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1 MultilingualWeb-LT Working Group Wiki

This is a summary of the ITS 2.0 Recommendation development by the MultilingualWeb-LT Working Group (MLW-LT WG).

The final ITS 2.0 specification was published 29th October 2013:


The MLW-LT WG has therefore now completed its activities, but ongoing promotion and implementation activities around ITS2.0 specification is being continued by the ITS Interest Group:


The landing page for the MLW-LT working group is:


Much of the collaboration the outcome of the MLW-LT working group was funded by the European Commission through the LT-Web project:

See http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/ict/language-technologies/project-multilingualweb-lt_en.html for details.

This page summarised the successful outcome of the MLW-LT WG in completing the ITS2.0 Recommendation. Full records of the WG's activities in terms of requirements, goals, supporting document, mail archives and meeting minutes can be found at:


1.1 Summary of MLW-LT WG Activities

In numbers, the standardization process can be summarized as follows: It took 16 months from the first public Working Draft of ITS 2.0 to its finalization. This is an extremely short period of time for developing a new technology. 53 people from 24 organizations participated in the MultilingualWeb-LT Working Group. From June 2012 to October 2013, there have been more than 4800 posts to the three Working Group mailing lists. The Working Group conducted 75 virtual meetings and seven face-to-face meetings, resolved 132 issues (“discussion points” about ITS 2.0) and closed more than 550 action items. 13 organizations implemented ITS 2.0 during the specification development and participated in conformance testing. 225 conformance tests were created and the implementers provided 1016 successful test runs.

2 Mailing list

2.1 public-multilingualweb-lt-comments@w3.org



It was used to gather comments from outside the Working Group. All Last Call comments have been assigned Issue Numbers in the Working Group Tracker. Related Issues and Action Items are being worked on at:

2.2 public-multilingualweb-lt@w3.org

This list is being used for all standardization related technical communication. This is the only list being tracked by the IRC Trackbot, so that it is important and convenient to communicate all Issues and Action Items (including the ones connected to implementations) via this list rather than other eventually restricted mailing lists.



2.3 public-multilingualweb-lt-tests@w3.org



This served as the forum to discuss the test suite development.

3 Action Item and Issue Tracking to reach the final W3C Recommendation Stage

3.1 Multilingualweb-LT Working Group Issue/Action summary


The Working Group has resolved all 132 issues, including the issues for the three Last Call Drafts.

3.2 ITS 2.0 disposition of last call comments

Three “Disposition of Last Call Comments” have been created. These documents summarize the comments received during a Last Call period. They provide an overview of changes made and about their nature (substantive or only editorial), and the response from the reviewer (whether she is satisfied with the resolution of the comments).

- After the first Last Call draft (published December 2012):


- After the second Last Call (published May 2013):


- After the third Last Call (published August 2013):


Naturally, the first Last Call generated the highest number of comments. The comments during the second and the third Last Call period were rather focused and related to coordination with specific groups.

4 Coordination with specific groups during the Last Call periods

Three entities within W3C were crucial for finalizing ITS 2.0.

The usage of ITS 2.0 for HTML5 content has a dependency on the HTML5 specification: The data categories “Translate” and “Elements within Text” are defined based on definitions that are available in that specification. The MultilingualWeb-LT Working Group worked closely with the W3C HTML Working Group to assure that ITS 2.0 could be finalized without relying on unstable parts of the HTML5 draft.

The W3C Process requires coordination with the W3C director to pass the Last Call phase. The coordination led to the third Last Call phase, triggered by the forehand mentioned dependency on HTML5 and by the categorization of non-normative versus normative features. That categorization is important to assure that ITS 2.0 can be implemented on a royalty-free basis, that is, as a truly open standard without any licensing requirements.

The third entity is the W3C RDF Working Group. The representation of ITS 2.0 in RDF is the basis for Linked Data applications of ITS 2.0. The RDF Working Group asked for a change to that representation. This assured conformance with linked data principles and helped to future-proof ITS 2.0. In summary, the W3C process required that forehand described coordination efforts had to be taken before finalizing ITS 2.0. The benefit is that awareness about ITS 2.0 was raised among a broad range of stakeholders, including Web developers / browser vendors assembled in the HTML Working Group and the linked data community engaging in the RDF Working Group.

5 Test Suite Conformance as a pre-requisite to finalize ITS 2.0

The conformance testing described in the M12 version of this report was successfully concluded. The progress of internal reference implementations was publicly monitored in the test suite dashboard.

5.1 ITS 2.0 test suite dashboard


As required by the W3C process, all normative categories are warranted with at least two reference implementations. The dashboard shows that now all implementers have finalized the tests that they had planned to do. The following section explains that this did not influence the standardization process.

5.2 ITS 2.0 Implementation report

Out of the test suite, in addition to the test suite dashboard, an implementation report was generated


The underlying data is the same like for the dashboard, that is: input files for data categories (total 225) and for each file a gold standard output file (see D2.3 for details on the test suite design). Different to the dashboard, the implementation report does not contain all output files. The report is organized around conformance requirements and provides only the output files that are relevant for a complete implementation of a given “conformance feature”. For example, the following link


summarizes the conformant implementations for the “Translate” data category. There are four approaches, that is conformance features, to implement that data category. Two of the features (“XML Global” and “XML Local”) fully have been implemented five times; two of the features (“HTML Global” and “HTML local”) fully have been implemented six times.

6 Conclusion

The coordination between W3C, the various standardization groups, the Web community at large and the MultilingualWeb-LT project has proven to be successful: as planned, ITS 2.0 has been published as a W3C Recommendation within the duration of the project, with input from language and localization industries, SMEs and corporations alike, content producers and language service providers. ITS 2.0 helped to raise awareness for multilingualism, internationalisation, language and localisation technology issues among the large community around the Open Web Platform technologies.

The MultilingualWeb-LT project encourages funding agencies to support similar, standardization related efforts in other areas, as a means to demonstrate success of Research and Development efforts in Europe