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Language Tags and Locale Identifiers A Status Report.

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Presentation on theme: "Language Tags and Locale Identifiers A Status Report."— Presentation transcript:

1 Language Tags and Locale Identifiers A Status Report

2 Presenter and Agenda Addison Phillips Internationalization Architect, Yahoo! Co-Editor, Language Tag Registry Update (LTRU) Working Group (RFC 3066bis, draft-matching) Language tags Locale identifiers

3 Languages? Locales? Whats a language tag? What the is a locale? Why do identifiers matter?

4 Language Tags Enable presentation, selection, and negotiation of content Defined by BCP 47 – Widely used! XML, HTML, RSS, MIME, SOAP, SMTP, LDAP, CSS, XSL, CCXML, Java, C#, ASP, perl………. – Well understood (?)

5 Locale Identifiers Different ideas: – Accept-Locale vs. Accept-Language – URIs/URNs, etc. – CLDR/LDML And Requirements: – Operating environments and harmonization – App Servers – Web Services New Solution? Cost of Adoption: – UTF-8 to the browser: 8 long years

6 In the Beginning Received Wisdom from the Dark Ages Locales: – japanese, french, german, C – ENU, FRA, JPN – ja_JP.PCK – AMERICAN_AMERICA.WE8ISO8859P1 Languages… … looked a lot like locales (and vice versa)

7 Locales and Language Tags meet Conversations in Prague… – Language tags are being locale identifiers anyway… – Not going to need a big new thing… – Just a few things to fix… … we can do this really fast

8 BCP 47 Basic Structure Alphanumeric (ASCII only) subtags Up to eight characters long Separated by hyphens Case not important (i.e. zh = ZH = zH = Zh) 1*8alphanum * [ - 1*8 alphanum ]

9 RFC 1766 zh-TW ISO (alpha2) ISO 3166 (alpha2) i-klingon Registered value

10 RFC 3066 sco-GB ISO (alpha 3 codes) But use… eng-GB alpha 2 codes when they exist X

11 Problems Script Variation: – zh-Hant/zh-Hans – (sr-Cyrl/sr-Latn, az-Arab/az-Latn/az-Cyrl, etc.) Obsolence of registrations: – art-lojban (now jbo), i-klingon (now tlh) Instability in underlying standards: – sr-CS (CS used to be Czechoslovakia …

12 And More Problems Lack of scripts Little support for registered values in software Reassignment of values by ISO 3166 Lack of consistent tag formation (Chinese dialects?) Standards not readily available, bad references Bad implementation assumptions – 1*8 alphanum *[ - 1*8 alphanum] – 2*3 ALPHA [ - 2ALPHA ] Many registrations to cover small variations – 8 German registrations to cover two variations

13 LTRU and draft-registry Defines a generative syntax – machine readable – future proof, extensible Defines a single source – Stable subtags, no conflicts – Machine readable Defines when to use subtags – (sometimes)

14 RFC 3066bis and LTRU sl-Latn-IT-rozaj-x-mine ISO 639-1/2 (alpha2/3)ISO script codes (alpha 4)ISO 3166 (alpha2) or UN M49Registered variants (any number) Private Use and Extension

15 More Examples es-419 (Spanish for Americas) en-US (English for USA) de-CH-1996 (Old tags are all valid) sl-rozaj-nedis (Multiple variants) zh-t-wadegile (Extensions)

16 Benefits Subtag registry in one place: one source. Subtags identified by length/content Extensible Compatible with RFC 3066 tags Stable: subtags are forever

17 Problems Matching – Does en-US match en-Latn-US ? Tag Choices – Users have more to choose from. Implementations – More to do, more to think about – (easier to parse, process, support the good stuff)

18 Tag Matching Uses Language Ranges in a Language Priority List to select sets of content according to the language tag Four Schemes – Basic Filtering – Extended Filtering – Scored Filtering – Lookup

19 Filtering Ranges specify the least specific item – en matches en, en-US, en-Brai, en-boont Basic matching uses plain prefixes Extended matching can match inside bits – en-*-US

20 Scored Filtering Assigns a weight or score to each match Result set is ordered by match quality Postulated by John Cowan

21 Lookup Range specifies the most specific tag in a match. – en-US matches en and en-US but not en- US-boont Mirrors the locale fallback mechanism and many language negotiation schemes.

22 What Do I Do (Content Author)? Not much. – Existing tags are all still valid: tagging is mostly unchanged. – Resist temptation to (ab)use the private use subtags. Unless your language has script variations: – Tag content with the appropriate script subtag(s) Script subtags only apply to a small number of languages: zh, sr, uz, az, mn, and a very small number of others.

23 What Do I Do (Programmer)? Check code for compliance with 3066bis – Decide on well-formed or validating – Implement suppress-script – Change to using the registry – Bother infrastructure folks (Java, MS, Mozilla, etc) to implement the standard

24 What Do I Do (End-User)? Check and update your language ranges. Tag content wisely.

25 LTRU Milestone Dates (Done) RFC 3066bis – Registry went live in December 2005 Produce Matching RFC – Draft-11 available (WG Last Call started … Monday) (Anticipated) Produce RFC 3066ter – This includes ISO support, extended language subtags, and possibly ISO 639-6

26 Things to Read Registry Draft registry-12.txt Matching Draft LTRU Mailing List

27 Things to Do (languages) Get involved in LTRU Get involved in W3C I18N Core WG! Write implementations Work on adoption of 3066bis: understand the impact Then get involved with Locale identifiers …

28 Back to Locales… IUC 20 Round Table Suzanne Toppings Multilingual Article Tex Texin and the Locales list…

29 Locale Identifiers and Web Services

30 W3C and Unicode W3C – Identifiers and cross-over with language tags – Web services – XML, HTML Unicode Consortium – LDML – CLDR – Standards for content

31 Language Tags and Locale Identifiers SPEC First Working Draft coming soon – URIs? – Simple tags?

32 WS-I18N SPEC First Working Draft now available: –

33 Ideas?

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