W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-personalization-tf@w3.org > March 2020

Draft response to first question of I18N review

From: Becky Gibson <becky@knowbility.org>
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 2020 11:56:18 -0400
Message-Id: <8C7FA612-2A60-4099-A24E-1D148A03E0A2@knowbility.org>
To: public-personalization-tf <public-personalization-tf@w3.org>
I am going to post proposed answers to the questions raised by I18N in issue 133 (https://github.com/w3c/personalization-semantics/issues/133 <https://github.com/w3c/personalization-semantics/issues/133>) in batches to make the email discussion easier. 

Here is the first one:
<quote from our submission>
We are using numerical tokens which can be mapped to symbols sets, so we don't think this is an issue but request you look at this closer. Also the symbol sets themselves may be localized.

<I18N response>
Replacing a word with a number (which is used to obtain the symbol) initially seems okay. There are two things that immediately spring to mind to think about, though. First, the use of numbers is extended in one example to spell the phrase "cup of tea" (with each word taking one symbol). This depends strongly on the grammar of the language being recoded into symbols; I would have expected the symbols to have their own (somewhat language neutral) grammar. Second, it should be noted that symbols themselves have strong cultural associations and the same symbol might represent different concepts or be unacceptable in a different context. This kind of issue is one of the frequent (and difficult!) considerations when encoding emoji characters and how it is dealt with here will be interesting to understand.</end response>

<proposed answer>
We are using a fixed set of numbers to represent each symbol. While we are using the BLISS symbol numbers as our reference, makers of other symbols sets will provide the mapping to their own set. The assistive technology will use the mapping table for the current user’s culturally appropriate symbol set. Given the example of two symbols for cup of tea,  another symbol set may have only one symbol represent the same concept.  If so, the mapping table would map the two numbers together into it’s own single symbol. If the author refers only to “tea,” and is not specific that it is a cup the mapping may be different. It is the responsibility of the creators of the mapping table to understand the nuances of the languages and how the symbols relate to one another. Thus, one symbol may map to multiple, grouped symbols. Or, vice versa, multiple, grouped symbols may map back to only one. It is the responsibility of the creators of the mapping tables to understand the nuances and cultural implications of the symbol set.
</proposed answer>

<Becky’s comment>
 I’m still not sure that answers the question. This implies that the content author understands the difference as well. What if the sentence was, “John and Mary met for tea.”  From the use of the verb “met", this implies (at least to me in the US) meeting for a cup of tea rather than to shop for tea or tea bags. The author has to know to search for a number value in our mapping table that represents cup or tea, rather than one for just tea. If the author picks the symbol identified as “tea” and it maps to a tea bag, that may change the meaning of the sentence. I hope that a tea bag would be identified within the symbol set with a different label than just “tea”. Or that a user of the symbol set is able to detect the nuance. Is that a reasonable expectation?  Unless they are familiar with symbol sets and how they work, I don’t think most content authors would understand the distinction. If not for participation in this task force, I would not.  Perhaps I am overthinking this?
</becky’s comment> 

Received on Monday, 16 March 2020 15:56:37 UTC

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