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Saturday, November 3, 2007

Best Practices for XML Internationalization

W3C announced the publication of an updated version of the "Best
Practices for XML Internationalization" specification. The document was
developed by the Internationalization Tag Set (ITS) Working Group, part
of the W3C Internationalization Activity. The ITS Working Group intends
to publish this document as a Working Group Note before the end of
December 2007. The document is a complement to the W3C Recommendation
"Internationalization Tag Set (ITS) Version 1.0." That Recommendation
defines data categories and their implementation as a set of elements
and attributes called the Internationalization Tag Set (ITS). ITS is
designed to be used with schemas to support the internationalization and
localization of schemas and documents; an implementation is provided for
three schema languages: XML DTD, XML Schema and RELAX NG. Not all
internationalization-related issues can be resolved by the special
markup described in the ITS Recommendation. The best practices in this
document therefore go beyond application of ITS markup to address a
number of problems that can be avoided by correctly designing the XML
format, and by applying a few additional guidelines when developing
content. The document is divided into two main sections: (1) The first
one is intended for the designers and developers of XML applications,
also referred to here as 'schemas' or 'formats'; (2) The second is
intended for the XML content authors; this includes users modifying
the original content, such as translators. "When Designing an XML
Application" provides a list of some of the important design choices
you should make in order to ensure the internationalization of your
format. Section 4 "Generic Techniques" provides additional generic
techniques such as writing ITS rules or adding an attribute to a
schema; such techniques apply to many of the best practices. Section
5 "ITS Applied to Existing Formats" provides a set of concrete examples
on how to apply ITS to existing XML based formats; this section
illustrates many of the guidelines in the document. "When Authoring
XML Content" provides a number of guidelines on how to create content
with internationalization in mind. Many of these best practices are
relevant regardless of whether or not your XML format was developed
especially for internationalization. "Writing ITS Rules" provides
practical guidelines on how to write ITS rules; such techniques may
be useful when applying some of the more advanced authoring best
practices. More Information

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