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RE: Internationalization Requirements

From: Martin J. Duerst <mduerst@ifi.unizh.ch>
Date: Fri, 25 Jul 1997 16:44:24 +0200 (MET DST)
To: Dylan Barrell <dbarrell@bb.opentext.com>
cc: "'Roy T. Fielding'" <fielding@kiwi.ics.uci.edu>, "w3c-dist-auth@w3.org" <w3c-dist-auth@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.96.970725162412.245e-100000@enoshima>
On Fri, 25 Jul 1997, Dylan Barrell wrote:

> I am more prepared to accept the argument that an author is likely
> to know how her particular server maps a negotiated URL onto a
> particular source URL for a given language although this prevents
> the writing of an authoring client which allows for the authoring
> of multilingual resources in a user friendly way.

I am not sure this is true. Let's take a typical task with
multilingual resources. Let's say I have to update a Spanish
version of a Web site based on an English version.

The client tool that would do that would somehow obtain a
description of web site in terms of language-independent
URLs. I assume that this is already in webdav, or that
it is an external operation for reasons not connected
to language issues. It would then have the server produce
the variant information for each of these URLs. That is
possible currently. It would then check for the dates of
the English and Spanish version. For those pages where the
Spanish version is younger than the English, no changes are
needed. For those pages where the Spanish version is older,
an update is needed, and the tool would dowload both versions,
display them side-by-side, maybe try to access an older
English version (is that possible with webdav?), try to
figure out the differences between the older and the newer
English version to guide the translator on which parts
of the Spanish version needs updating, and so on.

Seems like for this, the ability of the server to tell
us about language variants does most of the job. The
rest is that it would be necessary to also get told about
the various versions available, and about the relations
between versions in various languages (i.e. version X
in Spanish is a translation of version Y in English).
Probably, "is based on" would be sufficient as a relation.
More sophisticated information is desirable for more
complicated cases, i.e. if two pages are merged or split,
or there are other reorganizations.
Everything may be done in a user-friendly way, without
showing the actual URLs to the translator.

The real problem comes when there is a new English page,
and the Spanish page is missing. Detection of this case
is easy, creation of the new page is easy, but for storing
it, we need to know the naming scheme for variants.
That's where all the user friendliness with regards to
hiding variant URLs breaks down!

But variants are not only an issue for languages. There
are a lot of other variants, such as frame/noframe,...
High-end web servers and web projects use them all the
time. With language, we are still rather well of because
the server will give us a variant list. But is there
a variant list for frame/noframe, or similar things?

Regards,	Martin.

Dr.sc.  Martin J. Du"rst			    ' , . p y f g c R l / =
Institut fu"r Informatik			     a o e U i D h T n S -
der Universita"t Zu"rich			      ; q j k x b m w v z
Winterthurerstrasse  190			     (the Dvorak keyboard)
CH-8057   Zu"rich-Irchel   Tel: +41 1 257 43 16   NEW FROM 8/1997: 635 43 16
 S w i t z e r l a n d	   Fax: +41 1 363 00 35   Email: mduerst@ifi.unizh.ch
Received on Friday, 25 July 1997 10:44:43 UTC

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