Internationalization (i18n) Activity

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i18n Working Group

MultilingualWeb-LT Working Group

i18n Interest Group

Internationalization Tag Set (ITS) Interest Group

Indic Layout Task Force

Japanese Layout Task Force

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W3C Validator Suite
Includes i18n Checker

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July 2011 (13)
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March 5, 2013

ECMAScript Internationalization API Specification approved in December

We omitted to mention, back in December, that ECMAScript announced a new standard that better supports a user’s language and culture for applications written in JavaScript (standardized as ECMAScript).

Until now, it has been very difficult for web application designers to do something as simple as sort names correctly according to the user’s language. The new standard ECMA-402 changes this. It provides:

  • string comparison for sorting (such as for Swedish, where “ö” is a separate letter that sorts after “z”),
  • number and currency formatting (such as “1.234,56 €” for a German language euro presentation, or the following choices for a Serbian language USD presentation: 12.345,12 US$, 12.345,12 USD or 12.345,12 америчких долара),
  • date and time formatting capabilities (such as 2012年12月12日 for a Japanese language date, or for a French date: mercredi 12 décembre 2012).

For the first time, applications can choose the language and tailor the functionality to their needs. The standard complements the ECMAScript Language Specification, also published by Ecma as ECMA-262, which defines the core of JavaScript in web browsers, servers, and other software systems.

ECMA-402, ECMAScript Internationalization API Specification, is available free of charge from the Ecma International website. See also An introduction to the standard.

March 4, 2013

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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February 12, 2013

Program published for MultilingualWeb Workshop in Rome!

The program has been published for the upcoming W3C MultilingualWeb Workshop: Making the Multilingual Web Work in Rome, 12–13 March 2013.

Mark Davis and Vladimir Weinstein of Google will deliver the keynote presentation, “Innovations in Internationalization at Google”. This will be followed by one and a half days of talks on various aspects of what it takes to make multilingualism work on the Web, plus an afternoon of discussion-oriented breakout sessions that focus on best practices for various aspects the multilingual Web. Speakers will come from organizations like Adobe Systems, SAP, Yandex, the Spanish Tax Agency, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, Microsoft, Lionbridge, SDL, the European Commission, and leading universities and research institutions from around the world.

The program will also feature a showcase of implementations of the forthcoming ITS 2.0 specification that will allow attendees to get a sneak peak at how this specification will impact and support multilingual requirements on the Web.

See the Call for Participation for details about how to register for the workshop. Participation in the workshop is free.

Important: The deadline for registration is 8 March, but available attendance slots are filling up fast and are expected to run out before the deadline. So please be sure to register soon to ensure that you can attend.

The MultilingualWeb workshops, funded by the European Commission and coordinated by the W3C, looks at best practices and standards related to all aspects of creating, localizing and deploying the multilingual Web. The workshops are successful because they attracted a wide range of participants, from fields such as localization, language technology, browser development, content authoring and tool development, etc., to create a holistic view of the interoperability needs of the multilingual Web.

We look forward to seeing you in Rome!

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January 15, 2013

Speaker deadline for Rome MultilingualWeb Workshop this Friday (Jan. 18)

The deadline for speaker submissions for the 6th MultilingualWeb Workshop (March 12–13, 2013 in Rome, Italy) is this Friday (January 18 at 23:59 UTC).

With a keynote by Mark Davis and Vladimir Weinstein (Google), special breakout sessions on linked open data and other critical topics, this Workshop is set to continue the tradition of excellence set by the previous six Workshops, and will provide an outstanding forum for thought leaders to share their ideas and gain critical feedback.

While the organizers have already received many excellent submissions, there is still time to make a proposal, and we encourage interested parties to do so by the deadline. With over 100 attendee registrations already submitted for the Workshop, we are certain to have a large and diverse audience and stimulating discussion about all of the presentations.

For more information, please visit the Rome Workshop Call for Participation.

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January 10, 2013

Mark Davis and Vladimir Weinstein (Google) to deliver keynote, “Innovations in Internationalization at Google,” at MultilingualWeb Workshop

Mark Davis (President and Cofounder, Unicode Consortium, and Software Engineer, Unicode and ICU, Google) and Vladimir Weinstein (Engineering Manager, Google) will deliver the keynote talk at the upcoming 6th MultilingualWeb Workshop in Rome, Italy (March 12–13).

