements. The inheritance mechanism will have the same effect for a much lower computing cost.this:

Note: If needed, make provisions for the caseattribute. Indicate where the content of an element is flagged with xml:lang="zxx", where zxx indicates a content that is not in aelements language, and therefore is most likely not translatable.

Example 8: Document with non-default translatability behaviorattributes

In the following document, theXML content of the headtranslatable element should not be translated, and the valuemost of the alttime, attribute shouldnon-translatable be translated. In addition, the content of the del element should not be translated.

<myDoc xml:lang="en">
  <author>Page Harrison</author>
  <rev>v13 July-27-2005</rev>
 <par>To start click <ins>the <ui>Start</ui>
  <del>this icon: <ref file="start.png" alt="Start icon"/>
   and fill the form.</par>

[Example's sourceITS code]

Example 9: Overriding default translatability rules

Theuses. first rule indicates that the content of headall in myDocelements is not translatable. By inheritance,and the child elementsvalues of head are also assumed not translatable.

The second rule indicates that all the alt attributes are translatable.

The third rule indicates that the content of del is not translatable.

The fourth rule indicates that the non-translatability of del applies also to any attribute that may have been set as translatable by a prior rule (i.e. the second rule).

  xmlns:its=""  version="1.0">
 <its:translateRule selector="/myDoc/head" translate="no"/>
 <its:translateRule selector="//*/@alt" translate="yes"/>
 <its:translateRule selector="//del" translate="no"/>
 <its:translateRule selector="//del/descendant-or-self::*/@*" translate="no"/>

[Example's source code]

Why doing this

By default, ITS assumes that the content of all elements is translatable and that all attributes have non-translatable values. If your XML document type does not correspond to this default assumptions it is important tospecify indicate what are the exceptions.


Reference links

Include its:translatewhat and its:rulesare in your DTD or schema to allow authors to override translatability information.translatable.

How to do this

Make sure the its:translate attribute is available for the root element of your documents, and for any element that has text content.

For details on how to add an attribute such as its:translate to a DTD, an XSD schema, or a RELAX-NG schema, see: Section 4.2: Adding an Attribute to an Existing DTD or Schema.

Make also sureUse the its:rules element is available somewhere in your documents, for exampleexpression in the headerselector part if there is one. The its:rules element provides accessattribute to the its:translateRule element which can beassign used to change the translatability property of attributes.information.

Example 10: Overriding default translation rules

In the following document, the content of the par elements are normally translatable, but in this instance, the last one should remain in English. Declaring its:translatebe as an optional attribute of the par element allows the author to set the given paragraph as not translatable.translated:

 <par>To apply these terms to you library, attach the following notice.
   It is safest to attach it to the start of each source file to most 
   effectively convey the exclusion of warranty; and each file should 
   have at least the "copyright" line and a pointer to where the full 
   notice is found.</par>
 <par>The notice should read (preferably in English):</par>
   its:translate="no">This library is free software; you can 
   redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Lesser 
   General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; 
   either version 2.1 of the License, or (at your option) any later 
   version. This software is distributed as open source under LGPL.</par>
[Ed. note: TODO: Maybe this is more an example for the author. Maybe we should have and example showing ITS inclusion in a DTD or schema.]

[Example's source code]

For existing DTD and schema:

If you are working with DTD or a schema where there is a way to override translatability information that is not its:translate, you should provide anof ITS rules document where you use the its:translateRule element to associate this mechanism to the ITS Translate data category.used.

For example, [DITA 1.0] offers its own translate attribute, and [Glade] provide its own translatable attribute. Both have the same function as its:translate.

Example 11: DITA translation information

The following rules indicate howIn to associate the DITA translatedocument attribute with the ITS Translate data category. The order in which the rules aretext listed is important: You must first defined the general rules, then two rules for the case of the elements with translate="no" (one for the elements, one for the attributes of children elements), and lastly, the rule for translate="yes"emphasized.

  xmlns:its=""  version="1.0">
<!-- Rules for the translate attributes -->

 <translateRule selector="//*[@translate='no']" translate="no"/>
 <translateRule selector="//*[@translate='no']/descendant-or-self::*/@*" translate="no"/>
 <translateRule selector="//*[@translate='yes']" translate="yes"/>

[Example's source code]

You can find a more complete example of how DITA markup is associated with ITS in Section 5.4.2: Relating ITS to Existing Markup in DITA.

Why doing this

In some cases,define the author of a document mayparts need to change the translatability property onuse parts of the content, overriding defaults or moregeneral rules.element:

Define how elements in mixed content shouldmay be treated handled withnecessary regard to segmentation.

Howassign to do this

By default, ITS processors assume thatof the text content of each element is separated fromdocuments the other elements. You should provide an ITS rules document where you use the its:withinTextRule element to indicate which elements should be treated as part of its parent, or as a nested entry.

Example 12: A DITA document with formatting and footnote elements.

The following DITA document hasinformation two elements that should be treated as "within text": term andthe b, and one that should be treated as a nested independent run of text: fn.default.

<concept id="myConcept" xml:lang="en-us">
 <title>Types of horse</title>
   <li>Palouse horse:<p>
     <term>Palouse horses</term>
     <fn>A palouse horse is the same as
         an <b>Appaloosa</b>.</fn> have spotted coats.
        The <term>Nez-Perce</term> Indians have been key in breeding this
        type of horse.</p>

[Example's source code]

Example 13: ITS rules to specify some elements as "within text" and "nested".information

The its:withinTextRule element is used to specify the behavior of term and b (within text), as well as fn (nested). Any case not listed is assumed to have the value its:withinText="no".

  xmlns:its=""  version="1.0">
 <its:withinTextRule selector="//term | //b" withinText="yes"/>
 <its:withinTextRule selector="//fn" withinText="nested"/>

[Example's source code]

These rules applied on the example document result on four distinct runs of text:TODO

  • title: "Types of horse"

  • li: "Palouse horse:"

  • p: "{term}Palouse horses{/term}{fn/} have spotted coats. The {term}Nez-Perce{/term} Indians have been key in breeding this type of horse."

  • fn: "A palouse horse is the same as an {b}Appaloosa{/b}."

Why doing this

Many applications that process content for linguistic-related tasks need to be able to perform a basic segmentation of the text content. They need to be able to do this without knowing about the semantic of the elements.

While in many cases it is possibleup to automatically detect mixed content, there are some occurrences where the structure of an element makes it impossible forgeneric tools to know for sure how to treat text. For example, the li element in XHTMLprocess. This can contain text as well as p elements.rules.

[Ed. note: TODO: More details]

Includeof its:locNote, its:locNoteType, and its:locNoteRef in your DTD or schema to allow authors to provide translation-related notes and instructions.text.

HowUse to do this

Makeexpression sure the attributes its:locNote, its:locNoteType,attribute as well as its:locNoteRef are available in your DTD or schema.

Make also sure thatof the its:rules element is available somewhere in your documents, for example in the header part if there is one. The its:rules element provides access to the its:locNoteRule element which can be used to specify translation-related notes and instructionITS at a more general level.

