In December 2009 Paula Shannon, Senior VP and General Manager of Lionbridge, stated her belief that this year would be the “year of standards.” Although I’ve mentioned it before in the Globalization Insider, I refer to it again here because 2010 is turning out to be a momentous year for the industry and for the Localization Industry Standards Association, and to quote Randy Bachman, “you ain’t seen nothing yet.” It is my belief that many of the events of this year will resonate with us for a long time to come.
So why exactly do I make this claim? There are three primary events from the last month that are reshaping the standards landscape for our industry:
- ISO and LISA have signed a blanket agreement whereby LISA standards can be submitted for fast-track acceptance as international standards. We already have experience with submitting Term Base eXchange (TBX) to ISO, where it was accepted as ISO 30042, under a provisional agreement. This new agreement formalizes and extends this working relationship and will facilitate new submissions. The first standard we are submitting under this agreement is Segmentation Rules eXchange (SRX), which will be discussed next month in Dublin at the ISO TC37 meetings (see Christine Bucher’s summary of localization-related standards in this issue for more information on TC 37). SRX has been a bit of a “sleeper” standard that has not gotten the attention it deserves. Submitting it to ISO will allow nations to define default segmentation rules for the languages spoken in their countries and when these are adopted as the basis for tool segmentations one of the major obstacles to interchange of segmented linguistic data (and a leading cause of TMX data loss) will be stopped at the source. My prediction is that this tremendously useful standard will come into its own very soon.
- The LISA QA Model is being made into an open standard. Very soon we will see the first drafts of a new standard that will take the existing LISA QA Model and extend it in new directions to make it more useful and, more importantly, fully open. While LISA will continue to sell the LISA QA Model software for those who want to use it, companies will be free to implement the expanded QA Model in their internal processes and companies wishing to create commercial implementations will be able to do so (the LISA QA Model name and mark will be available for licensing where companies wish to use them). The first commercial implementation of the present model is already out in SDL’s TMS. (If you would like to learn more about this implementation, I will be presenting two webinars tomorrow, July 14, along with SDL’s Jeremy Harpham to discuss the LISA QA Model and its future and SDL’s implementation. You can learn more about these webinars and register for them here (10 AM CEST/9 AM BST) and here (1 PM EDT/7 PM CEST).)
- IBM has just donated IBM TM2 into the open source domain. At the recent LISA Forum in Suzhou, Bill Sullivan (IBM) announced that IBM has provided the core executables and code for TM2 as Open TM2 (http://www.opentm2.org) under LISA’s leadership. In partnership with Cisco Systems, Welocalize, the Linux Solutions Group (LiSoG), and FOLT, this project brings an enterprise-class translation workbench to the open-source world. It is indicative of the interest in the project that it received its first support requests within just a few hours of its public announcement, and development activity in response to bug and feature requests is already under way. Of course a lot has to happen, but the early support from major players in the globalization industry has set OpenTM2 off to a good start. I would encourage to read Smith Yewell’s article in this issue about why Welocalize is involved with OpenTM2.
A lot of other things are moving that will result in more news about standards and LISA this year, but I will leave those for the future. But keep your eyes out for other announcements in the next few months.
I’d also like to draw your attention to two other articles in this issue. The first is about an award given to Bill Sullivan at the LISA Forum Asia in Suzhou for his service to LISA and the globalization industry. OpenTM2 plays a big part in the reasons for this award, but IBM’s involvement in the globalization industry has made a big difference in many aspects. The other article, by David Smith and Patrick Hayslett of Lingualinx deals with the use of proxy servers for serving up localized content. Proxy servers promise to simplify the multilingual end-user experience with your site’s visitors, but do require some attention. If you work with multilingual websites, read this article to learn more about whether proxy server localization makes sense for you.
We would like to offer our congratulations to Meihua Lu (HP), who won the drawing for a free LISA Forum pass from among those who submitted evaluation forms for the recent Forum in Suzhou (look for a summary of some of the key points from this Forum in an upcoming release of the Globalization Insider.
And finally, we encourage your feedback about the issues we discuss and the articles we present to you in the Globalization Insider. If you would like to comment on anything you read here or submit your own articles for publication, please contact our new editor, Ms. Caitlin Carroll, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director, Open Standards
The Localization Industry Standards Association