The keynote will discuss how Google supports its ambitious goals of removing barriers to information, in an ever increasing number of languages, through recent innovations in internationalization technology.

The MultilingualWeb workshop series examines best practices and standards related to all aspects of creating, localizing and deploying the Web multilingually. It aims to raise the visibility of existing best practices and standards and identify gaps, with a view to helping content creators, localizers, tools developers, and others meet the challenges of the multilingual Web.

Participation is free. We welcome participation from both speakers and non-speaking attendees. For more information and to register, see the Call for Participation.

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December 17, 2012

Special interactive sessions planned for the W3C MultilingualWeb workshop in Rome, March 2013

Led by experts in the field, two special break-out sessions on Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) and Linked Open Data (LOD) are planned for the upcoming MultilingualWeb workshop, to be held at the headquarters of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization in the heart of Rome, on 12-13 March. We will also continue the Open Space discussions that have been so popular in the past.

In addition, lunch-time exhibition sessions will showcase the recent work and progress made on implementing the ITS 2.0 specification, a major effort in the W3C to improve support for language- and translation-related processes.

Register soon to ensure you get a place, especially if you are interested in also speaking. See the Call for Participation.

The W3C’s MultilingualWeb workshops bring together approximately 150 implementers, leading developers, localizers, researchers and users of the Web to discuss best practices and standards related to all aspects of creating, localizing and deploying the Web multilingually. One and a half days of presentations will be followed by break-out sessions that will allow attendees to explore additional topics in an in-depth, discussion-oriented fashion.

Participation is free.

If you have any questions, contact the program committee chair, Dr. Arle Lommel (arle.lommel@dfki.de).

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December 6, 2012

Last Call Working Draft of Internationalization Tag Set (ITS) 2.0 Published

This document defines data categories and their implementation as a set of elements and attributes called the Internationalization Tag Set (ITS) 2.0.

ITS 2.0 is designed to foster the creation and localization of multilingual Web content, focusing on HTML5, XML based formats in general, and to leverage localization workflows based on the XML Localization Interchange File Format (XLIFF), and language technology applications like machine translation or named entity annotation. In addition to HTML5 and XML, algorithms to convert ITS attributes to NIF is provided.

Last Call means that the MultilingualWeb-LT Working Group feels that ITS 2.0 is ready to move to recommendation. If you have comments on the document, please send them to the list mentioned in the document status before 10 January.

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October 2, 2012

W3C Workshop, Call for Participation: Making the Multilingual Web Work

12–13 March 2013 in Rome, Italy, hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.

The W3C announces today the sixth in a series of workshops exploring the mechanisms and processes needed to ensure that the World Wide Web lives up to its potential around the world and across barriers of language and culture.

Anyone may attend at no charge and the W3C welcomes participation by both speakers and non-speaking attendees. Early registration is encouraged due to limited space.

Building on the success of five highly regarded previous workshops in Madrid, Pisa, Limerick, Luxembourg, and Dublin, this workshop will emphasize the application of theory and technology to meet practical needs. The workshop brings together participants interested in the best practices and standards needed to help content creators, localizers, language tools developers, and others meet the challenges of the multilingual Web. It provides further opportunities for networking across communities that span the various aspects involved. We are particularly interested in speakers who can demonstrate novel solutions for reaching out to a global, multilingual audience. Registration now online.

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August 30, 2012

New tests: Line breaks in CSS3 Text

Several sets of tests are now available related to line breaks, word breaks and hyphenation in CSS3 Text and Unicode Standard Annex #14 (Line Breaking Properties). Some of the tests are rewrites of previous tests in the Internationalization Activity test suite. There are also many new tests.

See the main i18n test page for list of tests and results for major browsers. The tests are also published in the i18n-css3-text test suite in the W3C Test Harness.

August 23, 2012

New tests: White space in CSS3

The previous set of tests in the Internationalization Activity test suite looking at white space handling for various non-Latin scripts has been rewritten and published today. The new tests are based on behavior described in the CSS3 Text Module. These tests explore, in particular, how browsers render text in Asian and South-East Asian scripts when white space appears at the end or beginning of a line in the source text.

A list of tests and a snapshot of results for major browsers is available. The tests are also published in the i18n-css3-text test suite in the W3C Test Harness.

The results page is the latest to be adapted so that the results shown are automatically pulled from the W3C Test Harness database when the page is displayed. This functionality has now been extended to all test results pages using the new format.


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