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Re: [widgets] i18n

From: Marcos Caceres <marcosscaceres@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 2 May 2008 02:41:10 +0200
Message-ID: <b21a10670805011741u5b29d6cerc49b8a0fca191b4f@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-i18n-core@w3.org, "WAF WG (public)" <public-appformats@w3.org>

Hi i18n Core,
Please disregard the i18n model I proposed in my previous email. We
have spec'd out a new model [1] (based on model 2 proposed
previously). WAF would still be very interested in hearing your
thoughts on what we have come up with and also any thoughts you might
have about our configuration document format from an i18n perspective.

Kind regards,

[1] http://dev.w3.org/2006/waf/widgets/#localization

On Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 6:12 AM, Marcos Caceres
<marcosscaceres@gmail.com> wrote:
> In a recent email, Mike Smith let WAF know that i18n Core WG had some
>  concerns about the lack of i18n support in the widget specification
>  [1]. This email is an attempt to foster discussion about widgets and
>  i18n with the ultimate aim of reaching a resolution that closes this
>  issue [2].
>  As you may or may not know, the Widgets 1.0: Packaging and
>  Configuration specification [3] is composed of two parts. Firstly, we
>  define a Zip based packaging format where authors store resources
>  (images, html, js, etc) for their widgets. Secondly, we define a
>  simple XML-based configuration document format, which authors use to
>  record metadata and set various runtime configuration parameters.
>  Please see for details and examples [3].
>  As WAF understands it, there are essentially two issues that need to
>  be addressed for i18n in our widget spec: The first relates to XML
>  i18n best practices in the Configuration Document, and the second
>  relates to automatic i18n of Zip packages.
>  =I18n in the configuration document=
>  We have attempted to follow Best Practices for XML
>  Internationalization [4] by including support for xml:lang in our
>  configuration document format (and explicitly included the attribute
>  in our RelaxNG schema). However, contrary to what the guidelines
>  recommend, we have not included a <span>-like element because we don't
>  anticipate much use of such an element in our configuration document
>  format and because it complicates the processing model. However, we
>  don't limit vendors from including their own <span>-like elements in
>  their own namespace for the purpose of i18n:
>  For example:
>  <widgets xmlns="http://www.w3.org/ns/widgets"
>  xmlns:ex="http://widgextension.org/" xml:lang="en">
>  <description>Make Steve say <ex:span
>  xml:lang="en-au">crikey!</ex:span></description>
>  </widgets>
>  Our choice of excluding a <span>-like element in the configuration
>  document format is not set in stone and we still have the opportunity
>  to extend the processing model.
>  We would appreciate comments and expertise on how we can make the
>  configuration document better suited for i18n contexts.
>  =Widget resource (Zip) localization=
>  Although we have not yet formally specified anything about widget
>  resource internationalization in the spec, we have been debating about
>  it internally in the working group for over a year (some members have
>  opposed it, which is the main reason that it has not yet been worked
>  on).
>  If an internationalization model is to be included in the
>  specification, we would like to leverage the common practices of
>  relying on folder names using the iso 639-1 language and  3166 locale
>  pattern (eg. /en-us/) (or to explicitly rely on, at least, RFC3066).
>  The iso 639-3166 pattern is used across a variety of widget engines,
>  including Konfabulator, Dashboard, Google Desktop and Vista Sidebar
>  Gadgets as a means of aiding resource localization.
>  We are considering  two localization models, which are presented in
>  detail below. The first is based on reading string value pairs,
>  inspired by the models that Apple Dashboard and Konfabulator use. The
>  second is a bit more complicated as it allows for the localization of
>  all resources in a widget,  and is inspired by Window's Vista Sidebar.
>  For the sake of discussion, we present the models by way of what
>  authors need to do  (authoring requirements)  and what the widget
>  engine does for authors (Widget user agent processing). We currently
>  don't preference any one model over the other, and we are complete
>  open to ideas about other models we should consider. The aim is, as
>  always, to keep things as simple as possible for both authors and
>  implementers while retaining industry best practice.
>  MODEL 1 - Dashboard/Konfabulator-like model
>  Authoring requirements:
>  When an author creates a widget, they place a file called
>  "localized.strings" into directories that follow the the iso 639 and
>  3166 pattern (en-us). For example:
>  myWidget.zip
