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A Buyer’s Guide to the Localization Standards Landscape. Localization World Silicon Valley 11 October 2011. Session Agenda. Experts. Session goals. Entice  Interest in understanding Educate  Awareness of issues and possibilities Encourage  Insight into local applicability

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a buyer s guide to the localization standards landscape

A Buyer’s Guide to the Localization Standards Landscape

Localization World Silicon Valley11 October 2011

session goals
Session goals

Entice  Interest in understanding

Educate  Awareness of issues and possibilities

Encourage  Insight into local applicability

Engage  Impact on global business performance

we will not
We will not . . .
  • Pass judgment on what standards are good or bad.
    • We suggest a free market approach.
  • Preach about which standards are most important.
    • Pain points vary widely.
  • Argue about approaches
    • Panelists are happy to pick up discussions for those who are interested.
  • Attempt to sort out overlapping initiatives.
    • See “free market approach” above.
reasons for failure
Reasons for failure
  • Too narrow, too obviously political, no value (doesn’t solve a real problem), not sustainable
  • Many boutique efforts reach first flush. But companies move on in marketing focus, and funding gets cut.
  • After initial success, no platform for broader dissemination. Serious efforts want the benefit of interrelated standards liaison (e.g., OASIS/ISO).
  • Standards development requires both technical and marketing work, including education and the right IP approach for the target market.
  • Adoption activities shoehorned into technical committee work.
dita as a model success factors for standards adoption
DITA as a model:Success factors for standards adoption
  • Widespread need: move to structured content management without burden
  • Simple in theory, but allows for complexity in application and implementation
  • Formed subcommittees to deal with application-level use cases: agile development (get the basics down, then iterate)
  • Solve a common set of problems, but allow for extensions and specialization
  • Serious, conscious adoption: market education, strong vendor support from the beginning
xliff 2 0


Program Charter, Process, & Timeline

DF as the liaison officer on behalf of XLIFF TC


XLIFF – XML Localization Interchange File Format

OAXAL – Open Architecture for XML Authoring and Localization (Reference Model) (TC)

MLW-LT – MultilingualWeb – Language Technology

W3C – World Wide Web consortium

OASIS – Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards

ULI – Unicode Localization Interoperability (TC)


OASIS Charter – Clarification or Re-Chartering?

    • Core characteristics and goals of XLIFF standardization. Potential to develop the pivotal standard for Language Technology, Localization and Internationalization. What role should the XLIFF standard play in the overall Language Technology, Localization, and Internationalization standards architecture?
    • The current statement of Purpose may need to be clarified/changed (extended in scope). The current aim is interchange, but the standard can naturally expand to covering storage, legacy content leveraging, annotations and tagging etc.
  • Core vs. Module
    • Criteria for elements being in core or not
    • Criteria for modules being developed
  • Prioritization and timeline for XLIFF 2.0 and XLIFFs 2.x throughout 2011 and 2012
  • Role of Customers, i.e. Toolmakers and Enterprise Users vs. End Users
    • Membership Section and its funding
    • Funding of Open Source Reference Implementations (Open Toolkit – OKAPI, M4Loc, etc.)
    • Reviewing Toolmakers’ extensions as source of industry wisdom?
  • XLIFF TC policy towards ULI, W3C ITS, ISO TC 37, ETSI ISG LIS
    • Standardization that is needed in Language Technology (LT), Localization (L10n) and Internationalization (I18n). Overall architecture of localization process infrastructure standardization
general options
General Options

EITHER Breadth OR Depth

EITHER Normative Processing Requirements OR Informal Recommendations

EITHER Publish minimal core quickly OR try to address long tail of feature requests

EITHER improved functionality OR backwards compatibility



Description of Business Needs the Program should address

Customers’ voice:

The 1.x standard is too complex

The 1.x standard has too generous extensibility

The 1.x standard lacks explicit conformance criteria

The overall goal is to ensure interoperability throughout Language Technology related content transformations during the whole content lifecycle.

Although the XLIFF 1.x standard was intended primarily as an exchange format the industry practice shows that the defined format is also suitable for storage and legacy content leverage purposes.


Description of the desired state

  • The XLIFF TC commits to addressing the customer needs as under the Description of Business Needs. In particular XLIFF TC resolved via previous ballots to create a 2.0 standard that will
  • Be modular
  • Contain non-negotiable core
  • Be created with conformance and processing requirements in mind
  • Will allow for extensibility at predefined points. Extensibility will be allowed only for functionality that cannot be achieved through core or module.
  • Although backwards compatibility with the 1.x standards is perceived as a value per se by the XLIFF TC and its customers, backwards compatibility has lesser priority than serving the business needs stated above.
  • XLIFF TC will prioritize the non-negotiable core and its release over the long tail wish list.
conformance clause
Conformance Clause

An opportunity

Make processing requirements integral part of the spec as normative, obligatory part of each element (including attributes) spec

Strict Process for Feature inclusion in 2.x

conformance clause1
Conformance Clause
  • Strict Process for Feature inclusion in 2.x
    • Owners must demonstrate to the TC not only the technical appropriateness of the feature but also explain what resources and timeframe is needed for elaboration and if those resources are available.
core vs modules
Core vs. Modules

