November 9, 2002

Common XML Locale Specification Released

The Free Standards Group Open Internationalization Initiative, OpenI18N
(formerly known as Li18nux) announced the release of the XML specification
of the common XML locale data. The Common XML Locale Repository project is a
joint effort among the members of the Linux Application Development
Environment (aka LADE) Workgroup of the Free Standards Group. "The founding
members of the workgroup are IBM, Sun and OpenOffice.org. The workgroup is
open to additional members, both industry and community. The purpose of this
project is to devise a general XML format for the exchange of culturally
sensitive (locale) information for use in application and system
development, and to gather, store, and make available data generated in that
format.

"Interoperability has been significantly hampered by the lack of any
acceptable repository for locale data," said Mark Davis, IBM chief
globalization architect. "By having a single format for gathering and
comparing data specific to different countries, it will make it far easier
for programs and systems to provide consistent results to people all around
the globe, no matter what language they speak. To support this effort, we
have volunteered to host the initial work on the ICU website
(http://oss.software.ibm.com/icu/)."

The LADE Workgroup has finalized the XML specification of the culture
information data to be shared by the application developers creating
globalized software. It is also in the process of creating a set of modular
standards such that the culture information repertoire can be used based on
one or more components or as a whole, depending on the end users' needs.
This approach allows for true scalability.

"The ability to process and present culturally sensitive information has
become a significant issue with the popularity of the Web, said Helena Shih
Chapman, The Free Standards Group OpenI18N LADE Workgroup leader.
"Application developers can now make use of the information provided by the
Common XML Locale Repository to provide the correct international behavior
to the application end users."

Locale/culture information standards for Linux ensure that Linux and
Linux-based software will have the infrastructure necessary to address the
advanced needs of world-wide ready software, creating yet another
indispensable tool for Linux. Information on the Common XML Locale
Information Repository can be found at
http://oss.software.ibm.com/cvs/icu/locale/. To learn more about LADE
Workgroup and how to join, please see http://www.openi18n.org/subgroups/.

About the Free Standards Group
Supported by industry leaders, the Free Standards Group is an independent,
vendor-neutral, non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the use
and acceptance of open source technologies through the development,
application and promotion of standards. Headquartered in Oakland, Calif.,
the Free Standards Group fulfills a critical need in the open source
development community to have common behavioral specifications, tools and
APIs, making development across Linux distributions easier. More
information on the Free Standards Group is available at
www.freestandards.org.

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