Why doing this

[Ed. note: TODO]

Provide, at least at the "paragraph" level, an easy way to assign a unique identifier to translatable text.
[Ed. note: TODO]

The xml:id attribute is a possible candidate for such role.

Define whatlist elements of your DTD or schema are related to terminology definition

If your DTD or schema contains elements that define termsare or information associated to terms you should use the its:termRule elementof to indicate their correspondance with the ITS "Terminology" datatext category.

[Ed. note: TODO]flow.

Example 14: 

[Ed. note: TODO]

Include its:termlink, its:termInfoRefstrong, and its:rulesemph in your DTD or schema to allow authors to override terminology-relatedof information

How to do this

Make sure the its:termflow and the its:termInfoRef attributes are available for any element that has text content. [Ed. note: Notshould sure about this: Shouldn't it apply only to elements that are defined as term?]

Make also sure the its:rules element is available somewhere in your documents, for example in the header partnot if there is one. The its:rules element provides access to the its:termRule element which can be used to change the terminology-related information ofinto attributes.

[Ed. note: TODO]segments:

Example 15: 

[Ed. note: TODO]

Why doing this

In some cases, the author of a document may need to change the information indicating what is a term or how to point to term information, overriding more general rules that have been defined for the DTD or schema.

[Ed. note: TODO]

[Ed. note: TODO]

Example 16: 

[Ed. note: TODO]

Useto a meaningful naming scheme for your elements

If possible avoid having element names reflecting the ID of the element

Example 17: [Ed. note: TODO]

[Ed. note: TODO]


[Example's source code]

Instead, [Ed. note: TODO]

Example 18: [Ed. note: TODO]

[Ed. note: TODO]

 <str xml:id="INPUTPATH">Input path:</str>
 <str xml:id="HELP">Help</str>
 <str xml:id="OK">OK</str>
 <str xml:id="CANCEL">Cancel</str>

[Example's source code]

Provide all the ITS rulesway needed to process documents in your format.
[Ed. note: TODO]

Provides these rules inProvide a single standalone ITS document. ITS-aware tools will be able to associate it with the documents it pertains using their own mechanism, or the authors of the documents will be able to use the ITS linking mechanism to point to it.

You ITS rules document should include the following information, when applicable:

Some examples of ITS rules documents for existing XML formats are shown in Section 5: ITS Applied to Existing Formats.


Reference links

Go to the table of contents.3 When Authoring XML Content

Authors of XML content should consider the following best practices:

A number of these practices can be followed only when the XML application has been internationalized properly using the design guidelines Section 2: When Designing an XML Application.

Make sure to indicate the language for all elements and attributes of your document.

How to do this

Your DTD or schema should provide the xml:lang attribute for this purpose. See: Best Practice 1: Provide xml:langa way to specify natural language content for more information.

Use this recommended attribute on the root element and, if needed, on each element for which the language content is different. The elements without declaration inherit the language information from their parents.

Example 19: Declaring language information

In this example, the main content of the document is in English, while a short citation is identified as being in French Canadian.

<document xml:lang="en">
 <para>The motto of Québec is the short phrase:
   <q xml:lang="fr">Je me souviens</q>. It is chiseled on 
   the front of the Parliament Building.</para>

[Example's source code]

Why doing this

Having information about what is the language of the content is very important in many situations. Some of them are:

  • selection of a proper font (e.g. for traditional or simplified Chinese)

  • processing of the text for wrapping and hyphenation

  • providing spell-checking or grammar verification of the text

  • selecting proper formatting properties for data such as date, time, numbers, etc.

  • selecting proper automated text such as quotation marks or other punctuation signs

  • using the text with voice browsers


Background information

Reference links

Test data

[Ed. note: TODO]

Howattribute to do this

[Ed. note: TODO]

Overriding translatability information relates to marking up paragraphs or sectionspecify of text that should remain untranslated, but are enclosed in XML elements that are normally translatable.

Example 20: [Ed. note: TODO]

[Ed. note: TODO]

Note: Authors should NOT use its:translate to tag single words or terms that (they think) should remain the same as the source language when translated into a given targetwhat language (e.g. loan-words). This type of decision is done during translation using terminology lookup tools, and does not involve any specific tagging. Authors may decide what is translatable, but not how to translate it.

Do NOT do the following:

Example 21: XML document with inppropriatecontent usage of its:translate.

Inyour this document its:translate is used to markup a proper name and two loan words in an attempt to indicate what should not be translated. You should NOT do this.

  xmlns:its=""  version="1.0">
  <p>Everything started when <span
    discovered that he had a <span
    who was a serious baseball <span

[Example's source code]

Why doing this

[Ed. note: TODO]document.

Make sureThe any piece of inserted text is grammatically independentlanguage of its surrounding context.

How to do this

Use inserted text only whendocument the text is self-contained and does not affect its surrounding context. Error messages, quotations are an example of inserted text that usually would not cause problem.

Avoid to use inserted text that has any effect or dependence onat the context where is is inserted.

Why doing this

If not used properly, inserted text can cause important (and sometimes un-resolvable) problems duringneeded, localization.

Inserted text refers to any textoverride that is marked by a placeholder indeclaration the XML document and automatically inserted within a text content when the document is processed. The nature of such text can be for example:

  • boilerplate text reused in different contexts,

  • various parts of a compound document put together,

  • or variables values computed at some point during the process the document go through.

The implementation of such text can bea done different ways in XML. Some of them are:

  • Using entity references.

  • Using [XInclude 1.0] mechanisms.

  • Using [XLink 1.0] mechanisms.language.

  • Using a custom mechanism specific to a given format (e.g. the conref attribute in [DITA 1.0]).

There are several important issues related to inserted text. Consider the following:

Example 22: Using conref in DITA

In this example, the author, working with [DITA 1.0], decided toof reference the standard terms she uses and has at her disposal in a termbase by using the conref mechanism. In this occurence, the term t123 has the value "hydraulic lift".

<p>Using an <term conref="termbase#t123"/> raise the vehicle from the ground.</p>

At a first glance this seems to workdocument fine in English. However, such construction has several problems:

  • You do not want to separate the article from the noun. If "hydraulic lift" is modified in the future and replaced by some other term, it may require an article 'a' instead of 'an'.

  • The article/noun separation causes also trouble for the translator: Without any easy way to see the actual term when translating the paragraph, she may not be able to decide the gender of the article.

  • If it is usedwhile at the beginning of a sentence, the term would need to be capitalized.

  • Thecitation term is singular in the termbase, while it may need to bebeing plural somewhere in the document.

  • In inflected languages the form required in the text may be different from the form stored in the termbase. For example, in Polish the term would be stored in its nominative form ("dźwignia hydrauliczna"), while it should be in its instrumental form once inserted in this context: "Używając [dźwignię hydrauliczną] podnieś pojazd z ziemi."


Background information

[Ed. note: TODO]

[Ed. note: TODO]

  • Make Assign sure the entities content is grammatically independent of its surrounding context. See: Best Practice 1: Ensure any inserted text is context-independent for more details.

