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XLIFF Version 1.2 Adopted as OASIS Standard

Members Approve XML Localisation Interchange File Format (XLIFF) 1.2 as OASIS Standard

IBM, Lionbridge, Oracle, Red Hat, SAP, and Others Collaborate on Open Standard for Interoperability between Localization Tools

Boston, MA, USA. February 11, 2008.

OASIS, the international open standards consortium, today announced that its members have approved the XML Localisation Interchange File Format (XLIFF) version 1.2 as an OASIS Standard, a status that signifies the highest level of ratification. Developed through an open process by the OASIS XLIFF Technical Committee, the new standard defines a vocabulary for storing localizable data and carrying it from one step of the localization process to another.

"XLIFF enables interoperability between tools throughout the digital content localization lifecycle. It provides publishers with a standard data interchange container that can be understood by any localization provider," noted Tony Jewtushenko, who co-chairs the OASIS XLIFF Technical Committee with Bryan Schnabel.

"XLIFF is a powerful and concise format for content that needs to be translated," said Schnabel. "Until now, we've had to develop custom mechanisms for data providers and translators to accomplish localization. With XLIFF, we have an open standard that is efficient, predictable, and transferable for tool makers and localization service providers, as well as for content owners."

The new standard defines how to mark up and capture localizable data that can interoperate with different processes or phases without loss of information. Tool-neutral, XLIFF supports the entire localization process, including common software, document data formats and markup languages. It provides an extensibility mechanism to allow the development of tools compatible with an implementer's data formats and workflow requirements. The extensibility mechanism supports controlled inclusion of information not expressly defined in the specification.

"OASIS members have succeeded in reducing the complexity of localizing software by providing a standard, XML-based, end-to-end resource container," explained James Bryce Clark, director of standards development at OASIS. "Software and documentation publishers can extract content into XLIFF and localize it — over and over again — using shrink-wrapped solutions, customized tools or even automated enterprise workflow systems. XLIFF's built-in support for Computer Aided Translation technologies such as translation memory and machine translation add even greater process efficiency."

Successful use of XLIFF 1.2 was verified by Lionbridge, the Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA), the University of Limerick Localisation Research Centre (LRC), and SDL, in accordance with eligibility requirements for all OASIS Standards. XLIFF was developed under the Royalty-Free on RAND Terms Mode of the OASIS Intellectual Property Rights Policy, which generally requires committee participants to license their Essential Claims using royalty-free elements.

To encourage widespread adoption, the OASIS XLIFF Technical Committee continues its work defining implementation guides for some of the most commonly used resource formats (HTML, Java Resource Bundles, and Gettext PO Files). Participation in the Committee remains open to all government agencies, companies, non-profit groups, academic institutions, and individuals. Archives of the work are publicly accessible, and OASIS offers a mechanism for public comment.

Support for the XLIFF OASIS Standard


"The XLIFF standard is a vital part of the translation tool kit, supporting our efforts to move XMLbased structured content seamlessly through the translation process," said JoAnn T. Hackos, PhD, president, Comtech Services and chair of the OASIS DITA Translation Subcommittee.


"As an early adopter and promoter of XLIFF, Lionbridge continues to strongly embrace XLIFF as an open standard for the localization industry. As usage increases, our customers appreciate the flexibility of the native XLIFF support provided within Logoport today. After many years of domination by proprietary formats, the XLIFF standard facilitates interoperability in a fragmented localization tools industry, providing customers and practitioners with the freedom to choose their language tools," said Eric Blassin, vice president, Language Technology, Lionbridge.


"One important factor for SAP's success in the marketplace is our broad experience with globalization, internationalization, localization and translation of our solutions. We congratulate the working group for another important milestone," said Michael Bechauf, Vice President, Industry Standards at the Global Ecosystem and Partner Group, SAP.


OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards), drives the development, convergence, and adoption of open standards for the global information society. A not-for-profit consortium, OASIS advances standards for SOA, security, Web services, documents, e-commerce, government and law, localisation, supply chains, XML processing, and other areas of need identified by its members. OASIS open standards offer the potential to lower cost, stimulate innovation, grow global markets, and protect the right of free choice of technology. The consortium has more than 5,000 participants representing over 600 organizations and individual members in 100 countries.

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Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See details in the news story New OASIS Standard: XML Localization Interchange File Format (XLIFF) v1.2

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