XML Internationalization Techniques 1.0
This document provides a set of guidelines for developing XML documents that are internationalized properly. Following the best practices described here allow both the developer of XML applications, as well as the author of XML content to create material in different languages.
This document is still in an early draft stage. Feedback is especially appreciated on the general concept of ITS, the guidelines listed, and when applicable, the mechanisms defined for the selection of ITS specific information in documents and schemas.
This document is a complement to the the ITS Specification. Not all internationalization-related issues can be solved with special markup. However, there are a number of problems that can be avoided by applying a few guidelines when designing and authoring XML documents.
1.1. Who should use this document
This document is divided into two main sections:
- The first one is intended to the designers and developers of XML applications.
- The second is for the XML content authors. This includes users modifying the original content such as the translators.
1.2. How to use this document
Designers and developers of XML applications should read the "When Designing an XML Application" section. It provides a list of some of the important design choices that should be made in order to ensure the internationalization of the format. The techniques are usually illustrated with examples for XML Schema, RELAX NG and XML DTD.
Users and authors of XML content should read the "When Authoring XML Content" section. This section includes a number of guidelines on how to create content with internationalization in mind. Many of these best practices do not require the XML format used to have been developed especially for internationalization.
2. When Designing an XML schema
Designers and developers of XML applications should take in account the following best practices:
- Provide a way to specify language content
- Provide a way to specify text directionality
- Avoid translatable attributes
- Indicate the translatability of elements
- Provide a way to override translatability information
- Provide segmentation-related information
- Provide a way to specify ruby text
- Provide a way to specify unique identifiers
- Provide a way to specify comments for translators
3. When Authoring an XML Document
Authors of XML content should consider the following best practices:
- Specify the language of the content
- Override text directionality if needed
- Override translatability information if needed
- Assign unique identifiers to text items when possible
- Use CDATA sections with caution
- Provide comments for translators
A number of these practices can be followed only when the XML application has been internationalized properly using the design guidelines.