Core – Basic part of the specification that contains all and only substantial elements that cannot possibly be excluded without negatively affecting the standard’s capability to allow for basic language technology related transformations. [ongoing discussion on this concept, DavidF will work on deriving this concept from main success scenario rather than the vague notion of a basic LT transformation]

core vs modules ctd
Core vs. Modules ctd.
  • Meaningful functional whole – elements that are critical for performing certain types of language technology transformations, all and only such elements and their respective processing rules.
  • Module – a part of the specification that fulfills all of the following conditions
    • Does not overlap with Core
    • Is compatible with Core
    • Comprises all elements and their processing rules that form a meaningful functional whole
xliff promotion and liaison sc
XLIFF Promotion and Liaison SC
  • Bilateral relationships and liaisons
    • Formal liaisons: ULI, ETSI ISG LIS (in progress), MLW-LT (W3C WG in creation)
    • Watching: IN!, Linport, OAXAL, GALA, TAUS
  • XLIFF Symposium (1st Limerick 2010, 2nd Warsaw 2011)
  • OASIS organizational ballots
  • State of the art research
  • Etc.
xliff 2 0 momentum
XLIFF 2.0 momentum

15 Voting Members! And counting..

Heavy Hitters: Yves Savourel (ENLASO), Rodolfo Raya (Maxprograms), Bryan Schnabel

Traditional contributors: SAP, SDL, LRC, PSBT

New Entrants: GALA, Multicorpora, Tom Commerford

Rejoined TC recently: IBM, LIOX

On their way: Oracle, Kilgray, Welocalize, TAUS

Interested: Atril, Microsoft, Wordbee

how to influence xliff
How to Influence XLIFF?

XLIFF is an open standard: TRANSPARENT AND RF

  • Archives publicly accessiblehttp://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/xliff/http://markmail.org/search/?q=list%3A%20xliff
  • Any one can subscribe for comment listhttp://www.oasis-open.org/committees/comments/index.php?wg_abbrev=xliff
  • Feature Tracking publicly viewable: http://wiki.oasis-open.org/xliff/XLIFF2.0/FeatureTracking#XLIFF2.0.2BAC8-Feature.2BAC8-ChangeTracking.ChangeTracking.2BAC8VersionControl
key takeaways
Key takeaways
  • Not standards for the sake of standards . . . But what becomes possible with standardization.
  • Compelling business cases are critical. Not just technology issues.
  • Homework is essential. Where are your points of friction in the global content value chain, and what standards address your pain?
  • Vote with your money!
mlw lt call for participation

MLW-LT Call For Participation

David Filip

Dave Lewis

Felix Sasaki


CSA – Coordination and Support Action

W3C – Worldwide Web Consortium

WG – Working Group (in W3C)

Deep Web, Surface Web

LSP – Language Service Provider




who is in
Who is in?

We want your logo here 

standardization focus metadata
Standardization focus - Metadata
  • Multilingual Web must be aware of linguistic and localisation processing
    • Process and Qulaity, Translatability, Legal, Terminology & Semantics..
  • Three main in scope scenarios
    • Deep Web <-> LSP
    • Surface Web <-> Real Time MT
    • Deep Web <-> MT Training
    • All other scenarios are out of scope
  • Reference implementations, XLIFF roundtrip prototypes, and test suits for all three
deep web lsp
Deep Web <-> LSP

Deep Web is mostly XML and is being managed by CMS, ideally CCMS.

Cocomore is involved in Drupal and Sharepoint based CMS and CCMS solutions

Passing process, terminology, and translatability metadata from CCMS onto down stream localisation chain actors

surface web real time mt
Surface Web <-> Real Time MT

Ensure that relevant Deep Web metadata will resurface in the rendered HTML, so that real time MT services can make use of them to improve their output

Again, translatability or terminology metadata will be passed onto MT to improve results

deep web mt training
Deep Web <-> MT Training

Improve MT training through passing domain and processing related metadata

This will allow for rapid creation of relevant training corpora, excluding ufront out-of-domain content, raw MT output etc.

  • "data categories" based on "W3C Internationalization Tag Set 1.0" relevant for the three scenarios:
    • Translate, Localization Note, Terminology, Language Information
  • Further data categories:
    • Translation provenance, human post-editing, QA provenance, legal metadata, topic / domain information
  • Everything is currently under consideration – your input counts!
approach and methodology
Approach and Methodology
  • Open Standard within W3C Internationalization Activity: – Transparent and Royalty Free
  • Normative Processing Requirements
    • Based on in scope process models
    • Methodology how to expand to
      • Create conformant extensions
      • Enable future development
  • Robust roundtrip implementations and test suits – bias for open source
  • Close collaboration with OASIS XLIFF TC
open question s
Open Question(s)
  • Breadth or Depth?
    • Scope? Too broad? Too Narrow? Additions?
    • Generalized Process Models as base for Normative Processing Requirements?Vs.
    • Define only data categories and give non-normative advice on processing?
    • More user scenarios?
    • Missed a critical category?