Southeast Asian Layout Task Force Charter

The mission of this task force is to support the use of languages of Southeast Asia by Web standards and technologies, such as HTML, CSS, Mobile Web, Digital Publications and Unicode. It does this by establishing a network of experts who explore, discuss and document gaps and requirements for the languages in scope.

The Southeast Asian Layout Task Force is part of the W3C Internationalization Interest Group (i18n IG). The W3C Internationalization Working Group (i18n WG) oversees the work of the task force, and publishes the task force's documents to the TR space. The group uses the W3C Internationalization Activity home page to disseminate public information about its activities.

The output of the task force is pointed to by the Language enablement index, and sits alongside similar work for other writing systems. For information about layout and typographic requirements work for other scripts, see Layout & typography.

The wider W3C framework into which this work fits is described in Analysing support for text layout on the Web.

This charter is intended to reflect the current direction of the group, so that there is common agreement. It may be altered at any point in order to reflect new priorities or work items.

Join the Southeast Asian Layout Task Force.

End date No fixed end date.
Confidentiality Proceedings are public
Chair(s) TBA
Team Contact(s) Richard Ishida
Usual Meeting Schedule Teleconferences: On an as-needed basis. Preferably, a minimum of one status meeting per month.
Face-to-face meetings: On an as-needed basis.
Video Conferences: On an as-needed basis.


The use of the GitHub issue list is not restricted to any particular set of languages other than that the group is focused on languages and scripts used in Southeast Asian

The set of languages for which gap-analysis and requirements documents will be provided will be determined based on the availability of linguistic and typographic experts. Currently, the following are available:

Document related to additional languages may be added as expertise becomes available. (Myanmar is discussed in the issues, but does not yet have documents.)



The Southeast Asian Text Layout Task Force will not produce Recommendation-track deliverables but will produce documents that can be published by the Internationalization Working Group as Working Group Notes or articles.

The group will also assist in developing tests for language features, most of which will be made available via the Internationalization Test Suite, and some of which may be ported to the Web Platform Tests repository.

The initial goal is the establishment of a network of experts who receive notifications of issues raised in GitHub and respond when needed with advice about requirements for Southeast Asian languages on the Web. It aims to address the problem that experts don't know how to tell the W3C what problems exist for support of their language on the Web, and the W3C doesn't know how to contact people who can help when questions arise. This network of experts should help to significantly reduce that problem.

Depending on the availability of resources, the group will also produce two key types of document:

  1. gap-analysis documents focused on specific languages and/or scripts, which describe features that need attention and prioritise them. The gap-analysis document will describe the problems, demonstrate them using tests or screen grabs, and describe whether work is needed on specifications (such as the CSS spec) or implementations (such as major web browsers). This work feeds into the language matrix which provides a heat-map for language issues on the Web.
  2. requirements documents, which describe in a technology-agnostic way how the script/language works. The requirements documents may be developed piecemeal, to match progress in the gap analysis documents, ie. as a new section is created for the latter, content may be added to the requirements document to indicate the expected result.

Note that the requirements document should always remain technology-agnostic, so that it is evergreen. The gap analysis document, however, should be technology-specific, and as issues are addressed parts of the gap analysis document will eventually become merely historical records (and should be labelled as such).


Success Criteria

The success of the Task Force will be evaluated based on:

  1. the number of experts recruited to participate in or follow discussions
  2. the number of issues raised and dealt with
  3. the number of documents produced
  4. how successful the group is in advancing support for Southeast Asian languages and scripts on the Web


Relationships to other groups

Working Drafts and Notes will be published by the i18n WG, and the i18n WG will work with the task force closely to assist with development and review of the documents.


W3C Internationalization WG
The W3C i18n WG will oversee the work of the Task Force, and will publish the Working Drafts and Notes on their behalf. The i18n WG will also help the Task Force produce work that fits with the work of other Task Forces, and wider initiatives at the W3C.

W3C Publishing Working Group
The group will work with the Digital Publishing Working Group to ensure the work it is doing is known to that group and any issues that are common to the two groups are identified and tracked appropriately.

The group has no formal dependencies on any other W3C Working Groups, but important points of contact include:
Other Groups
The Task Force is also expected to take advantage of opportunities for discussion and collaboration with existing groups and communities in African countries as well as groups and communities elsewhere.


A number of types of participation are possible, ranging from very low commitment (eg. 'Followers') to significant (eg. 'Editors' and 'Chairs'). These are described in a wiki page.

The GitHub home page for the group describes how to participate.

Everyone participating in the work of the task force, be it through the issue list, by contributing content or tests, or any other communication, must do so in conformance with the provisions of the CONTRIBUTING document.



The group primarily conducts its work on the GitHub repository at https://github.com/w3c/sealreq/.

The GitHub issue list is used to report issues for language support, for discussions, and to send feedback about documents.

The public-i18n-sea mailing list is used to send notification digests & meeting minutes. It is not for technical discussion.

There is also a public-sealreq-admin mailing list for internal and administrative use by the TF participants, for example for announcing teleconference agendas, new participants, preparing for publication, etc. or for discussing other non-technical, practical arrangements related to the group. Only participants in the task force are subscribed to that list.

The group uses the W3C Internationalization Activity home page to disseminate public information about its activities.

When there is a quorum of Participants, the task force should aim to hold teleconference or face-to-face meetings at least once a month, with additional meetings as needed to enable discussion and review status of the work. Such meetings have proven to be extremely useful in maintaining the heartbeat of the work.

The #sealreq IRC channel is used for supplementary communication and for minute-taking during meetings. Instructions for use are sent out with the meeting agenda.


Decision Policy

As explained in the Process Document (section 3.3), this group will seek to make decisions when there is consensus. In cases where there is a need to formally produce a group resolution about a particular issue, its Chair will put a question about the issue to the group and gather responses (including any formal objections); then, after due consideration of all the responses, the Chair will record a group resolution (possibly after a formal vote and also along with responding to any formal objections).

Patent Policy

Participants in the Task Force are obligated to comply with W3C patent-disclosure policy as outlined in Section 6 of the W3C Patent Policy document. Although the Task Force is not chartered to produce Recommendation-track documents that themselves require patent disclosure, participants in the group are nevertheless obligated to comply with W3C patent-disclosure policy for any Recommendation-track specifications that they review or comment on.

For more information about disclosure obligations for this group, please see the W3C Patent Policy Implementation.

About this Charter

This charter for the Task Force within the Internationalization Interest Group is not a formal document and does not require W3C management or Advisory Committee review or approval. It is intended to summarise the goals and procedures of the group at any given time, and can be changed at any time to realign with changed priorities for the group.

Charter Authors: Richard Ishida