  • possible

    Avoid using entities that are not well-formed XML content. The entities declarations may be processed separately during localization and should be parsable.

[Ed. note: TODO]

Place sub-flow elements where it is has least negative impact on the parent text flow
[Ed. note: TODO]

Sometimes Provide in the content model of some elements, there is thecomments need for translatable information that constitutes a run of text linguistically separated from the text within which it resides. Index markers are a good example of such case: Each index marker is an independent run of text, but it is located inside the paragraph to which it pertains.


If possible, place sub-flow elements at the beginning or at the end of the paragraph, this reduces the impact the element has in the paragraph content from the translation viewpoint and may improve re-usability.TODO

Go to the table of contents.4 Generic Techniques

This section provides a set of generic techniques that are applicable to various guidelines, for example, how to add ITS attributes or elements to different types of schemas.

Go to the table of contents.4.1 Writing ITS Rules

[Ed. note: TODO]

Whether they are external or embedded, there are a few things you should take in consideration when writing ITS rules.

Go to the table of contents.4.1.1 Precedence and Inheritance

[Ed. note: TODO]

The order in which the rules are declared matter greatly. ITS defines an order of precedence to process the rules.

Within a its:rules element, go from the most general rules to the most specific. When two rules select the same nodes of a document, the last rule wins.

Be mindful of the inheritance properties of each data category, a table summarizes the type and scope of inheritance for each data category.

Remember also than inheritance does not override selection. For example:

Example 23: 

The first rule sets all nodes as not-translatable, then the second rule sets all p elements as translatable, overriding the first rule for the selected nodes. But the b element is not part of the selection of the second rule and therefore keeps the original setting of not-translatable: Only the text "Some text with " and the terminal "." will be translated.

  xmlns:its="" >
  <its:rules version="1.0">
   <its:translateRule selector="//*" translate="no"/>
   <its:translateRule selector="//p" translate="yes"/>
  <data>Some data with <b>bolded parts</b>.</data>
  <p>Some text with <b>bolded words</b>.</p>

If you change the selector of the first rule to selector="/doc", the not-translatable property is inherited for each child node of the doc element, and when the second rule is applied, the translate property is also applied to the child nodes of the p element, overriding the previous rule for the b element inside p. Therefore the translatable text is "Some text with bolded words."

You could also get the same effect by changing the selector of the second rule instead of the first rule, and explicitly selecting the nodes inside the p elements with the expression selector="//p/descendant-or-self::*".

In general it is usually better to let the inheritance propagate the rules, rather than select explicitly children elements. Such method is also faster since less nodes are selected.

Go to the table of contents.4.1.2 Dealing with namespaces

[Ed. note: TODO]

When writing rules for document using XML Namspaces you must make sure to declare the namespaces, and to use the relevant prefixes in the different XPath expression.

Example 24: 

[Ed. note: TODO]

Go to the table of contents.4.1.3 XPath expressions

[Ed. note: TODO]

Go to the table of contents.4.2 Adding an Attribute to an Existing DTD or Schema

This example shows how to add an attribute (here xml:lang) to an existing document type.

[Ed. note: TODO: to make more generic.]

Go to the table of contents.4.2.1 Include xml:lang in XML Schema

Import the xml.xsd file in your schema and use references to xml:lang in your element declarations.

To include the xml:lang attribute in your XSD document, import the W3C xml.xsd schema in your own XSD schema using the xsd:import element.

Example 25: 

Importing the xml:lang declaration in an XSD schema.

<xsd:schema targetNamespace="myNamespaceURI" 
 xmlns:t="myNamespaceURI" elementFormDefault="qualified" xml:lang="en">
 <!-- Import for xml:lang and xml:space -->
 <xsd:import namespace=""

Once the xml.xsd schema is imported, you can use the reference to xml:lang in any of your element declarations.

Example 26: 

Using xml:lang in an XSD schema.

<xsd:element name="myDoc">
  <xsd:sequence maxOccurs="unbounded">
   <xsd:element name="section" type="t:Section_Type"/>
  <xsd:attribute name="version" type="xsd:string" use="required"/>
  <xsd:attribute ref="xml:lang" use="optional"/>

Go to the table of contents.4.2.2 Including xml:lang in Relax NG

Declare xml:lang directly in your schema.

In RELAX NG you do not have to import the XML namespace. You can declare xml:lang directly in your schema.

Example 27: 

Declaration of xml:lang in RELAX NG

<define name="">
  <attribute name="xml:lang">
   <a:documentation>indicates the language of the element content using the
    codes from RFC3066 or its successor.
   <ref name="data.language"/>
<define name="data.language">
  <data type="language"/>

Go to the table of contents.4.2.3 Including xml:lang in XML DTD

Add the xml:lang directly in the attribute list of your elements.

For example, to add xml:lang to a <para> element you can specify the following DTD constructs:

Example 28: 

Declaration of xml:lang in a DTD.

<!ELEMENT para (#PCDATA) > 
<!ATTLIST para
          xml:lang CDATA #IMPLIED >

Go to the table of contents.5 ITS Applied to Existing Formats

This section presents several examples of how ITS can be used to enhance the internationalization readiness of some well-known XML document types. These examples are only illustrative and may have to be adapted to fit the need of each specific user.

Two topics are covered for each format:

The following XML applications are discussed:

Go to the table of contents.5.1 ITS and XHTML 1.0

[XHTML 1.0] is a reformulation of the three HTML 4 document types as applications of XML 1.0. HTML is an SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) application conforming to International Standard ISO 8879, and is widely regarded as the standard publishing language of the World Wide Web.

Go to the table of contents.5.1.1 Integration of ITS into XHTML

In XHTML 1.0, the XHTML namespace may be used with other XML namespaces as per [XML Names], but such documents are not strictly conforming XHTML 1.0 documents in the sense of XHTML 1.0.

An example of such a non-conformant XHTML 1.0 document is as follow.

Example 29: A non-conformant XHTML 1.0 document
  xmlns:xhtml=""  lang="en" xml:lang="en">
  <xhtml:meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"/>
  <xhtml:meta name="keywords" content="ITS example, XHTML translation"/>
  <its:rules version="1.0">
   <its:translateRule selector="//h:meta[@name='keywords']/@content" translate="yes"/>
   <its:termRule selector="//h:span[@class='term']" term="yes"/>
  <xhtml:title>ITS Working Group</xhtml:title>
  <xhtml:h1>Test of ITS on <xhtml:span class="term">XHTML</xhtml:span>
  <xhtml:p>Some text to translate.</xhtml:p>
    its:translate="no">Some text not to translate.</xhtml:p>

[Example's source codeEX-integration-its-xhtml-1.xml]

There are twoways to use ITS with XHTML and keep the XHTML document conformant:

Example 30: ITS external rules for XHTML

These rules illustrate some of the ITS data categories you can associate to specific XHTML markup. The first its:translateRule indicates that the attribute content of the meta element should be translated if the attribute name is set to "keywords". The second its:translateRule indicates that no p with a class="notrans" should be translated. And the its:termRule indicates that any span element with class="term" is a term.

