Preparations for the JTC1 special meeting on internationalization and cultural diversity in Geneva, most likely June 2-3, 2003



1.                The premise: 


After WG20 had canceled the CLAUI meeting due to lack of any agenda item or other contribution, it became obvious that the JTC1 Technical Direction did not work.  Therefore, JTC1 discussed the idea of TDs and came to the following resolution:


From the resolutions in JTC1 N6927:



Resolution 21 - Dissolution of Technical Directions

JTC 1 has reviewed the original purpose and current results of creating Technical Directions and has determined that in general, TDs have not achieved the intended purpose. Therefore, JTC 1 eliminates Technical Directions as a concept for JTC 1.

Nevertheless, JTC 1 notes that cross-SC coordination is extremely important and continues to be a top priority for JTC 1. JTC 1 instructs and expects its SCs to use all of the tools available to them (for example, those listed in JTC 1 N 4776, the JTC 1 Toolbox) to ensure efficient and effective coordination.


Resolution 22 - Cooperation and Coordination of Cross Cultural and Linguistic Matters

JTC 1 instructs its Chairman to organize a meeting of SC 2, SC 22/WG 20 and SC 35 to facilitate the cooperation and coordination of the projects within JTC 1's Program of Work relating to cross cultural and linguistic matters. Additionally, all other JTC 1 National Bodies, Subcommittees, Liaison Organizations and JTC 1 Recognized PAS Submitters are encouraged to attend.

JTC 1 recommends this ad hoc meeting address the following agenda items:

·         coordination of standards development for projects relating to cross cultural and linguistic matters affecting multiple SCs and ways of cooperation

·         recommendations to JTC 1 on the appropriate SC or joint SC work for development of related standards

·         consideration of how to address these issues on an ongoing basis (e.g., special working group, collocated meetings, joint working group) and ensure continuity by periodic review


Scott Jameson (HP), chair of JTC1, is therefore calling a meeting according to the instructions in resolution 22 of the JTC1 meeting in France in 2002.  The meeting will be held directly before the JTC1 SC chairs meeting in Geneva – June 2-3, 2003.  This gives the best chance that the chairs of the relevant SCs will be present at the meeting (Shibano-san for SC2. John Hill for SC22, and Yves Neuville for SC35).  I expect that Frank Farance, chair of SC36 (Learning Technologies) will be there, and in all probability also Keld Simonsen and Alain LaBonté. 


For SC22/WG20 and INCITS/L2, the US TAG to WG20, this meeting is an excellent opportunity to:

·         make its situation clear to everybody,

·         get some projects assigned to other SC2 for maintenance,

·         prevent the concept of a new work item on the “Functionality of I18N APIs,

·         and – with a lot of god luck – could get a recommendation to be disbanded after completion of its current work. 


This is the situation we have to deal with, and we can do so in various ways – this paper is intended to start the discussion about the best way to get what we want and consider “right” for the USA.



2.                Options for participation:


2.1.           I see a few options here:

·         Neither WG20 nor L2 participates

·         Either WG20 of L2 participates (L2 in this case would represent SC2 or WG20)

·         Unicode participates as liaison to SC2 and to WG20

·         Unicode does not participate

·         CT22, the US TAG to SC22

·         V2 participates as TAG to SC35

·         any combination from above


2.2.           Possible candidates are:

·         Ken Whistler as convenor of WG20

·         Cathy Wissink as chair of L2

·         Michel Suignard as IR of L2

·         Mark Davis as president of the Unicode consortium

·         Rex Jaeschke as chair of CT22

·         Bill LaPlant as chair of V2

·         any other member of L2, Unicode,CT22, or V2 as delegate of the organization


2.3.           Participation by Proxy


If neither WG20 nor L2 is able to participate, it might be a good idea to work with a “proxy” such as Michael Everson who has indicated that he would like to attend this meeting, if the NB of Ireland can come up with the funds needed.  This proxy could not speak for the US, but would fight for the same goals, the US would have pursued.


Other possible “proxy” candidates might be Kent Karlsson from Sweden, Jon Diamond from the UK, or even Erkki Kolehmainen from Finland. 


2.4.           Contribution


And we need a CONTRIBUTION, agreed upon by all interested bodies in the USA, with the recommendations we would like to see forwarded to JTC1 and implemented – it is much easier to accept a proposed recommendation than to write one from scratch.


