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Category: Unicode

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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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CLDR Version 25 Released

Unicode CLDR 25 has been released, providing an update to the key building blocks for software supporting the world’s languages. This data is used by a wide spectrum of companies for their software internationalization and localization, adapting software to the conventions of different languages for such common software tasks.

Unicode CLDR 25 focused primarily on improvements to the LDML structure and tools, and on consistency of data. There are many smaller data fixes, but there was no general data submission. Changes include the following:

  • New rules for plural ranges (1-2 liters) for 72 locales, plurals for 2 locales, and ordinals for 18 locales.
  • Better locale matching with fallbacks for languages, default languages for continents and subcontinents, and default scripts for more languages.
  • Two new locales: West Frisian (fy) and Uyghur (ug).
  • Two new metazones: Mexico_Pacific and Mexico_Northwest
  • Updated zh pinyin & zhuyin collations and translators for Unicode 6.3 kMandarin data
  • Updated keyboard layout data for OSX, Windows and others.

This version contains data for 238 languages and 259 territories—740 locales in all.

Details are provided in http://cldr.unicode.org/index/downloads/cldr-25, along with a detailed Migration section.

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CLDR Version 23 Released

The Unicode Consortium has released CLDR 23, which contains data for 215 languages and 227 territories—654 locales. This release focused primarily on improvements to the LDML structure and tools, and on consistency of data. It includes substantially improved support for non-Gregorian calendars (such as the Japanese Imperial calendar used extensively in Japan). The data and structure has also been modified to easily permit changing between 12 and 24 hour formats, and between 2 digit and 4 digit years. The new Unicode character is used for the Turkish Lira, and information is provided for currencies that round to 5 cents (or other subunits) in cash transactions. For most languages that use non-Latin scripts, characters in the language’s script now collate before those in other scripts (including A-Z). Language-specific letter-casing changes (Lower, Upper, Title) have been added for Azerbaijani, Greek, Lithuanian, and Turkish. Keyboard data has also been updated for Android. Also, as of this release, the LDML specification is split into multiple parts, each focusing on a particular area.

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New Unicode FAQ on Private-use Characters, Noncharacters and Sentinels

A new FAQ page devoted to the topic of private-use characters, noncharacters, and sentinels has been posted on the Unicode web site. This FAQ aims to clear up confusion about whether noncharacters are permitted in Unicode text, and how they differ from ordinary private-use characters. The recently published Corrigendum #9: Clarification About Noncharacters makes it clear that noncharacters are permitted even in interchange, and the new FAQ page addresses some of the fine points about their usage and about differences from other types of Unicode code points. The brief mentions of noncharacters in other FAQ pages have also been updated accordingly.

Are you unclear about what Unicode “noncharacters” even are? The new FAQ page also answers basic questions about noncharacters and private-use characters, and provides a bit of history about how they came to be part of the Unicode Standard.

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Unicode Consortium CLDR announcements

The Unicode Consortium announced today that the CLDR Survey Tool is open for beta testing. CLDR provides key building blocks for software to support the world’s languages, with the largest and most extensive standard repository of locale data available. The survey tool is an online tool used by organizations and individuals to contribute data to this repository, and to vote on alternative contributions.

The survey tool has undergone substantial revision, with dramatic improvements in performance and usability. The Unicode Consortium would appreciate people trying out the tool so that they can identify any remaining problems before we start data submission (currently scheduled for April 4). More information.

The Unicode CLDR 21.0.1 maintenance release is also now available. See details.

The next major release is CLDR 22, scheduled for late August. The CLDR 22 release does involve general data submission, which will begin soon. See the latest schedule.

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