RE: xml tool questions

Subject: RE: xml tool questions
From: "Joe Malin" <jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 9 Aug 2005 16:32:33 -0700

Dear Devdra,

People who use internationalization and localization interchangeably may
not really understand either one!

*Internationalization* is the process of building or revising something
so that it works anywhere in the world. In software, this usually means
that all GUIs and I/O are based on UTF-8, and so forth. All text
processing uses international routines rather than "assuming" strings
are built from 8-bit characters. The software doesn't assume that all
time zones are one hour apart (they're not!).

"Localization" is the process of building or revising an
internationalized thing *for a particular locale*. For example, when I
localized software for Germany, I had the UI translated into German, set
up the locale information for German currency, time zone, phone number,
address format, and so forth.

"Translation" is the process of taking a UI in one language and building
a UI in another language or languages.

Each process is related, but distinct.

If you want to come across as an insider, liberally sprinkle your memos
with "I18N" for internationalization and "L10N" for localization. These
are commonly used acronyms; I leave the reader to deduce what the
numbers stand for.

By "magically", I mean that you shouldn't assume that some XML tool you
buy comes with the transforms you need. I am certain that tools exist
for transforming XML to HTML and to PDF. You may have to do some work to
set up the transformation; it certainly isn't magical. Like Webworks for
unstructured FM to HTML, you have to define a map that tells the
transformer how to take an XML element and convert it into one or more
HTML elements, and so forth. I am a newbie at this part; I know these
transform tools are out there but I can't name names (yet).


Joe Malin
Technical Writer
jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com
The views expressed in this document are those of the sender, and do not
necessarily reflect those of TuVox, Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: devdra darke [mailto:devdra -at- sympatico -dot- ca]
Sent: Tuesday, August 09, 2005 4:10 PM
To: Joe Malin; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: xml tool questions

I forgot to mention the kitchen sink ;-D Yeah, that about wraps it up.

It is true that xml is not the only way to accomplish the above, but it
is the one that my company will fund - so we'll end up there. I'm just
trying to minimize the bumps along the way.

I'm glad to hear some confirmation that xml is the choice of at least
one localization expert. (I'm also glad to see that other people use the
term 'internationalization', as that is the current favorite around

You mention that "multiple output formats don't "magically" come when
you use XML". Does this mean it is unlikely that I will find a tool that
allows me to 'transform' my xml into a variety of output formats.

I was truly hoping for something like RoboXML or WebWorksXML with some
sort of database query level above it (I know I'm dreaming) where I can
populate my custom, on-the-fly guide from my XML database of content,
then transform it into Help or PDF with the click of a button.

Ah, to dream!


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