  xmlns:h="" version="1.0">
 <its:translateRule selector="//h:meta[@name='keywords']/@content" translate="yes"/>
 <its:translateRule selector="//h:p[@class='notrans']" translate="no"/>
 <its:termRule selector="//h:span[@class='term']" term="yes"/>

[Example's source codeEX-integration-its-xhtml-2.xml]

Thecorresponding document:

  xmlns:xhtml=""  lang="en" xml:lang="en">
  <xhtml:meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"/>
  <xhtml:meta name="keywords" content="ITS example, XHTML translation"/>
  <xhtml:title>ITS Working Group</xhtml:title>
  <xhtml:h1>Test of ITS on <xhtml:span class="term">XHTML</xhtml:span>
  <xhtml:p>Some text to translate.</xhtml:p>
  <xhtml:p class="notrans">Some text not to translate.</xhtml:p>

[Example's source codeEX-integration-its-xhtml-3.xml]

Go to the table of contents.5.1.2 Using XHTML Modularization 1.1 for the Definition of ITS

This section describes how to use [XHTMLMod1.1] for the definition of ITS. It first defines an ITS abstract module which is then implemented in the formats of XML Schema, RELAX NG and XML DTD. The module is meant to be integrated in existing or new schemas which rely on [XHTMLMod1.1]. Abstract Definition of ITS Markup

The following is the abstract definition of the elements for global ITS markup, which is consistent with the XHTML Modularization framework [XHTMLMod1.1]. Further definitions of XHTML abstract modules can be found in [XHTMLMod1.1].

Note that this definition does not contain the ruby element and the dir attribute, since these are already available in XHTML.

ElementsAttributesMinimal Content Model
rulesversion (CDATA), xlink:href (URI), xlink:type ("simple") ( translateRule | locNoteRule | termRule | dirRule | rubyRule | langRule | withinTextRule )*
translateRuleSelector, translate ("yes"|"no")EMPTY
locNoteRuleSelector, locNotePointer (CDATA), locNoteType ("alert"| "description"*), locNoteRef (URI), locNoteRefPointer (CDATA)locNote?
locNotetranslate ("yes"|"no"), locNote (CDATA), locNoteType ( "alert" | "description"* ), locNoteRef (URI), termInfoRef ( URI ), term ( "yes" | "no" ), dir ( "ltr" | "rtl" | "lro" | "rlo" )(PCDATA | ruby)*
termRuleSelector, term ( "yes" | "no" ), termInfoRef ( URI ), termInfoRefPointer ( CDATA), termInfoPointer ( CDATA )EMPTY
dirRuleSelector, dir ("ltr" | "rtl" | "lro" | "rlo")EMPTY
rubyRuleSelector, rubyPointer (CDATA), rtPointer (CDATA), rpPointer (CDATA), rbcPointer (CDATA), rtcPointer (CDATA), rbspanPointer (CDATA)rubyText
rubyTexttranslate ("yes"|"no"), locNote (CDATA), locNoteType ("alert"|"description"*), locNoteRef (URI), term ("yes" | "no"), termInfoRef (CDATA), dir ("ltr" | "rtl" | "lro" | "rlo" ), rbspan (CDATA)PCDATA
langRuleSelector, langPointer (CDATA)EMPTY
withinTextRuleSelector, withinText ("yes"|"no"|"nested")EMPTY

The following is the abstract definitions of two attribute groups: the selector attribute used within global rules, and ITS attributes to be used locally. Again these definition makes use of [XHTMLMod1.1].

CollectionAttributes in Collection
Selectorselector (CDATA)
ITSLocaltranslate ("yes"|"no"), locNote (CDATA), locNoteType ("alert"|"description"*), locNoteRef (URI), termInfoRef (URI), term ("yes" | "no") XML Schema Module Implementation

The following schema contains the implementation of the abstract markup module in XML Schema.

