To: ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 2 and its WG 2 and WG 3
Title: Liaison Report from CEN TC 304
Source: Erkki I. Kolehmainen,
from CEN TC 304 to ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 2
CEN TC 304, ICT - European Localization Requirements, held its 16th plenary at ETSI in Sophia Antipolis, Southern France, on 9-10 May 2000.
The resolutions contained in TC304 document N955 are included in this report, together with some comments on those resolutions of particular interest to SC2.
The following (8) CEN national standard organisations were present during the adoption of the resolutions: Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece (after resolution 5), Ireland (by proxy held by Finland), Norway and Sweden. CEN affiliated countries Estonia and Poland were also present as were the liaison officers Mike Ksar for ISO/IEC JTC1 SC2/WG2 and Knut Nordby for ETSI TC/HF.
CEN/TC304 encourages the participation of industry through CEN national member bodies. In addition it instructs its secretary to invite the following parties to send a delegate to future TC304 plenaries, to comment on documents and to take part in discussions on email lists: IBM, HP, Microsoft, Unisys, Unicode consortium, Sun Microsystems, W3C, EU terminology services and Infoterm; and to place an open call before the next meeting for other interested parties to inform the secretary of their interest in such participation. This action is to be taken as a consequence of the adoption of a new Business Plan which stated that global vendors and Pan European institutions were to be invited to directly participate in the work of TC304 with observer status (see document N940).
Comment: The invitation was extended to parties that have shown an active interest in TC304. As the result of the open call, other parties may also be invited by resolution. Germany, while supporting this resolution, stressed that the preferred mode of participation should be through National Bodies wherever possible. This point was later stressed also by Greece (not present at the time of this vote), and it was understood that it would be necessary to express this clearly in the letter of invitation.
CEN/TC304 regrets that BSI has withdrawn its active participation in CEN/TC304 and some ISO/IEC JTC1 committees and hopes that BSI will reconsider this decision at a future time. CEN/TC304 appreciates their continued, valuable contributions to its program of work.
Comment: BSI has also withdrawn its active participation from SC2 and SC35.
CEN/TC304 notes that the task of the MES project has been concluded by the acceptance in ISO/IEC JTC1 SC2/WG2 of four new MES collection identifiers for inclusion in ISO/IEC 10646 (see document N954). CEN/TC304 expresses its thanks to the MES project team.
Comment: The swift decision by SC2/WG2 was appreciated.
CEN/TC304 supports the proposal in document N947 for Unique Sequence Identifiers in ISO/IEC 10646 and considers it a good proposal that is a step in the right direction to provide sufficient solutions for IT support of many countries.
France voted No,
Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, and Sweden voted Yes,
Comment: France (and Norway) were strongly opposed to the approach to normalization being adopted by SC2, together with Unicode, W3C and IETF. Norway, however, saw the benefits of the USI even if it they did not see it as the solution for the particular case of the Lithuanian letters, which had been discussed. Other countries, notably Germany, had come to the pragmatic conclusion that, although they have not necessarily accepted the ramifications of the stated web implementation of the normalization algorithm and would prefer to be able to continue the practice of encoding new pre-composed Latin characters in the UCS (for visibility and national prestige, if nothing else), failing that, the USI proposal would provide a workable solution for formal visibility. This workability would, however, be strongly dependent on whether useful implementations would be generally available on a timely basis.
CEN/TC304 notes that the publications of the Transformation Model CEN report (WI 10) and the Guide CEN report (WI 11) have been approved by CEN/BT and thanks the project team members in question. CEN/TC304 supports the editorial comment from Finland, accompanying its positive CEN/BT vote on the Guide report that the following text be added to the document: "This report is a snapshot of a certain situation, based on valuable experience that has been gained in the past few years. Thus, the report does not necessarily take into full account the current move by the IT industry and direct to the use of the Universal Character Set (ISO/IEC 10646-1:2000, equivalent to Unicode 3.0) and the related coding schemes. Consequently a revision of the report would be advisable in a not too distant future."
Comment: The addition was seen as a way to still at this stage inform the users of the availability of more forward oriented solutions (though not specified in the Guide) in cases where they could be applied. Unfortunately, critical comments of importance had been received late.
