Internationalization (i18n) Activity

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i18n Tag Set (ITS) IG

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New language tag specification, RFC 5646, published

The IETF has published RFC 5646, an update of Tags for Identifying Languages. This specification obsoletes former RFCs 4646, 3066 and 1766.

RFC 5646 makes it possible to use over 7,000 three-letter ISO 639-3 language codes, in addition to the 2 letter codes that have been in use for some time. It also introduces 220 ‘extended language’ subtags, mainly for backwards compatibility.

It continues to be best to refer to this specification as BCP47. This is a non-changing name and web address that points to the latest relevant RFCs.

The Internationalization Working Group at the W3C is working on an article to help users choose language tags, given the various types of subtag that are now available, and the sheer number of subtags.

You can look up language and other subtags in the IANA Language Subtag Registry.

(Richard Ishida has provided an unofficial tool for searching the registry that also provides advice for choosing subtags, and allows you to partially validate a hyphen-separated language tag.)

New article: Using Unicode controls for bidi text

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FAQ-based article: If I’m unable to use markup to correctly order bidirectional text, what can I do?

By Richard Ishida, W3C.

New Working Group Note: Requirements for Japanese Text Layout (日本語組版処理の要件)

Read the Note

This document describes requirements for Japanese layout realized with technologies like CSS, SVG and XSL-FO. For non-Japanese speakers it provides access for the first time to a wealth of detailed and authoritative information about Japanese typesetting. The document is mainly based on a standard for Japanese layout, JIS X 4051 and its authors include key contributors to that standard. However, it also addresses areas which are not covered by JIS X 4051.

The document was created by the Japanese Layout Task Force (with participation from four W3C Working Groups, CSS, Internationalization Core, SVG and XSL)

A Japanese version is also available.

Tags:

New tutorial: Creating SVG Tiny Pages in Arabic, Hebrew and other Right-to-Left Scripts

Read the tutorial

Right-to-left scripts include Arabic, Hebrew, Thaana and N’ko, and are used by a large number of people around the world. If you are new to dealing with bidirectional text, getting it to display correctly can sometimes appear complex and confusing, but it need not be so. If you have struggled with this or have yet to start, this tutorial should help you adopt the best approach to marking up your content. It also explains enough of how the bidirectional algorithm works for you to understand much better the root causes of most problems, and it addresses some common misconceptions about ways to deal with markup for bidirectional content

After reading this tutorial you should:

  • create effective SVG Tiny 1.2 content containing text written in the Arabic or Hebrew (or other right-to-left) scripts
  • understand the basics of how the Unicode bidirectional algorithm works, so that you can understand why bidirectional text behaves the way it does, and how to work around problems
  • take decisions about the appropriateness of alternatives to markup

New tests: Web fonts

Tests: .TTF font linking test, .EOT fonts test
Results: TTF font linking test, .EOT fonts test

These tests explore how and if a user agent supports download of font information over the Web, particularly for complex script support. Fonts are downloaded both as directly as OpenType fonts, and using an EOT wrapper. Both methods tested use the CSS @font-face mechanism.

New tests & results: CSS encoding detection

See the test pages
See the results

These tests examine whether user agents follow the rules in CSS 2.1 about detecting the encoding of CSS style sheets. This is particularly important if you style sheet uses non-ASCII characters in such things as class names, content, or font names.

New article: Migrating to Unicode

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Article: This article provides guidelines for the migration of software and data to Unicode. It covers planning the migration, and design and implementation of Unicode-enabled software. A basic understanding of Unicode and the principles of character encoding is assumed.

By Norbert Lindenberg & Addison Phillips, Yahoo.

New Working Group Note: Best Practices for XML Internationalization

Read the Working Group Note

The Internationalization Tag Set (ITS) Working Group has published the Working Group Note Best Practices for XML Internationalization. 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.

Editors: Yves Savourel, Jirka Kosek, Richard Ishida.

Categories: Highlight, New resource

New article: Character encodings for beginners

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FAQ-based article: What is a character encoding, and why should I care?

This article is aimed at content authors, users, and anyone who is unsure about what a character encoding is, and wants a brief summary of how it affects them.

By Richard Ishida, W3C.

New article: Tagging text with no language

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FAQ-based article: How do I use language markup in HTML or XML content when I don’t know the language, or the content is non-linguistic?

By Richard Ishida, W3C.


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