Subject: The big question of XLIFF scope: Was: Re: [xliff] Element simpleNote
|After seeing Helena’s mail, I must confess that it brings up an area of some concern for me in the potential direction of XLIFF. I know there is at least some support for adding optional modules to deal with segmentation, translation memory, and terminology management (I'm not certain of this list is complete) in order to make XLIFF more self-contained. There is also a proposal to allow XLIFF files to be multilingual (n ≥ 2) rather than strictly bilingual (n = 2).|
I understand that the goal of the first proposal is to lessen XLIFF’s dependence on custom extensions that impede interoperability, but I am concerned that this course of action may have considerable negative consequences, whatever technical merits it may have. In particular, I have the following concerns:
My preference for how to handle the need for these modules would be to look at using namespaces and references to other, independent, standards. I realize that there may be issues with those standards that right now make them unsuitable for XLIFF’s purposes, but I think the proper approach is to try to influence those standards (send feedback to ETSI, or have OASIS propose to create a TC for one or more of the standards in cooperation with ETSI) for future versions or to define compatible subsets (you could define an XLIFF-compatible XCS file for TBX, for instance). Doing so would ensure that we don’t end up splintering the standards environment and would help unify the current situation.
By contrast, the second proposal, to allow XLIFF to be multilingual, would have my full support. I think it makes sense to allow for that to happen. I realize that this change moves XLIFF more in the direction of TM, but it also fits entirely with what I see as the core functions of XLIFF.
I think it's obvious that I am skeptical (at the least) of the increase in scope and additional of modules, but I have to always admit that I may be wrong. However, I think these issues are so crucial that we need to bring them up explicitly to the broader community, not just to XLIFF insiders.
As a result, I would like to invite someone from the committee who is in favor of the expanse in scope to outline the argument in favor of making these changes and I would volunteer to help push that message out to the broader community, paired with my concerns, to try to foster an open dialogue about some issues. The more the broader community is aware of such issues (fleshed out, not reduced to a poll question), the more likely we are to get good feedback that hits the core issues. Lest anyone think that I would be trying to control the process too much, I would invite the dialogue about the precise message (my part and the arguments in favor) to take place on this list until we reach consensus before I send it out to the mailing lists I have access to.
On Jul 19, 2011, at 07:48 , Helena S Chapman wrote:
I second Christian. If XLIFF was to be complete on its own without reference to any other standards, it will never be pragmatic enough for anyone to adopt it.