Example 31: 
<xs:schema xmlns:xs=""
    targetNamespace="" xmlns:its=""
    xmlns:h="" elementFormDefault="qualified"
    <xs:import namespace="" schemaLocation="xlink.xsd"/>
    <xs:import namespace=""
    <xs:simpleType name="translate.type">
        <xs:restriction base="xs:string">
            <xs:enumeration value="yes"/>
            <xs:enumeration value="no"/>
    <xs:simpleType name="term.type">
        <xs:restriction base="xs:string">
            <xs:enumeration value="yes"/>
            <xs:enumeration value="no"/>
    <xs:simpleType name="locNoteType.type">
        <xs:restriction base="xs:string">
            <xs:enumeration value="alert"/>
            <xs:enumeration value="description"/>
    <xs:simpleType name="dir.type">
        <xs:restriction base="xs:string">
            <xs:enumeration value="ltr"/>
            <xs:enumeration value="ltr"/>
            <xs:enumeration value="lro"/>
            <xs:enumeration value="rlo"/>
    <xs:simpleType name="withinText.type">
        <xs:restriction base="xs:string">
            <xs:enumeration value="yes"/>
            <xs:enumeration value="no"/>
            <xs:enumeration value="nested"/>
    <xs:attributeGroup name="its.Selector.attlist">
        <xs:attribute name="selector" type="xs:string" use="required"/>
    <xs:attributeGroup name="its.ITSLocal.attlist">
        <xs:attribute name="translate" form="qualified" use="optional" type="its:translate.type"/>
        <xs:attribute name="locNote" type="xs:string" form="qualified" use="optional"/>
        <xs:attribute name="locNoteType" form="qualified" use="optional" type="its:locNoteType.type"/>
        <xs:attribute name="locNoteRef" type="xs:anyURI" form="qualified" use="optional"/>
        <xs:attribute name="termInfoRef" type="xs:string" form="qualified" use="optional"/>
        <xs:attribute name="term" type="its:term.type" form="qualified" use="optional"/>
    <xs:element name="rules" type="its:rules.type"/>
    <xs:complexType name="rules.type" mixed="false">
        <xs:choice minOccurs="0" maxOccurs="unbounded">
            <xs:element ref="its:translateRule"/>
            <xs:element ref="its:locNoteRule"/>
            <xs:element ref="its:termRule"/>
            <xs:element ref="its:dirRule"/>
            <xs:element ref="its:rubyRule"/>
            <xs:element ref="its:langRule"/>
            <xs:element ref="its:withinTextRule"/>
        <xs:attributeGroup ref="its:rules.attlist"/>
    <xs:attributeGroup name="rules.attlist">
        <xs:attribute name="version" use="required" type="xs:string"/>
        <xs:attribute ref="xlink:href" use="optional"/>
        <xs:attribute ref="xlink:type" use="optional"/>
    <xs:element name="translateRule" type="its:translateRule.type"/>
    <xs:complexType name="translateRule.type">
        <xs:attributeGroup ref="its:its.Selector.attlist"/>
        <xs:attribute name="translate" use="required" type="its:translate.type"/>
    <xs:element name="locNoteRule" type="its:locNoteRule.type"/>
    <xs:complexType name="locNoteRule.type">
        <xs:sequence minOccurs="0" maxOccurs="1">
            <xs:element ref="its:locNote"/>
        <xs:attributeGroup ref="its:its.Selector.attlist"/>
        <xs:attribute name="locNotePointer" type="xs:string" use="optional"/>
        <xs:attribute name="locNoteType" use="required" type="its:locNoteType.type"/>
        <xs:attribute name="locNoteRef" type="xs:anyURI" use="optional"/>
        <xs:attribute name="locNoteRefPointer" type="xs:string" use="optional"/>
    <xs:element name="locNote" type="its:locNote.type"/>
    <xs:complexType name="locNote.type" mixed="true">
        <xs:attribute name="translate" use="optional" type="its:translate.type"/>
        <xs:attribute name="locNote" type="xs:string" use="optional"/>
        <xs:attribute name="locNoteType" use="optional" type="its:locNoteType.type"/>
        <xs:attribute name="locNoteRef" type="xs:anyURI" use="optional"/>
        <xs:attribute name="termInfoRef" type="xs:anyURI" use="optional"/>
        <xs:attribute name="term" use="optional" type="its:term.type"/>
        <xs:attribute name="dir" use="optional" type="its:dir.type"/>
    <xs:element name="termRule"/>
    <xs:complexType name="termRule.type">
        <xs:attributeGroup ref="its:its.Selector.attlist"/>
        <xs:attribute name="term" type="its:term.type" use="required"/>
        <xs:attribute name="termInfoRef" type="xs:anyURI" use="optional"/>
        <xs:attribute name="termInfoRefPointer" type="xs:string" use="optional"/>
        <xs:attribute name="termInfoPointer" type="xs:string" use="optional"/>
    <xs:element name="dirRule" type="its:dirRule.type"/>
    <xs:complexType name="dirRule.type">
        <xs:attributeGroup ref="its:its.Selector.attlist"/>
        <xs:attribute name="dir" type="its:dir.type" use="required"/>
    <xs:element name="rubyRule"/>
    <xs:complexType name="rubyRule.type">
            <xs:element ref="its:rubyText"/>
        <xs:attributeGroup ref="its:its.Selector.attlist"/>
        <xs:attribute name="rubyPointer" type="xs:string" use="optional"/>
        <xs:attribute name="rtPointer" type="xs:string" use="optional"/>
        <xs:attribute name="rpPointer" type="xs:string" use="optional"/>
        <xs:attribute name="rbcPointer" type="xs:string" use="optional"/>
        <xs:attribute name="rtcPointer" type="xs:string" use="optional"/>
        <xs:attribute name="rbspanPointer" type="xs:string" use="optional"/>
    <xs:element name="rubyText" type="its:rubyText.type"/>
    <xs:complexType name="rubyText.type" mixed="true">
        <xs:attribute name="translate" type="its:translate.type" use="optional"/>
        <xs:attribute name="locNote" type="xs:string" use="optional"/>
        <xs:attribute name="locNoteType" type="its:locNoteType.type" use="optional"/>
        <xs:attribute name="locNoteRef" type="xs:anyURI" use="optional"/>
        <xs:attribute name="term" type="its:term.type" use="optional"/>
        <xs:attribute name="termInfoRef" type="xs:string" use="optional"/>
        <xs:attribute name="dir" type="its:dir.type" use="optional"/>
        <xs:attribute name="rbspan" type="xs:string" use="optional"/>
    <xs:element name="langRule"/>
    <xs:complexType name="langRule.type">
        <xs:attributeGroup ref="its:its.Selector.attlist"/>
        <xs:attribute name="langPointer" type="xs:string" use="required"/>
    <xs:element name="withinTextRule"/>
    <xs:complexType name="withinTextRule.type">
        <xs:attributeGroup ref="its:its.Selector.attlist"/>
        <xs:attribute name="withinText" type="its:withinText.type"/>

The following is a driver file which can be used to evoke the schema above.

Example 32: 
<xs:schema xmlns:xs="" xmlns:xhtml=""
    targetNamespace="" xmlns:its=""
    xmlns="" blockDefault="#all">
        <xs:documentation> This is the XML Schema Driver for new Document Type XHTML Basic 1.0 + ITS
            $Id: xml-i18n-bp-diff.html,v 1.2 2007/04/25 13:28:30 fsasaki Exp $ </xs:documentation>
        <xs:documentation source=""/>
    <xs:import namespace="" schemaLocation="its-module.xsd"/>
    <xs:redefine schemaLocation="xhtml-schemas/xhtml-basic10.xsd">
        <xs:group name="HeadOpts.mix">
                <xs:group ref="HeadOpts.mix"/>
                <xs:element ref="its:rules"/>
        <xs:attributeGroup name="Common.attrib">
            <xs:attributeGroup ref="Common.attrib"/>
            <xs:attributeGroup ref="its:its.ITSLocal.attlist"/>

The file below is an instance which can be validated against this schema.

Example 33: 
<html xmlns="" xmlns:xlink=""
    xmlns:its="" xmlns:xsi=""
    xsi:schemaLocation=" xhtml-plus-its.xsd">
        <title> </title>
        <its:rules version="1.0">
            <its:locNoteRule locNoteType="alert" selector="..." locNoteRef="..."> </its:locNoteRule>
            <its:locNoteRule locNoteType="alert" selector="...">
                <its:locNote> </its:locNote>
            <its:termRule selector="..." term="yes"/>
        <h3> </h3>
                <td> </td>
            <li its:locNote="..." its:translate="no"> </li>
</html> DTD Module Implementation

[Ed. note: TODO]

Go to the table of contents.5.1.3 Relating ITS to Existing Markup in XHTML

A number of XHTML constructs implement the same semantic as some of the ITS data categories. In addition, some of the attributes in XHTML are translatable, which is not the default for XML documents according to ITS defaults settings for translatability. These attributes need to be identified as translatable.

An external ITS rules element can summarize these relations. Because XHTML use is widespread and covers a large amount of legacy material the rules defined here may not be optimal for everyone.

