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Subject: Re: [xliff-inline] XLIFF Inline Markup Subcommittee Teleconference - Dec-13-2011 - Summary

As a newcomer, I am not yet eligible to vote, but this is a chance to start
sharing my views.  So here's my position on this ballot:

- It looks like most everyone agrees on the necessity of <sc>/<ec>.  So if
  <pc> were also included, it would be entirely redundant.  Everything that
  can be expressed with <pc> can also be expressed with <sc>/<ec>, and <pc>
  becomes a "shorthand" for some forms of <sc>/<ec>.  I think this is bad
  design for several reasons:

  - Consider how you would handle this as an implementor.  When reading
    XLIFF, you would almost certainly map both constructs to the same one
    internally.  When writing XLIFF, you have two choices: 1) always write
    <sc>/<ec>; or 2) figure out when you can use <pc> and use write <pc> in
    those cases, otherwise write <sc>/<ec>.  Practically, why would anyone
    do (2)?  The result is everyone writes <sc>/<ec>.  <pc> is useless

  - Lazy implementors (and they're all lazy) are likely to implement <pc>
    right, and <sc>/<ec> sloppily.  This is a serious practical problem, and
    if you think about the industry's experience with standards, I think
    you'll agree that implementors routinely do the easy parts and skip the
    hard parts.  We're much more likely to get correct implementations if
    there is only one way to do it.  (And of course we offer good developer

  - Imagine a future specification for "XLIFF normalization" (which will be
    necessary someday).  The obvious thing to do is normalize <pc> to
    <sc>/<ec>.  So <pc> is just extra work.

  - I'm not entirely against shorthands.  They are good for human-writable
    documents, and for saving space.  But I don't think either consideration
    applies here.

- Those who like <pc> for XML seem to agree that <sc>/<ec> are necessary
  even for XML, in some cases.  So nobody gets to live in a fairy land
  without <sc>/<ec>.  Why pretend? ;-)  Maybe you can go a little way with
  just <pc>, but then some day you have a use case that requires <sc>/<ec>.
  You'll curse the day you started with <pc>!

- "XML friendliness" has little value for me.  XLIFF is designed for
  localizing any content, and while we should make sure it works well for
  XML, I would be wary of any bias to working "best" with XML.  Besides,
  there's enough work between us and XLIFF 2.0 that giving special attention
  to XML doesn't seem to be a good use of effort.

- (Ok, I can't resist veering into the philosophical.)  I don't think
  <sc>/<ec> is hackish at all.  The right question to ask here is whether
  overlapping markup has value in the real world.  I think the answer is
  obvious.  Consider a word processor.  They user selects words 1-3 and
  presses "bold", then selects words 2-4 and presses "italics".  How should
  the word processor represent this?  Overlapping markup is clearly a
  reasonable option, and nested markup starts to look like a hack.
  Overlapping markup may not be the common case, but it's not a freak
  either.  Don't treat it like one!

  Some ideas borrowed from Ted Nelson:


On Tue, Dec 13, 2011 at 8:44 AM, Schnabel, Bryan S <bryan.s.schnabel@tektronix.com> wrote:
Hi Yves,

I wanted very much to attend this meeting to add my point of view on the "Type of codes Decision on what set of codes to use: a) ph/pc/sc/ec, or b) ph/sc/ec, or c) ph/pc, or d) ph."

But an unexpected work emergency kept me otherwise occupied (sounds strange that one could have a Web CMS emergency - but so it goes . . . ).

Though the attendees spoke in favor of b) - I just wanted to add that there was also a strong argument made against b) in the email thread (and in the interest of full disclosure, I am included in that camp). See


So I am grateful that the action is to have a ballot.



From: xliff-inline@lists.oasis-open.org [xliff-inline@lists.oasis-open.org] On Behalf Of Yves Savourel [ysavourel@enlaso.com]
Sent: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 8:18 AM
To: xliff-inline@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: [xliff-inline] XLIFF Inline Markup Subcommittee Teleconference - Dec-13-2011 - Summary

XLIFF Inline Markup Subcommittee Teleconference

Present: Fredrik, Yves, Andrew-P, Christian, Arle.
Regrets: Andrew-S

The summary of our main items is here:

Draft is under SVN, here:
(This will be replaced by DocBook version soon)

=== Type of codes

Decision on what set of codes to use: a) ph/pc/sc/ec, or b) ph/sc/ec, or c) ph/pc, or d) ph.

Fredrik: pc/sc/ec means you have to both types to handle -> more work for implementers.
And one cannot avoid sc/ec so that one is not optional.
Simpler and clearer.
Andrew-P: agree with Fredrik: redundant representation is more dangerous for various reasons.
Christian: no input.
ACTION ITEM: Yves will create a ballot.

