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This document defines some of the terms often used in the documentation and discussions of the ITS Working Group. Note: this document reflect a work in progress. It may change at any time.

Data Category

Result of the specification of a given data field [ISO 1087-2:2000], i.e., a type of data field, such as "definition". ISO 12620-2 is an inventory of data categories for use in terminology resources. The term "data category" used in ISO TC 37 corresponds directly to data elements in the environment of ISO/IEC 11179. (Definition based on [1])

The ITS may have to provide mechanisms to map data categories (e.g. to capture the fact that the attribute 'tr' in the source vocabulary carries the semantics for 'translation relevance' in ITS).


Internationalization is the process of generalizing a product so that it can handle multiple languages and cultural conventions without the need for redesign. Internationalization takes place at the level of program design and document development. Source: LISA's FAQ, [2]


Localization is the process of taking a product and making it linguistically and culturally appropriate to a given target locale (country/region and language) where it will be used. Source: LISA's FAQ [3]

Localization directives

Localization directives are a set of special instructions inside each document instance in the given format that:

  • provides specific localization information at a level the localization properties cannot (for example: "This run of text, within this translatable paragraph, should be protected")
  • override the localization properties for a given occurrence (for example: "This specific quoted text in this STRINGTABLE block, of this RC file, should not be localized").

Localization properties are often implemented as special comments.

Localization properties

Localization properties is a general term that refers to the set of configuration settings localization tools use to process files in a given format. It includes indications on is translatable, what needs to be resized, etc. This information is valid for all documents in the given format. For example: "In Windows RC files, all quoted text within a STRINGTABLE group are translatable".

Schema Languages

In a broad sense, a Schema Language is a formal language which is used to describe the properties of "information". As an example, RDF Schema is a language for describing properties of all kinds of information resources. In a narrow sense, and this defines the scope of the ITS Working Group, a Schema Language describes the properties of a specific resource, i.e. markup. ITS deals with documents which consist of textual data and XML markup, e.g. elements, attributes etc. Three Schema Languages which have been developed for XML are of interest for ITS purposes: XML-DTDs, XML Schema and RELAX NG. These can be used for describing vocabularies for documents, i.e. a set of names for elements and attributes. The ITS Working Group is not concerned with Schema Languages like Schematron, which does not describe a vocabulary, but rather a part of a given document.


XML instances which leave the production environment sometimes differ from the corresponding XML instances which reside inside the production environment. A content management system for production purposes for example may store XML instances in a format which is not valid DocBook. Valid DocBook will only be generated for deployment purposes. Source-as-deliverable XML instances do not differ.

XML Application

Combination of DTD/XSD, stylesheets, XML instances for a specific type of content (e.g. a software manual).