Example 34: ITS external rules and corresponding XHTML document
<its:rules xmlns:its="" version="1.0"

 <!-- special content. (See note 1) -->
 <its:translateRule selector="//h:script" translate="no"/>
 <its:translateRule selector="//h:style" translate="no"/>

 <!-- Normal translatable attributes -->
 <its:translateRule selector="//h:*/@abbr" translate="yes"/>
 <its:translateRule selector="//h:*/@accesskey" translate="yes"/>
 <its:translateRule selector="//h:*/@alt" translate="yes"/>

 <its:translateRule selector="//h:*/@prompt" translate="yes"/>
 <its:translateRule selector="//h:*/@standby" translate="yes"/>
 <its:translateRule selector="//h:*/@summary" translate="yes"/>
 <its:translateRule selector="//h:*/@title" translate="yes"/>

 <!-- The input element (Important: See note 2) -->
 <its:translateRule selector="//h:input/@value" translate="yes"/>
 <its:translateRule selector="//h:input[@type='hidden']/@value" translate="no"/>

 <!-- Non-translatable element (See note 3) -->

 <its:translateRule selector="//h:del" translate="no"/>
 <its:translateRule selector="//h:del/descendant-or-self::*/@*" translate="no"/>

 <!-- Often-used translatable meta content. -->
 <its:translateRule selector="//h:meta[@name='keywords']/@content"
 <its:translateRule selector="//h:meta[@name='description']/@content"

 <!-- Possible term (Important: See note 4) -->
 <its:termRule selector="//h:dt" term="yes"/>

 <!-- Bidirectional information -->
 <its:dirRule selector="//h:*[@dir='ltr']" dir="ltr"/>
 <its:dirRule selector="//h:*[@dir='rtl']" dir="rtl"/>
 <its:dirRule selector="//h:bdo[@dir='ltr']" dir="lro"/>
 <its:dirRule selector="//h:bdo[@dir='rtl']" dir="rlo"/>

 <!-- Elements within text -->
 <its:withinTextRule withinText="yes"
  selector="//h:abbr | //h:acronym | //h:br | //h:cite | //h:code | //h:dfn
  | //h:kbd | //h:q | //h:samp | //h:span | //h:strong | //h:var | //h:b | //h:em
  | //h:big | //h:hr | //h:i | //h:small | //h:sub | //h:sup | //h:tt | //h:del
  | //h:ins | //h:bdo | //h:img | //h:a | //h:font | //h:center | //h:s | //h:strike
  | //h:u | //h:isindex" />


[Example's source codeEX-relating-its-plus-xhtml-1.xml]

Additional notes on these rules:

  • Note 1: The script and style elements may have translatable text, but their content needs to be parsed with respectively a script filter and a CSS filter. Depending on the capability of your translation tools you may want to leave these elements translatable.

  • Note 2: The value attribute of the input element may or may not be translatable depending on the way the element is used. Selecting value as translatable or not needs to be decided depending on your own use.

  • Note 3: The del element indicates removed text and therefore, most often, would not be translatable. Because this element may contain elements with translatable attributes such as img with an alt attribute, and because the scope of translatability does not include attributes, you need to: a) define this rule after the definition of the translatable attributes, and b) use the rules with selector="//h:del/descendant-or-self::*/@*" to override any possible translatable attribute within a del element or any of its descendants.

  • Note 4: The dt element is defined by HTML as a "definition term" and can therefore be seen as a candidate to be associated with the ITS Terminology data category. However, for historical reasons, this element has been used for many other purposes. Selecting dt as a term or not needs to be decided depending on your own use.

Go to the table of contents.5.2 ITS and TEI

The Text Encoding Initiative [TEI] is intended for literary and linguistic material, and is most often used for digital editions of existing printed material. It is also suitable, however, for general purpose writing. The P5 release of the TEI consists of 23 modules which can be combined together as needed.

Go to the table of contents.5.2.1 Integration of ITS into TEI

The TEI is maintained as a single ODD document, and customizations of it are also written as ODD documents. These are processed using XSLT stylesheets to make a tailored user-level schema in XML DTD, XML Schema or RELAX NG.

The ITS additions involve two changes to TEI:

  1. Allowing rules to appear in the TEI metadata section (the teiHeader).

  2. Adding the ITS local attributes to the TEI global attribute set.

Both of these can be easily achieved using standard techniques in ODD.

The body of a TEI+ITS customization consists of a schemaSpec which lists the modules to be included (this example includes six common ones):

Example 35: A schemaSpec element with modules to be included
<schemaSpec ident="tei-its" start="TEI">
 <moduleRef key="header"/>
 <moduleRef key="core"/>
 <moduleRef key="tei"/>
 <moduleRef key="textstructure"/>
 <moduleRef key="namesdates"/>
 <moduleRef key="msdescription"/>
<!-- Etc. -->


[Example's source codeEX-tei-plus-its-1.xml]

In addition, we load the ITS schema (in its RELAX NG XML format, the language used by the TEI for expressing content models), and overload the definition of the TEI content class model.headerPart to include the ITS rules:

Example 36: Inclusion of ITS rules into the TEI schema
<moduleRef url="its.rng">
  <rng:define name="model.headerPart" combine="choice">
   <rng:ref name="rules"/>

[Example's source codeEX-tei-plus-its-2.xml]

The content class determines which elements are allowed as children of teiHeader. Lastly, we change the definition of the global attribute class to reference the ITS local attributes (available from the ITS schema we loaded earlier):

Example 37: Addition of the ITS local attributes to the global attributes
<classSpec ident="" type="atts" mode="change">
  <attRef name="span.attributes"/>

[Example's source codeEX-tei-plus-its-3.xml]

When processing, this customization produces a schema which permits markup like this:

Example 38: Document which is valid against a schema TEI+ITS
  xmlns:tei="" >
<!-- details of the file -->

<its:rules version="1.0">
 <its:translateRule translate="no" selector="//t:body/t:p/@*"/>
 <its:translateRule translate="yes" selector="//t:body/t:p"/>
<p rend="normal">Hello <hi>world</hi>
<p rend="special">Goodbye</p>
 its:translate="no">This must not be translated</p>

[Example's source codeEX-tei-plus-its-4.xml]

In this example, a set of rule elements are provided in the header to provide rules, and the body of the text performs a specific override.

Go to the table of contents.5.3 ITS and XML Spec

[XML Spec] is intended for W3C working drafts, notes, recommendations, and all other document types that fall under the category of technical reports. XML Spec is available in the formats of XML DTD, XML Schema and RELAX NG.

Go to the table of contents.5.3.1 Integration of ITS into XML Spec

ITS has been integrated into xmlspec-i18n.dtd. This is a version of the XML DTD version 2.9 of XML Spec which already supplies various internationalization and localization related features. For example, there is an attribute translate in xmlspec-i18n.dtd, which can be used for the same purposes as the ITS translate attribute. To be able to separate them from original XML Spec declarations, all additions are stored in two separate files i18n-extensions.mod and i18n-elements.mod. Xmlspec-i18n.dtd is used within the W3C Internationalization Activity for the creation of technical reports.

For the integration of ITS, the following modifications to the xmlspec-i18n.dtd have been made:

  1. A new entity <!ENTITY % its SYSTEM "its.dtd"> and the entity call %its; have been added to xmlspec-i18n.dtd.

  2. The existing XML Spec entity %common.att; has been modified . The ITS entities %att.translate.attributes;, %att.locNote.attributes;, %att.term.attributes;, and %att.dir.attributes; have been added to %common.att;. In this way, the local attributes can be used at any element defined in the XML Spec DTD.

  3. The XML Spec entity %header.mdl; contains the content model of the header element. The ITS element rules has been added as the last element to this content model. In this way, rules can be used inside an XML Spec document. The header element of the XML Spec DTD has been chosen as the place for rules, to avoid the impact of ITS markup on XML Spec markup.

  4. The ITS element ruby has been added to the XML Spec entity %p.pcd.mix;. In this way it is possible to use ruby as an inline element.