Such a contribution will also help to keep the delegates in line with agreed positions. 



3.                Relevant projects in SC35 and SC2


Both, SC2 and SC35 have significant contributions to internationalization, SC2 through its Universal Character Set standard ISO/IEC 10646, and SC35 through its interest in assessing I18N.



3.1.           SC35 projects





Project Editor






TR 19764

Guidelines, methodology, and reference criteria for cultural and linguistic adaptability in information technology products


WG 5








3.1.1.      SC35 documents


These documents can be found in the SC22/WG20 document register




Guidelines, methodology, and reference criteria for cultural and linguistic adaptability in information technology products (working draft for TR 19764)

SC35 N0460
Alain LaBonté



Draft report of the SC 35 Plenary meeting held on 20th November 2002 in Athens, Greece.

SC35 N0477

2003-10-17 ?



3.2.           SC2 projects


SC2/WG2 has the most important project for internationalization – ISO/IEC 10646 – Universal Character Set (UCS)

You know much more about that project than I do, for the final version of the US contribution we will have to add some text here.



4.                The state of SC22/WG20


WG20 has presently about 5 permanent participants – Norway, Canada, Korea, Germany and the USA.  Depending on the meeting location, personal attendance varies between 4 and 6 delegates, with options for dial-in participation for subjects of specific interest.  As an example, the last meeting had 3 countries represented, and 2-3 teleconferencing for limited parts of the meeting.


WG20’s project list is not very long, the list of active projects even shorter:


4.1.           WG20 Project list









Amendment of TR 10176

Guidelines for the preparation of programming language standards

Akio Kido

Makoto Noda





Amendment #1 to TR 10176
Correction of Annex A

Arnold F. Winkler

22.13.2 completed

TR 10176 third edition

Arnold F. Winkler





TR 10176 fourth edition

Marc Küster





TR 11017: Framework for internationalization
This project is completed

T.K. Sato
Arnold F. Winkler

no output

Functionality of the internationalization of applications (umbrella project)

Keld Simonsen


ISO/IEC 14651: International string ordering

Alain LaBonté


ISO/IEC 14651: International string ordering, Amendment #1 for 10646-2

Alain LaBonté

ISO/IEC 14651: International string ordering, Amendment #2

Alain LaBonté


ISO/IEC TR 14652: Specification method for cultural conventions

Keld Simonsen





ISO/IEC 15435: Internationalization API

Keld Simonsen





ISO/IEC 15897: Procedures for registration of cultural elements

Keld Simonsen


From this project list it is quite obvious, that the work of WG20 is almost completed. 


4.2.           Open Projects of WG20


4.2.1.      Maintenance of IS 14651 – International String Ordering


The maintenance of IS 14651 is necessary to account for all characters that are added to ISO/IEC 10646.  This work is being done in SC2/WG2.


The recommendation from National Bodies and the former convenor of WG20 was that the maintenance of the table that drives the culturally correct ordering be assigned to SC2/WG2 for the following reasons:

·         The experts in character encoding are also the experts in culturally correct ordering, they are all in SC2/WG2

·         All sorting experts in WG20 are also in SC2/WG2 (Alain LaBonté, Keld Simonsen, Professor Kim, Ken Whistler, Marc Kuester).  Additionally, SC2/WG2 can provide help for scripts, not represented in WG20 through additional experts, e.g. John Clews, Kent Karlsson, Mark Davis, Markus Scherer, as well as experts from Japan, China, and Indian Languages.

·         Since SC2/WG2 decides, which characters will be included in IS 10646, the maintenance of the 14651 table is only a small additional task for the experts,  The ordering table could be approved faster that by WG20 which meets only once every 9 months.


Recommendation to the JTC1 ad-hoc meeting on cross cultural and linguistic matters:


Recommend to assign the maintenance of the “Common template Table” to SC2/WG2.



4.2.2.      Publication of TR 14652 – Specification method for cultural conventions


This project is completed but not published.  ITTF does not like references to specific countries’ objections to the technical content of the TR, which were approved by the National Bodies in the DTR ballot.  If the voting process is faulty, fix it; but until then accept the voice of the National Bodies.



