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Subject: Suggested additional changes for XLIFF 1.2

Hi Tony etc.,


Following up on the conference call today, here are my suggestions for additional changes of the XLIFF 1.2 specification:


1) The following attributes seem to be used only for file format specific purposes. I propose deprecating them, as we should rather use the extension mechanism for such things:

  • extradata
  • menu
  • menu-option
  • menu-name
  • coord
  • css-style
  • style
  • exstyle
  • extype


In addition to this I have the following proposals:


2) The name attribute for <context-group> is currently marked as REQUIRED. (The specification indicates that this attribute should only be used for processing instructions.) I propose to relax this rule and allow the name attribute for a <context-group> to be optional.


3) I propose to add an extension point at the <xliff> level. This would be useful for providing information that is common to all the files in the XLIFF document. Some examples of what this could be used for:

  • Job / project information
  • Contact details
  • Tool settings
  • Copyright information
  • General instructions,
  • Embedded style guides
  • Analysis reports
  • Pricing information


4) I propose to deprecate the <sub> element in favour of using the xid attribute and putting the embedded translatable content inside a separate <trans-unit>. Reasons:

  • The two mechanisms are used for the same purpose.
  • The xid mechanism is superior to the <sub> mechanism.
  • The <sub> element content disrupts the text flow. It requires tricky special processing by XLIFF compliant tools, and can also be distractive during translation. Removing it will make it easier to create good XLIFF compliant tools.
  • The content of the <sub> is a separate unit for translation, and as such is much better represented in its own <trans-unit>.
  • More context information can be provided for a separate <trans-unit>. E.g. length restrictions for the embedded content can be expressed.
  • Keeping the embedded translatable content in a separate <trans-unit> will yield better recycling. Both the surrounding text and the embedded content can be treated as separate units. One can be re-used if the other changes, and if the same embedded content appears in different text it can be re-used independently.


5) I propose to deprecate the restype attribute in favour of using the <context> element to provide context information. Reasons:

  • The two mechanisms serve a similar purpose and can be used for the same thing. Providing two ways to do the same thing makes interoperability more difficult.
  • The <context> mechanism is more powerful than the restype attribute
  • The restype values in the current specification are highly file format specific.
  • If multiple contexts apply it is not clear if one can specify more than one value for a restype attribute.



Best regards,

Magnus Martikainen

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