ISO 21720 XLIFF (XML localization interchange file format)

This Draft is to be commented on and balloted by 16th December towards publication as an international standard in 2017.


This international standard provides a software provider with a single file format that can be understood by any localization provider.

Note the following is part of a message from Dr David Filip Chair of the relevant OASIS Technical Committee concerning the fact that this document is out of the ordinary ISO process and will be arriving as a DIS on a fast track and as he explains – it is not for comment, only to vote it through as an ISO and OASIS standard.

Dear all, you have probably noticed that a new ballot appeared, the DIS/FDIS ballot to approve XLIFF 2.0 as an ISO International Standard. The deadline is XXXX.

This is not a typical vote for our SC, XLIFF 2.0 is an OASIS standard that has been submitted through the fast track process by an A liaison OASIS and its XLIFF TC.
OASIS XLIFF TC is the maintainer and developer of the XLIFF standard and the standard can be only further developed by that committee in any material or even editorial way. The XLIFF 2.0 major version however went through the full OASIS Standard approval and publishing process, is set in stone in other words, and no one, even not OASIS is logically capable of making any changes to it.

The deal between OASIS and ISO says that ISO will be able to take over, maintain and develop the XLIFF work item just in case XLIFF TC ceases to operate and as result to exist (OASIS has an automatic end of life policy for TCs that stop operating for whatever reasons). Nevertheless, the XLIFF TC does not foresee to shut down in the near or foreseeable future. On the contrary, it is busy working on adding XLIFF features in backwards compatible dot-release of XLIFF 2. XLIFF 2.1 is feature complete, near technical stability and should ship in early 2017. There were already two rounds of Requirements Gathering for XLIFF 2.2 and the deadline for proposing features for 2.2 is October 2016.

Therefore, in case you have any editorial suggestions how to improve the XLIFF standard, don’t vote against in this XLIFF 2.0 DIS/FDIS ballot, but rather send those comments to the XLIFF TC through its commenting facility
Those potentially proposed changes will be considered by the XLIFF TC and may be included in the current Working Draft of XLIFF 2.1
that should become the 1st Public Review Draft during the summer 2016.

It is very easy to incorporate proposed changes in XLIFF 2.1 at this stage, as the 1st Working Draft has not been approved in any degree by OASIS or the committee. However, in the interest of backwards compatibility of all XLIFF 2 versions, current and future dot-releases; the TC would be wary to accept any proposed material changes that could affect the XLIFF 2 core guaranteed interoperability.

In case you think you have a minor or major bug fix for 2.0 or 2.1, you should also submit it for XLIFF 2.1 through the said commenting facility and still vote “Yes” in the current XLIFF 2.0 fast track ballot.