4.2.3.      Enhance the registration process in IS 15897 – Registration of cultural elements


The registration process of 15897 is being aligned with the registration process in ISO 2375 for the registration of character sets.  If the editor cooperates, the standard should be ready for FCD ballot in April 2003. 

[By the time of the ad-hoc meeting in June 2003, this issue should be settled].


If the registration standard is approved, it is the job of the registration authority to perform their job according to the standard.



4.2.4.      Maintenance of the Annex A for TR 10176 – Guidelines for the preparation of programming language standards


The Annex A specifies the characters from the full repertoire of IS 10646 that are recommended for identifiers in programming languages.  The experts for this task are not in WG20, they are in various working groups in SC22. 


My personal recommendations:

Leave the TR as it is, there are enough characters available for identifiers, and it is not necessary to go beyond the BMP with this repertoire.


But there might be other opinions with other solutions, e.g.:

an ad-hoc at each SC22 plenary to approve a table prepared by Unicode

an ad-hoc at each SC22 plenary to approve a table prepared by SC2/WG2





4.3.           Potential additional projects



4.3.1.      Locale identifiers (Frank Farance)


Frank Farance has indicated that his SC36 would take on the definition of identifiers for “locales”.  Nobody else feels inclined to do so, and the POSIX project is going into maintenance mode. 


Frank has promised to send a report about their project, but so far I don’t have anything …


4.3.2.      API functionality (Keld Simonsen)


In the meeting in Tromsř in June 2002, WG20 asked the National Bodies to send contributions to such a project to Pat Hall, who had volunteered to collect the contributions and to prepare a comprehensive paper.  No contribution was submitted, the UK withdrew from WG20, and no other action was taken.  Keld Simonsen would still like to have a TR on the functionality of APIs for internationalization, although a similar project has been withdrawn by SC22.



5.                Testimonials:


These are excerpts from various documents that support the concept of internationalization.


5.1.           SC35N0422: 


SC35Support on CLAUI TD coordination principles


This document presents a general view on SC35 acceptance of CLAUI TD coordination principles

and is also an informational response to resolution M42.27 of ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG 2 meeting

42, held in Dublin, Ireland, on 2002-05-20/23.

SC35 supports the resolutions proposed by the CLAUI TD coordination meeting held in Paris in

December 2001, suggesting that an official meeting of the TD chairmen and interested convenors

and editors, be held every year in conjunction with the JTC1 Plenary to avoid additional costs and

possible meeting schedule conflicts.

These principles were already adopted by all CLAUI TD parties involved in presence of the JTC1,

SC2, SC22 and SC35 chairmen at the JTC1 Tromsř Plenary at the end of 2000 and cast in

document JTC1 N 6336 (see annex for the relevant excerpts). The 2001 JTC1 Business Plan

(JTC1 N 6602, point 2.2.7) reaffirms: "JTC1 gave extensive guidance on cultural and

linguistic adaptability and user interfaces by increasing its coordination efforts to

better satisfy the user's requirements and growing market needs in this field."

There is a need to maintain a real open think-tank, and a face-to-face meeting is the only realistic

way to develop and coordinate the proactive search for projects useful to fulfil the strategic

orientation of JTC1 regarding cultural and linguistic adaptability and user interface issues, in line

with the CLAUI TD foundation framework approved at the JTC1 Rio de Janeiro Plenary in 1999.

It is necessary to try to satisfy user requirements and also to maximize real worldwide end-user

access to the information society. International Standards in this field are also in the interest of

the ICT vendors and producers, so that their market be developed with minimum trade barriers.

The past CLAUI coordination meetings already produced successful results in identifying related

work items, some of which are under progress. This gives a chance for the officers to connect

together and have a wider approach beyond their specialties, so that horizontal understanding of

end-user and market needs have better chances to be achieved through the International

Standardization process.

It is necessary to have a strong home on CLAUI topics in JTC1. That is why, after various lastminute

cancellations or refusals to hold and lead meetings in turn, a formal proposal has been

made by the last CLAUI TD coordination meeting to make sure that those annual meetings be

systematically held.

It is not enough to say that "We support the goal of ensuring support for Cultural and Linguistic

Adaptability and User Interface (CLAUI) related considerations in all JTC 1 standards" (ref.:

resolution M42.27 – SC2/WG 2) so that this be achieved by magic. The approach has to be

constructive and proactive and there must be a formalized effort of all CLAUI directly-involved

parties to reach this goal and not only rely on individual initiatives or outside organizations.

