Internationalization and naming

Rick Jelliffe ricko at
Tue Jan 5 01:52:25 GMT 1999

Simon St.Laurent writes:

> Will English vocabularies be used, or will other languages be used?

> This seems like something that the next generation of schemas could
> address neatly, by providing room for something like a translation
> table, identifying elements and their 'standard' equivalents.  This
> could open up validation considerably, and possibly make it a lot
> easier to get buy-in from user communities that perhaps have no
> input toward the standards or their choice of language.

I think we can observe the rule that the more a name is like a
the less reason there is need for a local version. The more the name is
a variable, the less reason for an internationally understandable

SGML allowed you to remap keywords: you could change CDATA to
KDATEN or whatever. But no-one did.

When a standard DTD is specified, I think there is good reason to avoid
providing alternative names. The biggest one is documentation. If
I write a book in English, and the examples cannot be directly used by
people in other languages, then that makes life more complicated for
foreigners than less. (The AF approach seems less satisfactory
than the DCD approach because of this. )

I think we still have a few years before we need to seriously consider
issue: have CSS implementations been tested using non-Western
Native Language Markup yet?  My preliminary tests indicate that the
current betas do not handle non-ASCII characters in attribute tests or
element names.  After these problems are fixed up, and after more XML
products support character encodings that people actually use, then we
can turn our attention to alternatives.

Actually, IMHO the thing that is actually required for
is a Website giving error messages and commmon element names in multiple
languages. That way you can write your code to return a URI,
and content-negotiation can return the specific error message in the

Rick Jelliffe

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