CEN/TC304 decides to initiate the process to reclassify EN1923 as an ENV and accepts the offer of the Swedish member body to produce a report describing a possible revision of EN1923:1998 to accommodate the characters of the current parts of ISO/IEC 8859.
Comment: In the 15th plenary, a decision was made not to revise EN1923. However, a proposal had been made for this plenary to withdraw EN1923. The interim solution to reclassify EN1923 as an ENV would allow individual CEN member bodies to withdraw it as a national standard and would give an indication of the limited nature of its expected life time. Based on the report, the fate of a revision (as an ENV) will be decided by the next plenary.
CEN/TC304 acknowledges that the Fallback project team has completed its contracted work. Although the proposed draft has received the sufficient support to be forwarded to CEN/BT for final adoption as an ENV, the nature of the comments received is such that it is decided to publish it as a CEN report with editorial comments added by the secretary and reviewed by TC members and observers before final publication.
Comment: Unfortunately, critical comments of importance had been received late.
CEN/TC304 notes that the WS Eurolocale is coming to an end and decides that the outcome be processed further into an ENV. CEN/TC304 also asks the secretary to take the necessary steps to have the CWA registered in the cultural registries, ENV12005 and ISO/IEC 15897.
CEN/TC304 notes the questionable contract management processes between STRI, CEN and the Commission with regard to the project teams set up for the Work Program of TC304. CEN/TC304 requests the Commission to remedy the situation in order to avoid potential legal actions.
CEN/TC304 thanks the editor Keld Simonsen for the document number N942 as the
draft for the taxonomy of TC304 and encourages the members of TC304 to provide enhancements to the editor Keld Simonsen and the secretariat before 1st of July.
CEN/TC304 accepts the disposition of comments for the keyboard report in document N951 and asks the secretary to prepare a letter ballot for TC approval of the keyboard report itself in document N944. If adopted the document will be forwarded to CEN/BT for final adoption and publication.
CEN/TC304 is pleased to note that the EOR project team is ready to deliver the final EOR-1 document (ENV13710) before the end of July 2000, and asks the project team to proceed with EOR-2 as a revision of ENV 13710.
Comment: To the best of our understanding, the relevant standards and CWAs are now aligned.
CEN/TC304 resolves that its next plenary number 17 will be in Brussels in the week of October 23rd. The date and place of the 18th plenary is tentatively set for Helsinki in the May-June 2001 time frame.
Comment: The Helsinki meeting is planned to be synchronized with the SC35 meeting to be held in Stockholm, taking also into consideration the SC22/WG20 and TC46 meetings to be held in the same time frame.
CEN/TC304 thanks for the opportunity given to the plenary members on 9th of May 2000 to discuss localisation issues and especially issues concerning ISO/IEC 10646 with people from the ETSI secretariat in Sophia Antipolis. CEN/TC304 hopes that this meeting has led to a better understanding and opened possibilities for integration of IT and communication equipment in such a way that user requirements are met. CEN/TC304 thanks ETSI for providing TC304 with excellent meeting facilities and especially Marie-Noëlle Girard, Kjell Strandberg and Knut Nordby.
Final comment: The future (work plan) of TC304 is highly dependent on the outcome of a market relevance study to be conducted by a consultancy to be contracted in June.
Of the work items not addressed in the current resolutions, the work for the addition of the euro sign to the OCR-B glyph repertoire is progressing, together with the prerequisite testing arrangement, as well as some of the other projects, e.g. the population of the cultural registry.
Of the TC304 related CEN workshops, the workshops on MES (“Multilingual European Subsets”) and Alpha (“Alphabets of Europe”) are in the process of being closed. A CWA (CEN Workshop Agreement) was reached by WS-MES (see Resolution No. 3) The failure of WS-Alpha to produce a CWA has been challenged and consequently escalated to the CEN/ISSS Forum. Two other workshops, Eurolocale (for Pan-European applications, see Resolution No. 8) and ESR (“European Culturally Specific ICT Requirements”) are in the final ballot phase.
Erkki I. Kolehmainen, Senior Adviser
TIEKE Tietotekniikan kehittämiskeskus ry
TIEKE Finnish Information Technology Development Centre
Salomonkatu 17 A, 10th floor, FIN-00100 HELSINKI, FINLAND
Phone: +358 9 4763 0301, Fax: +358 9 4763 0399