>         /en-gb/
>                 localized.strings
>         /en/
>                 localized.strings
>         /fr/
>                 localized.strings
>         /config.xml
>         /index.html
>  The localized.strings file contains name value pairs delimited by a
>  single "=" and terminated by a CR or LF, etc. For example,
>         hello = howdy partner!
>         good bye = see you later!
>         local logo  = /en/images/logo.gif
>  Widget User Agent Processing:
>  The user agent gets the user's preferred system local as an iso 639
>  and 3166 pattern and searches for a folder that matches the system
>  locale. It first searches for the full iso 639 and 3166 pattern (eg.
>  "en-us") and then systematically reducing the search to the just the
>  language code ("en"). The search is done case insensitively. If a
>  match is found, then the system reads the contents of
>  'localized.strings' and parses it into a lookup table that is made
>  available to the instantiated widget at runtime.
>  The author is then able to access the localized content via the
>  following interface:
>  interface Widget {
>      DOMString widget.getLocalizedString(in DOMString)
>  }
>  For example:
>  <script>
>  onload = function(){
>     if(widget.locale != "jp"){//assume jp is default
>         $("h1").innerHTML = widget.getLocalizedString("hello");
>     }
>  }
>  </script>
>  Pros:
>   simplicity: only string value pairs need to be defined by author
>   probably addresses most use cases
>   easy to process localized.strings
>   easy to use API
>  Cons:
>   the config.xml document is not localized
>   requires that whole application be written with script hooks
>  wherever text needs to be localized
>   might not work well for when layout needs to be radically different
>   relies on a single i18n neutral HTML layout and structure (index.html)
>  MODEL 2: Windows Sidebar-like model
>  Authoring requirements:
>  When an author creates a widget, they can place a localized version of
>  its content into directories that follow the the iso 639-1 language
>  and  3166 locale pattern. For each localized version, the author
>  creates a folder and includes the appropriate localized resources.
>  myWidget.zip
>         /en-gb/
>                 config.xml
>                 index_gb.html
>                /images/flag.png
>         /en-au/
>                 index.html
>                images/flag.png
>         /fr/
>                 config.xml
>                 index.svg
>                images/flag.png
>         /images/
>                 logo.png
>                flag.png
>         /scripts/
>                 engine.js
>         /config.xml
>         /index.html
>  Widget user agent processing:
>  Like with model 1, the user agent gets the user's preferred system
>  local as an iso 639 and 3166 pattern and searches for a folder that
>  matches the system locale. It first searches for the full iso 639 and
>  3166 pattern (eg. "en-us") and then systematically reducing the search
>  to the just the language code ("en"). The search is done case
>  insensitively.
>  If a match is found, and the folder contains a config.xml file, then
>  the system parses the content of config.xml. If no match is made, or
>  the matched folder does not contain a config.xml, the user agent uses
>  the config.xml file at the root. However, if the matching folder
>  contains an index.html, but no config.xml, and the config.xml at the
>  root says to use "index.html" as the start file, then, for instance,
>  "/en-au/index.html" will be used.
>  Once the widget is instantiated, authors can get the localized content
>  they need easily (including using shared resources). For example, say
>  /en-au/index.html was loaded:
>  <html>
>  {use absolute script, which is shared amongst all widgets}
>  <script sr="/scripts/engine.js">
>  {use relative/localized flag image}
>  <body style="background-image: images/flag.png; ...">
>  {use shared logo image}
>  <h1><img src="/images/logo.png" /> </h1>
>  {localized content}
>  <h2>G'day Mate</h2>
>  Pros:
>    both config and index.html can be localized (localize whole widgets
>  in one package)
>    individual resources can be localized more effectively
>    no API for localized strings
>  Cons:
>   more difficult to process than model 1
>   behavior can be be confusing unless well understood
>  Hopefully that gives you an idea of what direction we are currently
>  heading. Again, we would appreciate comments and expertise that you
>  can share on creating an effective internationalization model for
>  widget packages.
>  Kind regards,
>  Marcos
>  [1] http://www.w3.org/2008/02/20-core-minutes.html#item05
>  [2] http://www.w3.org/2005/06/tracker/waf/issues/23
>  [3] http://www.w3.org/TR/widgets/
>  [4] http://www.w3.org/TR/xml-i18n-bp/
>  --
>  Marcos Caceres
>  http://datadriven.com.au

Marcos Caceres
Received on Friday, 2 May 2008 00:41:51 UTC

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