Go to the table of contents.5.3.2 Relating ITS to Existing Markup in XML Spec

As mentioned before, xmlspec-i18n.dtd has its own existing markup declarations for various internationalization and localization related purposes. In the original XML Spec 2.9 DTD, there is a term element which fulfills the same purpose as the ITS term attribute.

To associate such existing XML Spec and xmlspec-i18n.dtd related markup to ITS markup, the following rules element has been created.

Example 39: Mapping ITS markup to XML Spec and xmlspec-i18n.dtd markup
  xmlns:its=""  version="1.0">
<!--The following rules are for xmlspec-i18n.dtd-->

 <its:termRule selector="//qterm" term="yes"/>
 <its:dirRule dir="ltr" selector="//*[@dir='ltr']"/>
 <its:dirRule dir="rtl" selector="//*[@dir='rtl']"/>
 <its:dirRule dir="lro" selector="//*[@dir='lro']"/>
 <its:dirRule dir="rlo" selector="//*[@dir='rlo']"/>
 <its:locNoteRule locNoteType="alert" locNotePointer="@locn-alert" selector="//*"/>
 <its:locNoteRule locNoteType="description" locNotePointer="//@locn-note" selector="//*"/>
 <its:translateRule translate="yes" selector="//*[@translate='yes']"/>
 <its:translateRule translate="no" selector="//*[@translate='no']"/>
<!--This rule is for the original XML Spec DTD-->

 <its:termRule selector="//term" term="yes"/>

[Example's source codeEX-xmlspec-its-relating-1.xml]

Since both XML Spec and xmlspec-i18n.dtd do not define a namespace, the mappings use XPath expressions with unqualified element and attribute names.

Go to the table of contents.5.4 ITS and DITA

The Darwin Information Typing Architecture [DITA 1.0] is an XML-based architecture for authoring, producing, and delivering readable information as discrete, typed topics.

Go to the table of contents.5.4.1 Integration of ITS into DITA

DITA offers by default some of the ITS features (see: Section 5.4.2: Relating ITS to Existing Markup in DITA for more information on that aspect). But in some cases you may still want to allow the use of ITS markup directly into your DITA documents. For example, the its:locNote attribute, or the its:rules element. This can be done by extending the DITA DTDs or schemas. and DITA Schemas
[Ed. note: TODO]

Go to the table of contents.5.4.2 Relating ITS to Existing Markup in DITA

There are several ITS data categories that are already implemented in DITA. For example, DITA offers a translate attribute that provides the same functionality as its:translate.

Like for other formats, these existing features can be associated with ITS data categories, so ITS-enabled tools can process seamlessly DITA source documents.

Note: When you have the choice of using a DITA construct or a ITS construct to express the same thing, make sure to use the DITA construct to ensure DITA processors work properly. Use ITS local markup only if DITA does not provide an equivalent.

Example 40: Associating ITS markup to DITA markup
  xmlns:its=""  version="1.0">
<!-- Translatable attribute (some are deprecated) -->

 <translateRule selector="//image/@alt" translate="yes"/>
 <translateRule selector="//lq/@reftitle" translate="yes"/>
 <translateRule selector="//note/@othertype" translate="yes"/>
 <translateRule selector="//object/@standby" translate="yes"/>
 <translateRule selector="//othermeta/@content" translate="yes"/>
 <translateRule selector="//state/@value" translate="yes"/>
 <translateRule selector="//map/@title" translate="yes"/>
 <translateRule selector="//topicref/@navref" translate="yes"/>
 <translateRule selector="//topicgroup/@navtitle" translate="yes"/>
 <translateRule selector="//topichead/@navtitle" translate="yes"/>
 <translateRule selector="//data/@label" translate="yes"/>
<!-- Non-translatable elements -->

 <translateRule selector="//draft-comment//*" translate="no"/>
 <translateRule selector="//draft-comment/descendant-or-self::*/@*" translate="no"/>
 <translateRule selector="//required-cleanup//*" translate="no"/>
 <translateRule selector="//required-cleanup/descendant-or-self::*/@*" translate="no"/>
 <translateRule selector="//coords" translate="no"/>
 <translateRule selector="//shape" translate="no"/>
<!-- Translatability flags -->

 <translateRule selector="//*[@translate='no']" translate="no"/>
 <translateRule selector="//*[@translate='no']/descendant-or-self::*/@*" translate="no"/>
 <translateRule selector="//*[@translate='yes']" translate="yes"/>
<!-- Directionality flags -->

 <its:dirRule selector="//*[dir='ltr']" dir="ltr"/>
 <its:dirRule selector="//*[dir='rtl']" dir="rtl"/>
 <its:dirRule selector="//*[dir='lro']" dir="lro"/>
 <its:dirRule selector="//*[dir='rlo']" dir="rlo"/>
<!-- Elements within text (inline) -->

 <its:withinTextRule withinText="yes"
   selector="//boolean | //cite | //itemgroup | //keyword | //ph | //q | //state | //term |    //tm | //xref | //b | //i | //sub | //sup | //tt | //u | //apiname | //codeph | //delim |    //fragref | //kwd | //oper | //option | //parmname | //repsep | //sep | //synnoteref |    //synph | //var | //cmdname | //filepath | //msgnum | //msgph | //systemoutput |    //userinput | //varname | //menucascade | //shortcut | //uicontrol | //wintitle |    //coords | //shape"/>
<!-- The keyword elements within keywords are sub-flow, no in-line -->

 <its:withinTextRule withinText="nested" selector="//keywords/keyword"/>
<!-- Elements within text (subflow) -->

 <its:withinTextRule withinText="nested"
   selector="//draft-comments | //required-cleanup | //alt | //fn | //indexterm"/>
<!-- Terminology -->

 <its:termRule selector="//term | //dt | //termindex" term="yes"/>

[Example's source code]

The declarations above cover different versions of DITA.

Go to the table of contents.5.5 ITS and Glade

[Glade] is a user interface builder system for GTK+ and Gnome. It uses XML files to store the UI components. The library has been ported to different platform and offers bindings in different programing languages.

