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Monthly Archives: June 2014

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Announcing The Unicode Standard, Version 7.0

Version 7.0 of the Unicode Standard is now available, adding 2,834 new characters. This latest version adds the new currency symbols for the Russian ruble and Azerbaijani manat, approximately 250 emoji (pictographic symbols), many other symbols, and 23 new lesser-used and historic scripts, as well as character additions to many existing scripts. These additions extend support for written languages of North America, China, India, other Asian countries, and Africa. See the link above for full details.

Most of the new emoji characters derive from characters in long-standing and widespread use in Wingdings and Webdings fonts.

Major enhancements were made to the Indic script properties. New property values were added to enable a more algorithmic approach to rendering Indic scripts. These include properties for joining behavior, new classes for numbers, and a further division of the syllabic categories of viramas and rephas. With these enhancements, the default rendering for newly added Indic scripts can be significantly improved.

Unicode character properties were extended to the new characters. The old characters have enhancements to Script and Alphabetic properties, and casing and line-breaking behavior. There were also nearly 3,000 new Cantonese pronunciation entries, as well as new or clarified stability policies for promoting interoperable implementations.

Two other important Unicode specifications are maintained in synchrony with the Unicode Standard, and have updates for Version 7.0. These will be released at the same time:

UTS #10, Unicode Collation Algorithm — the standard for sorting Unicode text
UTS #46, Unicode IDNA Compatibility Processing — for processing of non-ASCII URLs (IDNs)

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Workshop report: Summary of the LD4LT group kickoff / LIDER roadmapping workshop

The LIDER project has published a report on the first Linked Data for Language Technology event, which was held 21st March in alignment with the European Data Forum in Athens. Read the report.

Industry stakeholders from many areas (localization, publishing, language technology applications etc.) and key researchers from linked data and language technology discussed promises and challenges around linguistic linked data. The report summarizes all presentations and includes an initial list of use cases and requirements for linguistic linked data. This and the overall outcome of the event will feed into work of the LD4LT group (see especially the LD4LT latest draft version of use cases), and the field of multilingual linked data in general.

The LD4LT group is part of the MultilingualWeb community – learn more about related projects.

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Last Call draft published for Encoding spec

A Last Call Working Draft of Encoding has been published.

While encodings have been defined to some extent, implementations have not always implemented them in the same way, have not always used the same labels, and often differ in dealing with undefined and former proprietary areas of encodings. This specification attempts to fill those gaps so that new implementations do not have to reverse engineer encoding implementations of the market leaders and existing implementations can converge.

The body of this spec is an exact copy of the WHATWG version as of the date of its publication, intended to provide a stable reference for other specifications. We are hoping for people to review the specification and send comments about any technical areas that need attention (see the Status section for details).

Please send comments by 1 July 2014.

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Updates to two Working Group Notes published

Authoring HTML: Handling Right-to-left Scripts and Authoring HTML: Language declarations have both been updated to a new format that lists do’s and don’ts, but points to existing or new articles for detailed information. This will significantly help in keeping the material up to date in the future as technology changes. The documents have also been thoroughly overhauled to reflect the latest changes and information on

The first document provides advice to content authors using HTML markup and CSS style sheets about how to create pages for languages that use right-to-left scripts, such as Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Thaana, Urdu, etc. It explains how to create content in right-to-left scripts that builds on but goes beyond the Unicode bidirectional algorithm, as well as how to prepare content for localization into right-to-left scripts.

The second helps content authors specify the language of content, which is useful for a wide number of applications, from linguistically-sensitive searching to applying language-specific display properties. In some cases the potential applications for language information are still waiting for implementations to catch up, whereas in others it is a necessity today. Adding markup for language information to content is something that can and should be done now and as content is first developed. If not, it will be much more difficult to take advantage of any future developments.


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