=== Annotations representation
(req 1.5: Must allow to associate spans of content with metadata)

Current proposed representation:

<mrk [id='id'] type='type' [value='some value'] [ref='someId'] [translate='yes|no']>...</mrk>

--- Overlapping mrk:

-> split them and merge them as needed.
May require an attribute to make the distinction between lone consecutive annotations and split annotations.
ACTION ITEM: Yves to try implementation.
Fredrik: actual best representation may depend on whether there is pc or not.

--- annotation with only translate attribute.
What type value to use?
-> 'generic' (with only translate attribute allowed in that case?)
Fredrik: yes, understood that last time.
Christian: Is it wise to create dependencies between attributes and values etc?
This is tricky. Leads to schema question and also checking implementation for conformance.
Fredrik: Kind of agree with that.
Maybe wording can be changed. E.g. if type='generic' then ignore other attribute is possible.
Christian: working with MAY can be tricky.
Andrew-P: probably ok to have the dependencies
Implementing conformance could be done.
Fredrik: We could say MUST ignore.

Yves was to bring the question of schema version 1.1 vs 1.0 to the TC.
-> Done here:
One answer:

Andrew-P: Agree with Rodolfo: need probably more than a schema to do proper validation.
Fredrik: Would prefer to validate as much as possible with schema.
Avoid to rely on a specific tool.
Christian: Maybe this is a general guidelines: Try first with 1.0, and if you can't: document it.
Being able to rely only on 1.0 would be very nice.
Fredrik: But then we would need to re-introduce things like <it>
Arle: Validation for TBX was hard with 1.0. so we used RNG
Fredrik: yes key of 1.1 is the better support for conditions, etc. But 1.1 is not final.

ACTION ITEM: Yves to bring that back to TC.

=== What about crc and assoc?

Those are not needed was last meeting consensus.

Yves had the action item to ask to TC if anyone is using crc or assoc and report on current status for those.
-> Done here:

Consensus would be to just drop then in 2.0.
ACTION ITEM: Yves double check presence of assoc.

=== Uniqueness of attribute names (added)


Andrew-P: Context based seem fine.
Fredrik: Agree too.

ACTION ITEM: Yves to escalate the question to TC.

Fredrik: Note on 'id' attribute. How to define uniqueness within a scope.
For example trans-unit id unique within <file>, etc.
We need to be very clear on those definitions.
Christian: what about xml:id?
Yves: xml:id needing to be unique at document level doesn't fit our id requirement.
Christian: Possibly have different namespaces for different type of ids. E.g. different prefix.
Would make check easier.

=== Representation of editing hints

Need to have notation for 'permissions'
Current permission we thought about:

1: a code can be deleted
2: a code can be replicated
3: a code can be moved out of its original order
4 (possibly): a code can be moved outside its original parent span

All were to think about representation for hints.

See: http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/xliff-inline/201111/msg00008.html

Arle: Like the letter based representation.
Fredrik: Skeptical about bit-field or letters.
Second option better (human readable)
But problem when extending it. For example with default value.
One attribute per info allows flexibility in extending things.

Discussion on how to represent defaults for new info.

Andrew-P: Using one attribute for each info is simpler/non-ambiguous
Yves: that list should be more or less done with for 2.0
Could also use new attributes for new info
Fredrik: possible addition: can be edited
Arle: hopefully this should be a close list.

=== Bi-direction markers

Several tools use Unicode characters in 1.2.
Goes against W3C recommendation but seems common practice.
-> need to know about other tools
-> ask for info to W3C
Sent (but not passed the W3C check yet).

Some reference material:
- http://www.w3.org/International/questions/qa-bidi-controls
- http://www.w3.org/International/wiki/BidiProposal

Arle: asked the same question to Felix and Mark, both were against Unicode chararacters.
Reason: bad because they are 'invisible'. Tags are visible.
Andrew-P: experience with implementing Unicode chars: it works well.
Fredrik: in some case xml 'looks' wrong. But with using proper editor things are ok.
I've heard argument about using tags. Basically it's for editing xml with non-rendering editor.

=== Codes and effect on segmentation
(req 1.16: Inline codes should have a way to store information about the effect on the segmentation)

Related email:


=== Representation of added codes

Need to clarify use of duplicated code.
e.g. why not re-use same code?
(See http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/xliff-inline/201110/msg00021.html)


=== Any other business

--- I assume Andrew-P is in Pacific time zone.
That would make now 3 members for 7am.
Do we need/is it possible/ to shift the time of the SC 1 hour later?
Fredrik: fine with me.
Arle: ULI meeting is at that time.
Yves: will have to stay at this time for now then.


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Andrew Pimlott
Chief Technology Office
Spartan Consulting

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