The Unicode Consortium has announced Version 6.3 of the Unicode Standard and with it, significantly improved bidirectional behavior. The updated Version 6.3 Unicode Bidirectional Algorithm now ensures that pairs of parentheses and brackets have consistent layout and provides a mechanism for isolating runs of text.
Based on contributions from major browser developers, the updated Bidirectional Algorithm and five new bidi format characters will improve the display of text for hundreds of millions of users of Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Urdu, and many others. The display and positioning of parentheses will better match the normal behavior that users expect. By using the new methods for isolating runs of text, software will be able to construct messages from different sources without jumbling the order of characters. The new bidi format characters correspond to features in markup (such as in CSS). Overall, these improvements also bring greater interoperability and an improved ability for inserting text and assembling user interface elements.
The improvements come with new rigor: the Consortium now offers two reference implementations and greatly improved testing and test data.
In a major enhancement for CJK usage, this new version adds standardized variation sequences for all 1,002 CJK compatibility ideographs. These sequences address a well-known issue of the CJK compatibility ideographs — that they could change their appearance when any process normalized the text. Using the new standardized variation sequences allows authors to write text which will preserve the specific required shapes of these CJK ideographs, even under Unicode normalization.
Version 6.3 includes other improvements as well:
- Improved Unihan data to better align with ISO/IEC 10646
- Better support for Hebrew word break behavior and for ideographic space in line breaking
The MultilingualWeb-LT Working Group has published a Proposed Recommendation of Internationalization Tag Set (ITS) Version 2.0. The technology described in this document provides a foundation for to integrating automated processing of human language into core Web technologies. ITS 2.0 bears many commonalities with its predecessor, ITS 1.0 but provides additional concepts that are designed to foster the automated creation and processing of multilingual Web content. ITS 2.0 focuses on HTML, XML-based formats in general, and can leverage processing based on the XML Localization Interchange File Format (XLIFF), as well as the Natural Language Processing Interchange Format (NIF). Comments are welcome through 22 October.
The Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Working Group has published a Working Draft of CSS Ruby Module Level 1. “Ruby” are short runs of text alongside the base text, typically used in East Asian documents to indicate pronunciation or to provide a short annotation. This module describes the rendering model and formatting controls related to displaying ruby annotations in CSS.
The Internationalization Working Group has published a Last Call Working Draft of Use Cases & Exploratory Approaches for Ruby Markup.
Comments are welcome through 24 September. As this document has already been through a review cycle, we are not anticipating major changes to arise over the coming two weeks, and hope to move it to publication as a WG Note in two to three weeks time. See the status section for information about where to send feedback if you have any.
This document aims to support discussion about what is needed in the HTML5 specification, and possibly other markup vocabularies, to adequately support ruby markup. It looks at a number of use cases involving ruby, and how well the following approaches support those use cases: the HTML5 model described in the Candidate Recommendation as of 17 December 2012, the XHTML Ruby Annotation model, and the Ruby Extension Specification proposed in February 2013.
This article is based on text that was originally published in the WG Note, Internationalization Best Practices: Specifying Language in XHTML & HTML Content. The Note will be updated in due course, at which time the material will be removed from the Note.
The article discusses some of the pros and cons for signalling the language of a page which a link points to, if that page is not in the same language as the current content. It also looks at how people have done this in the past using the hreflang attribute.
Because of its history, the article has not been through the normal review process, but comments can be sent using the feedback form.
A future version of the article may look at alternative approaches and implementations, such as those used for European languages.
The MultilingualWeb-LT Working Group has published a Last Call Working Draft of Internationalization Tag Set (ITS) Version 2.0. ITS 2.0 makes it easier to integrate automated processing of human language into core Web technologies. ITS 2.0 focuses on HTML, XML-based formats in general, and can leverage processing based on the XML Localization Interchange File Format (XLIFF), as well as the Natural Language Processing Interchange Format (NIF). Comments are welcome through 10 September.
The pre-final Internationalization Tag Set (ITS) 2.0 specification is already getting uptake in the machine translation community. At the Machine Translation Summit XIV (2-6 September, Nice), ITS 2.0 will be introduced in a presentation, a panel and as part of the META-NET booth. MT Summit is an annual event of the machine translation community, including keynote speeches by renowned experts in the field of Machine Translation, panel discussions and presentations of submitted and invited papers organized in two program tracks – research and commercial/user. Register now to learn about the presence and future of automatic multilingual content processing on the Web.
The META-FORUM 2013 will provide an overview of the pre-final ITS 2.0 specification and other recent developments around automated processing of multilingual Web content. registration is free, but the number of participants is limited – get your seat soon! A call for active participation in META Exhibition and LT Industry Session (deadline 16. August) provides an opportunity to demonstrate other technologies around multilingual Web content.
Predefined Counter Styles describes numbering systems used by various cultures around the world and can be used as a reference for those wishing to create their own user-defined counter styles for CSS.
The document provides support for people using the CSS Counter Styles Level 3, which has just moved to Last Call. It will be published, after review, as a WG Note. It will be updated on an ongoing basis as needs arise.
A set of tests are also currently being developed, along with results to show built-in support and support via counter-styles definitions for the counter-styles defined here.
A report is now available summarizing the Workshop on Richer Internationalization for eBooks, which took place 4 June in Tokyo.
The Workshop was Hosted by Keio University, and sponsored by Intel as well as W3C organization sponsor Google.
(Learn more about W3C’s new Digital Publishing Activity, how to get involved in the Digital Publishing Interest Group, and the agenda of the workshop on Publishing and the Open Web Platform, which takes place in September in Paris; position paper deadline 15 July.)