[Mirrored from: http://www.ile.com/opentag/press.htm]

Press Release


ILE Proposes Open Industry Standard for Localization Data

(February 28, 1997) BOULDER, CO -- International Language Engineering Corporation, a leading software localization firm, today announced a proposal for an open standard for data interchange within the localization industry. By launching the OpenTag Initiative, ILE is seeking to establish a working group in which both localization customers and their suppliers can participate in defining a standard that will support open data encoding methods during the localization process, and permit robust data interchange between suppliers and customers.

As part of the OpenTag Initiative, ILE will contribute a draft specification of the format, sample files, and reference materials, all based on previously proprietary ILE information and technology, to facilitate adoption of the initiative by the localization industry. This proposed standard itself relies on the international open standards of XML/SGML and Unicode.

"Many of our key customers have expressed support for this initiative," said Bernard Gateau, Chairman of ILE. "Translation data encoded in the OpenTag format will be portable among localization tools. Clients rightfully want to reuse these existing translations, or potentially share them as an asset among localization suppliers, and a standard like OpenTag can cost-effectively support that." ILE often uses these types of technologies, Gateau asserted, when providing localization services to its clients, a roster of which includes many leading software and hardware companies.

"Through reliance on this open standard," Gateau continued, "global companies can gain efficiency when localizing products, especially when using translation memory tools. Unfortunately, the promise of easy reuse often falls short because of reliance on proprietary formats."

Gateau said that OpenTag could reduce dependence on proprietary formats, and thereby boost the ability of localization companies to reuse these translation assets. With OpenTag, translated text can now be marked up in a uniformly abstracted manner, regardless of the original file format from which it is parsed. This process distills the actual translated words into a common format that can easily be reused among different components of product, such as among an application's menus and dialog boxes, its online help systems, and its documentation. By leveraging previous translation work, Gateau explained, companies can also gain consistency and reduce redundant translations when updating current products or releasing future products.

ILE is currently pursuing discussions with other companies, and expects to announce the founding supporters of the initiative in the coming months. The first meeting of the working group will be scheduled this spring once membership is finalized. Additional information regarding the OpenTag format and the initiative can be found on the ILE web site (http://www.ile.com/opentag/).

International Language Engineering Corporation is a leading ISO 9001 certified software localization and internationalization firm headquartered in Boulder, Colorado. It also is a developer of innovative localization tools and technologies. Founded in 1984, its 160 employees service many leading software, hardware, telecommunications, and medical technology companies from its Boulder location as well as from offices in Boise, Idaho and Santa Clara, California.


Walter Smith, Publishing Technologies Manager, ILE, 303-546-8209
Bernard Gateau, Chairman, ILE, 303-546-8202

ILE and International Language Engineering are registered trademarks or service marks of International Language Engineering Corporation. OpenTag is a trademark of International Language Engineering Corporation.