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Subject: Re: [xliff] Some interesting comments

Hi Yves,

Kirti's comments are an indication of how Localization Standards are 
perceived. Lets look at the positive: for all variations of 
implementation, XLIFF provides a standard XML vocabulary for exchanging 
localization data. As you quite rightly point out, Kirti makes the basic 
mistake of blaming a standard when organizations do not implement it 
correctly It is a reflection on some of the CAT tool providers who still 
seem to be sometimes at a loss over XML. We came across an instance last 
month of a purported XLIFF implementation that was not even well formed 

Rodolfo has provided some invaluable tools to help validate XLIFF and 
TMX documents, and all credit to him for doing this, but some formal 
certification/approval tool would be very useful as a resource 
accessible from the TC home page.

In our implementation of XLIFF 1.2 in XTM we have adopted a very 
minimalistic subset of the standard. This works extremely well as I have 
yet to find a tool that supports XLIFF that has any issues with it.

As for other implementations we have taken the pragmatic approach and 
treat 'other' XLIFF files as a special case of an XML document. We have 
set up the ITS rules for XLIFF and we effectively extract from the 
particular XLIFF instance into our subset. On completion we recreate the 
original XLIFF file with the translations in place. So far this approach 
has worked very well and we have yet to come across an XLIFF 
implementation we have not been able to tackle.

As for having our XLIFF files processed by other XLIFF implementations, 
we sometimes have to 'correct' the files for full conformity with our 
implementation, but as long as it is valid XML then we can revert the 
data to our valid XLIFF subset. Hope this helps. I would like to see a 
minimalistic XLIFF option for 2.0.

We are very pleased with XLIFF and consider it a real success. The 
alternative is no standard with everyone doing their own thing like in 
the bad old days.

Best Regards,


On 29/05/2010 15:47, Yves Savourel wrote:
> Hi Rodolfo and all,
>> ...people cannot successfully exchange and use XLIFF files today.
> I think it's important to distinguish two types of failures:
> a) The ones due to the limitations provided by the standard.
> And you pointed very good ones, Rodolfo: like the score values for<alt-trans>.
> And there are many more.
> And that's why we are working on 2.0.
> b) The ones simply due to the tools not implementing the standard properly.
> But those failures have nothing to do with the standard being good or not, or limited or not.
> Your example of a tool not accepting re-ordered attributes is a good illustration of this: that is a problem no matter the standard.
> I suspect a lot of the problems a company like Asia-Online faces with things like TMX or XLIFF (e.g. when they clean up the data to feed the MT system) have to do with content not being properly tagged rather than the standard itself. They would likely get similar problems with different standards.
> While the current standards have limitations, and could be much better, they do already allow a lot of seamless exchanges between quite a few tools.
> Have all a great sunny week-end,
> -yves
> =====================================================
> From: Rodolfo M. Raya [mailto:rmraya@maxprograms.com]
> Sent: Saturday, May 29, 2010 4:18 AM
> To: Yves Savourel
> Subject: RE: [xliff] Some interesting comments
> It’s early Saturday morning, had no coffee yet. Read the blog that Yves pointed out and the first thing that comes to my mind is “this guy is right”.
> What makes something a standard, the publisher or the people that uses it?
> Currently, exchange formats used in translation industry are good for exchanging data between users of the same tool. “Open Standards” aren’t much better than proprietary formats today.
> Is XLIFF a standard? There are too many valid answers for this question.
> You can say yes, XLIFF is a standard because it is published by OASIS, an organization that publishes standards. Valid answer.
> You can say no, XLIFF is not a standardized exchange method because people cannot successfully exchange and use XLIFF files today. Well, it usually works fine for users of the same tool but not for users of any tool. Kind of proprietary exchange based on a public XML vocabulary.
> You can have a perfectly valid XLIFF file at hand today but it does not mean you can send it out for translation and receive something you can use. You will be able to use the XLIFF file if it has been translated with a tool that is compatible with the tool that will process the translation.
> Populate your XLIFF file with matches using<alt-trans>  elements and indicate the quality of those matches. Hmm, match quality is “tools specific” according to the XLIFF specification. It could “be a score expressed in percentage or an arbitrary value” (copied from the specification). There is no standardized form for expressing match quality in XLIFF.
> XLIFF is an XML vocabulary. As far as I know, the order of attributes in an XML element doesn’t matter. Nevertheless, there are XLIFF based tools in the market today that cannot accept a file translated in a different tool if attributes are not in the original order.
> XLIFF files can have custom extensions today. That’s encouraged by the specification document. Does this help in the exchange between users of different tools? No. Extensions are being kept proprietary and secret. Some tools that use proprietary extensions refuse to process files translated with different software because a secret value wasn’t set at translation time. Standard?
> Coffee is ready. Will get a cup and think about effective exchange using XLIFF while enjoying it.
> Cheers,
> Rodolfo
> --
> Rodolfo M. Raya<rmraya@maxprograms.com>
> Maxprogramshttp://www.maxprograms.com
> From: Yves Savourel [mailto:ysavourel@translate.com]
> Sent: Saturday, May 29, 2010 12:36 AM
> To:xliff@lists.oasis-open.org
> Subject: [xliff] Some interesting comments
> Hi,
> Someone pointed me to this blog entry:
> http://kv-emptypages.blogspot.com/2010/05/are-there-any-standards-in-translation.html
> It looks like there are some poeple un-aware of the efforts of OSCAR and the XLIFF TC toward 2.0. They look like good candidates to speak at the symposium, or better to join the TC. Maybe some of you know some of them and could contact them?
> It would be nice to see people being more direct and simply talk to the TC or OSCAR. But I guss it's easier to speak to the crowd; one of the side effect of scocial networking :)
> Cheers,
> -ys
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