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Action Item: ITS and EMMA (cf. http://www.w3.org/2007/04/18-i18nits-minutes.html#action01)

From: Lieske, Christian <christian.lieske@sap.com>
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2007 10:31:52 +0200
Message-ID: <544FBEB6875DAA46A08323B58D26B801014BA7BD@dewdfe14.wdf.sap.corp>
To: <public-i18n-its@w3.org>
Dear all,
I worked on my action item related to probing a possible relationship
between ITS and EMMA (cf.
http://www.w3.org/2007/04/18-i18nits-minutes.html#action01). As already
indicated during the conference call, I am under the impression that a
relationship exists, and that we thus may consider sending a comment to the
EMMA WG. Please find my proposed mail to the EMMA WG below.
Aside: I wonder if really we as ITS WG should send the comment, or if we
should forward our comments to the i18n WG so that our comments could be
included in the comments they possibly will give.
== suggested mail ===
The W3C Internationalization Tag Set (ITS) WG has been looking at the EMMA
WD ( <http://www.w3.org/TR/2007/WD-emma-20070409/>
http://www.w3.org/TR/2007/WD-emma-20070409/) and has identified a
relationship between EMMA and ITS. Accordingly, the ITS WG would like to ask
the EMMA WG to consider the use of the W3C ITS Recommendation (see
<http://www.w3.org/TR/its/> http://www.w3.org/TR/its/). In case you are not
familiar with ITS: It defines a set of elements and attributes that provide
"ready-to-go" internationalization and localization features.
a. These comments have been endorsed by the ITS WG.
b. Main reviewer: Christian Lieske
Here is a specific observation and suggestion:
- EMMA is meant to help to extend the Web user interface "to allow multiple
modes of interaction (aural, visual and tactile), offering users the means
to provide input using their voice or their hands via a key pad, keyboard,
mouse, or stylus. For output, users will be able to listen to spoken prompts
and audio, and to view information on graphical displays."
Just looking at the input side of human computer interaction, the ITS WG
assumes that EMMA should comprise means to represent features of languages
and scripts such as directionality, Ruby annotations.
- The EMMA WG may want to consider ITS in two ways
i. Allowing ITS markup in EMMA.
With this provision in place, EMMA could for example easily carry for
example information on directionality, or ruby. Your example
[emma:tokens="arriving at 'Liverpool Street'"] could for example be enhanced
by local ITS markup (see
http://www.w3.org/TR/its/#basic-concepts-selection-local) as follows in
order to explicitly encode directionality information: [its:dir="ltr"
emma:tokens="arriving at 'Liverpool Street'"]. Please note, that the EMMA
design decision to encode tokens in an attribute prevents a decoration of
individual tokens. With an elements-based encoding of tokens, the example
[<tokens>arriving at 'Liverpool Street'</tokens>] furthermore could be
enhanced by local ITS markup as follows in order to explicitly encode the
fact that 'Liverpool Street' is a specific type of linguistic unit ('span'
by the way is an element which ITS recommands): [<tokens>arriving at <span
its:term="yes">Liverpool Street</span></tokens>"].
Aside: We have considered your response on tokens in
while crafting this suggestion. We felt, that ITS-annotations to tokens
despite of your response would be valuable.
ii. Creating an ITS Rule file (see
http://www.w3.org/TR/its/#link-external-rules) along with the EMMA
specification (e.g. as a non-normative appendix).
With this in place, localization/translation would become easier in case
EMMA instances or parts of EMMA instances  (eg. an "interpretation") would
need to be transfered from one natural language to another one.
Several EMMA and elements and attributes contain text. Most, if not all
localization tools (as well as ITS) assume element content is translatable
and attribute content is not translatable. However in EMMA, this assumption
does not seem to be valid. The EMMA element "interpretation" for example
does not seem to contain immediate translatable content, and the EMMA
attribute "tokens" in some circumstances might have to be translated.
While this is fine because tools have ways to specify an element should not
be translated, it is very often quite difficult no know *which elements* or
*which attributes* should behave like that. Having a list of elements that
are non-translatable (or conversely if there are more non-translatable than
translatable elements) would help a lot. This list could be expressed using
ITS rules (see http://www.w3.org/TR/its/#basic-concepts-selection-global)
relating to "its:translate" (see "its:translate" see
http://www.w3.org/TR/its/#trans-datacat). This way all user of translation
tools (or other language-related applications such as machine-translation
engines, etc.) could look up that set of rules and process accordingly. 
For the examples given above, and ITS rules file could be as simple as:
<its:rules xmlns:its="http://www.w3.org/2005/11/its" version="1.0">
 <its:translateRule selector="//interpretation" translate="no"/>
 <its:translateRule selector="//@tokens" translate="no"/>
Christian Lieske
MultiLingual Technology Solutions (MLT)
SAP Language Services (SLS)
SAP Globalization Services
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Received on Friday, 20 April 2007 08:34:00 GMT

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