In the same time, concerning the discussions being held in the Special Group on JTC1 Future,

we support the necessity to confirm the existence of horizontal TDs like CLAUI to favor the full

coverage of the ICT domain in horizontal as well as in vertical standards, alongside with

application-dedicated ones.



5.2.           SC22/WG20 N959:


Title:                Contribution of SC22/WG20 to the 2002 CLAUI coordination meeting

 Date:                2002-06-10

Source:            ISO/IEC SC22/WG20


SC22/WG20, at its June 2002 meeting in Tromsř, in a positive effort to contribute to the 2002 CLAUI coordination meeting, to be held in France just before the JTC1 Plenary, agreed on the following:


·         SC22/WG20 supports resolution 1 (on merging of the 2 parts of 10646) and resolution 4 (on free publication of certain CLAUI TRs) of the 2001 Paris CLAUI coordination meeting. That should be presented at the next JTC1 meeting in the CLAUI TD report.


·         SC22/WG20 would really like an open discussion between SC2 and SC22 of the following sensitive issue about ISO/IEC 14651 management, as neither SC2, nor SC22/WG20, are able to come to a consensus whether or whether not it should be transfered from SC22/WG20 to SC2 (nobody was bold enough to make any formal proposal in that sense). The current proposals are:


·         the creation of an official rapporteur group on Ordering in SC22/WG20 (SC22/WG20/RGO) and the statutory co-location of WG20 meetings with SC2/WG2 so that both the SC20/WG20/RGO and SC2/WG2 ad hocs on ordering meet one day together while the rest of WG20's work is done in the days after or before SC2/WG2 meetings (at the minimum SC20/WG20/RO should be co-located with SC2/WG2)


·         making WG20 also a joint WG of SC2 and SC22 (SC22/WG20 and SC2/WG4?), a bit like JTC1 is a joint TC of both ISO and IEC: this would require approval by JTC1, but that would probably be simply a formality, the votes for the work items involved would then simply be done by joint ballot of the national bodies of both SCs.


·         SC2, SC22/WG20 and SC35 lack a common vision in their way to comprehend the horizontal rôle of the CLAUI TD in JTC1 and the synergy that is required to proactively come up with cultural-and-linguistic-adaptability-related new work item proposals – example: in gray zones setting directions for user-interface-controled parameters in software, for functionality developed in SC22 or SC2 – to help solve horizontal problems of JTC1. SC22/WG20 believes that these three bodies should develop such a vision together and commit themselves to it. Coordination would be much easier with such a common vision and would buy all the three bodies' will to cooperate proactively.


·         SC22/WG20 believes that the CLAUI coordination meeting should always be co-located and tighly held along with a JTC1 Plenary, and that the statutory report to JTC1 required by the CLAUI TD be made by one person designated by consensus for two years among the three heads of the concerned bodies.



5.3.           SC22/WG20 N1003


Resolutions from the WG20 meeting in Busan, Korea, on February 11-13, 2003


Resolution R2003-02-04: Internationalization

WG20 notes that internationalization depends on mutual respect between
and peaceful coexistence of the different cultures of this world.



6.                Conclusions:



·         Somebody ought to go to Geneva and represent L2’s view of the situation.

·         The US (L2) needs to write a contribution for the meeting in Geneva.

·         WG20 should not accept any new project; it should rather complete what is still open and go into maintenance mode or be dissolved.

·         14651 maintenance should go to SC2/WG2

·         10176 maintenance should go to an SC22 ad-hoc, based on input from L2 (Unicode).  A decision about the use of “non-BMP characters” in identifiers in programming languages needs to be taken by SC22.  A position paper from L2 and Unicode might help.

·         15897 must be completed by WG20 to ensure some “bite” in the registration review process, then the responsibility will go to the registration authority and the review panels.

·         We need to be wary of SC35 and possibly SC36 projects that could affect I18N without L2 having the option to influence the result.



I wrote (and plagiarized) this paper as the basis for comments and eventually a teleconference between all interested parties.  I can host such a conference at any time – I will be on vacation from March 4 through 12, 2003 though. 


Please let me know, if you are interested in participating in the effort to specify the US position and join a teleconference in the not too distant future. 



Hope to hear from you soon.