Example 41: Example of Glade document
 <widget class="GtkWindow" id="main_window">
  <property name="visible">True</property>
  <property name="title" translatable="yes">Glade Text Editor</property>
  <property name="type">GTK_WINDOW_TOPLEVEL</property>
  <property name="window_position">GTK_WIN_POS_NONE</property>
  <property name="modal">False</property>
  <property name="default_width">600</property>
  <property name="default_height">450</property>
  <property name="resizable">True</property>
  <property name="destroy_with_parent">False</property>
  <property name="decorated">True</property>
  <property name="skip_taskbar_hint">False</property>
  <property name="skip_pager_hint">False</property>
  <property name="type_hint">GDK_WINDOW_TYPE_HINT_NORMAL</property>
  <property name="gravity">GDK_GRAVITY_NORTH_WEST</property>
  <property name="focus_on_map">True</property>
  <property name="urgency_hint">False</property>
  <signal name="delete_event" handler="on_main_window_delete_event"/>
   <widget class="GtkVBox" id="vbox1">
    <property name="visible">True</property>
    <property name="homogeneous">False</property>
    <property name="spacing">0</property>
     <widget class="GtkHandleBox" id="handlebox2">
      <property name="visible">True</property>
      <property name="shadow_type">GTK_SHADOW_OUT</property>
      <property name="handle_position">GTK_POS_LEFT</property>
      <property name="snap_edge">GTK_POS_TOP</property>
       <widget class="GtkMenuBar" id="menubar1">
        <property name="visible">True</property>
        <property name="pack_direction">GTK_PACK_DIRECTION_LTR</property>
        <property name="child_pack_direction">GTK_PACK_DIRECTION_LTR</property>
         <widget class="GtkMenuItem" id="File">
          <property name="visible">True</property>
          <property name="label" translatable="yes">_File</property>
          <property name="use_underline">True</property>
           <widget class="GtkMenu" id="File_menu">
             <widget class="GtkImageMenuItem" id="New">
              <property name="visible">True</property>
              <property name="label">gtk-new</property>
              <property name="use_stock">True</property>
              <signal name="activate" handler="on_New_activate"/>
             <widget class="GtkImageMenuItem" id="Open">
              <property name="visible">True</property>
              <property name="label">gtk-open</property>
              <property name="use_stock">True</property>
              <signal name="activate" handler="on_Open_activate"/>
             <widget class="GtkImageMenuItem" id="Save">
              <property name="visible">True</property>
              <property name="label">gtk-save</property>
              <property name="use_stock">True</property>
              <signal name="activate" handler="on_Save_activate"/>
             <widget class="GtkMenuItem" id="separator1">
              <property name="visible">True</property>
             <widget class="GtkImageMenuItem" id="Exit">
              <property name="visible">True</property>
              <property name="label">gtk-quit</property>
              <property name="use_stock">True</property>
              <signal name="activate" handler="on_Exit_activate"/>
      <property name="padding">0</property>
      <property name="expand">False</property>
      <property name="fill">True</property>

[Example's source code]

Go to the table of contents.5.5.1 Integration of ITS into Glade

The content of the Glade files are mostly made of not translatable data: UI widgets properties. Text content is limited to title, label and various other type of UI strings. While Glade does offers support for some of the ITS features, in some cases you may still want to allow the use of ITS markup directly into your Glade resources.

[Ed. note: TODO]

Go to the table of contents.5.5.2 Relating ITS to Existing Markup in Glade

Glade offers a translatable attribute that provides the same functionality as its:translate. The comments attribute can also be associated to localization information.

Like for other formats, existing features of Glade can be associated with ITS data categories using global rules, so ITS-enabled tools can process seamlessly Glade source documents.

Example 42: Associating ITS markup to Glade markup
  xmlns:its=""  version="1.0">
<!-- ITS rules for Glade 2.0, based on -->

 <its:translateRule selector="/glade-interface" translate="no"/>
 <its:translateRule selector="//*[@translatable='yes']" translate="yes"/>
 <its:translateRule selector="//atkaction/@description" translate="yes"/>
 <its:locNoteRule selector="//*[@translatable='yes']" locNoteType="description" locNotePointer="@comments"/>

[Example's source code]

[Ed. note: TODO]

Go to the table of contents.5.6 ITS and DocBook

[Ed. note: TODO]

Go to the table of contents.A References (Non-Normative)

DITA 1.0
Michael Priestley, JoAnn Hackos, et. al., editors. OASIS Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) Language Specification v1.0, OASIS Standard 9 May 2005. Available at
Glade - a User Interface Builder for GTK+ and GNOME, The GNOME Foundation. Available at
Christian Lieske, Felix Sasaki, editors. Internationalization Tag Set (ITS) Version 1.0, W3C Recommendation 3 April 2007. Available at The latest version of ITS is available at
Yves Savourel. Internationalization and Localization Markup Requirements. W3C Working Draft 18 May 2006. Available at The latest version of ITS REQ is available at
Lou Burnard and Syd Bauman, editors. Text Encoding Initiative Guidelines development version (P5). TEI Consortium, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA, Text Encoding Initiative.
Unicode in XML
Martin Dürst, Asmus Freytag. Unicode in XML and other Markup Languages, W3C Note, Unicode Technical report #20.
Steven Pemperton et al. XHTML™ 1.0 The Extensible HyperText Markup Language (Second Edition) W3C Recommendation 26 January 2000, revised 1 August 2002. Available at The latest version of XHTML 1.0 is available at
Daniel Austin et al. XHTML™ Modularization 1.1 W3C Working Draft 5 July 2006. Available at The latest version of XHTML™ Modularization 1.1 is available at
XInclude 1.0
Jonathan Marsh, David Orchard, Daniel Veillard. - XML Inclusions (XInclude) Version 1.0 (Second Edition). W3C Recommendation 15 November 2006. Available at The latest version of XML Inclusions is available at
XLink 1.0
Steve DeRose, Eve Maler, David Orchard. - XML Linking Language 1.0. W3C Recommendation 27 June 2001. Available at The latest version of XLink 1.0 is available at
Addison Phillips, Internationalization FAQ: xml:lang in XML document schemas.
XML Names
Tim Bray, Dave Hollander, Andrew Layman. Namespaces in XML, W3C Recommendation 14 January 1999. Available at The latest version of XML Names is available at
XML Spec
The XML Spec Schema and Stylesheets, Available at

Go to the table of contents.B Revision Log (Non-Normative)

The following log records major changes that have been made to this document since the publication in May 2006. For detailed changes, see the Diff documents.

  1. Completely reformatted the layout.

  2. Added the revision log.

  3. Added Best Practice 1: Ensure any inserted text is context-independent.

  4. Added Best Practice 1: PlaceUse sub-flow elements with caution.

  5. Removed periods in all techniques heading.

  6. Added Section 5.4: ITS and DITA.

  7. Fixed automatic inclusion for the external examples.

  8. Added Section 5.5: ITS and Glade.

  9. Added Best Practice 1: Provide ITS rules for your DTD or schema.

  10. Added Best Practice 1: Indicate terminology-related elements.

  11. Added Best Practice 1: Provide a way to override terminology information.

Go to the table of contents.C Acknowledgements (Non-Normative)

This document has been developed with contributions by the ITS Working Group. At the date of publication, the members of the Working Group were: Damien Donlon (Sun Microsystems, Inc.), Martin Dürst (W3C Invited(Invited Expert), Poonam Gupta (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC)),(CDAC), Richard Ishida (W3C/ERCIM), Jirka Kosek (W3C Invited Expert),Christian Lieske (SAP AG), Sebastian Rahtz (W3C Invited Expert), Francois Richard (HP), Goutam Saha (Centre for Development of Advanced(CDAC), Computing (CDAC)), Felix Sasaki (W3C/Keio), Yves Savourel (ENLASO Corporation),(ENLASO), Diane Stoick (The Boeing Company),(Boeing), Najib Tounsi (Ecole(Ecole Mohammadia d'Ingenieurs Rabat (EMI)),(EMI)) and Andrzej Zydron (W3C Invited Expert).