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Context data category - ACTION ITEM: Christian to work on this proposal

From: Lieske, Christian <christian.lieske@sap.com>
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2010 10:58:09 +0200
To: "public-i18n-its-ig@w3.org" <public-i18n-its-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <8EA44C66E2911C4AB21558F4720695DC5E11D1F3B8@DEWDFECCR01.wdf.sap.corp>
Hi there,

While working on my action item "Context data category - ACTION ITEM: Christian had the action item to work on this proposal.", I looked at the requirement from different points of view. Before drafting a text for http://www.w3.org/International/its/wiki/IssuesAndProposedFeatures#Proposed_Text, I would like to share the corresponding thoughts ...

Best regards,
Christian

"Context" is an important concept for globalization-related processes such as human translation (actually to any communicative act). Unfortunately, the notion of "context" is not defined clearly. Sample definitions are the following:

1. The "Content Category" in which an expression appears
	Examples: the User Interface of a software program, the owner's manual for a device
2. The "Semantic Class" to which an expression belongs
	Example: a quotation - marked with a "cite" element - in an (X)HTML page
3. The "Structural Class" to which an expression belongs
	Example: a heading in an (X)HTML page
4. The "Presentational Class" to which an expression belongs
	Example: a string marked up with the "i" element in an (X)HTML page
5. The "Textual Environment" (sometime referred to as "co-text")
	Examples: the paragraphs preceding or following an expression, the words preceding or following an expression
6. The "Locale-related Considerations" for an expression
	Example: considerations for choosing the correct wording (eg. in terms of honorifics) for Japanese
7. The "Production environment considerations" for an expression
	Example: company-specific standards and guidelines to which a text has to adhere
8. The "Related Objects" belonging to an expression (this is similar to the "Textual Environment")
	Example: all menu entries for a particular menu on a User Interface
...

Given this ambiguity for the concept of "context", I think that we may need a clear definition of the type(s) of context information we would like to see supported by ITS. Examples:

1. string category (as possible incarnation of for example "Semantic Class" or "Structural Class")
	Examples: button, label, caption (see [a] in http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-i18n-its-ig/2008Oct/0015.html)
2. grouping (as possible incarnation of for example "Textual Environment" or "Related Objects")
	Examples: the "alt" text for an "img" element,  all menu entries for a particular menu on a User Interface
...

As an alternative or additional provision, we may want to think about a general data category for "context" but stipulate very strict rules related to possible values for the data category. In particular, we may mandate that 

a. only values from a well-defined vocabulary can be used
b. encoding of the values has to follow concepts for the Semantic Web (eg. related to the Resource Description Framework)

Spelling this out may result in something like

	its:context="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml#cite"

for an expression that is categorized as "cite" in the XHTML vocabulary. Alternatively, and I tempted to suggest this since it may prevent us from reinventing the wheel, we may look into representation mechanisms proposed within RDFa (see http://www.w3.org/2010/02/rdfa/).
Received on Tuesday, 28 September 2010 09:00:27 GMT

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