ISO/IEC JTC 1                                                         
Information Technology                                                

ISO/IEC  JTC 1 N 5219                   

DATE:  1998.02.10     


Other document (Defined)                                              

Recommendations from the JTC 1 Cultural Adaptability Workshop (CAW)   
1998-01-20/22, Ottawa, Canada                                         

JTC 1 Cultural Adaptability Workshop                                  


This document is forwarded to JTC 1 NBs and SCs for comments to be    
submitted to the JTC 1 Secretariat by the due date indicated.         
Comments will be reviewed at the JTC 1 Sendai Plenary in June and a   
final decision will be taken at that time.                            


DUE DATE:  1998.05.11

DISTRIBUTION:  P and L Members                                             

DISKETTE NO.:            

NO. OF PAGES:  4         

Secretariat, ISO/IEC JTC 1, American National Standards Institute, 11 
West 42nd Street, New York, NY  10036; Telephone:  1 212 642 4932;    
Facsimile:  1 212 398 0023; Email:                 

CAW N 32
Recommendations from the JTC 1 Cultural Adaptability Workshop (CAW)
1998-01-20/22, Ottawa, Canada


Recommendation 1: Technical Direction

CAW recommends that JTC 1 formulate the following new Technical Direction:

Title: Cultural Adaptability and User Interfaces in Information Technology


  • Generic cultural adaptability including multi-lingualism
  • Coded character sets and their characteristics
  • Interfaces and interaction between users and systems

    Method: B+ or C+
    Note: "+" stands for an expanded role as lead organization for JTC 1 cultural adaptability considerations and external links related to them.

    Recommendation 2: Policies and Processes to Ensure Cultural Adaptability

    In order to  ensure appropriate implementation of cultural adaptability in JTC 1 standards, CAW advocates that:

    1. JTC 1 directives address the requirement for cultural adaptability.

    2. Form 3, Proposal for a New Work Item, be modified to address the requirements for cultural adaptability. The following is possible wording under "Purpose and Justification":


        " b) The requirements and objectives of the standardization activity with
        respect to cultural adaptability. If there are none, this should be indicated."

    4. NP Acceptance Criteria be modified. The following is possible wording under "Business Relevance, A.1" as a second paragraph:


        "Specific attention shall be given to the requirements of cultural
        adaptability and the interoperability of cultural adaptability features with
        other relevant JTC 1 standards."

    6. each JTC 1 subcommittee assume responsibility for ensuring appropriate assessment of cultural adaptability requirements for project subdivisions by addressing this annually in project business plans.

    Recommendation 3:  Elaborations

    The CAW did not have time to address the request of JTC 1 to "elaborate or amend the definition of cultural adaptability" as contained in the document JTC 1 N4627.  This work remains to be done. In this context CAW recommends the following elaborations:

    Cultural adaptability should be extended beyond adaptation of a standard or technology to specific cultures, but also provides for interoperability among different cultures.

    Interfaces and interaction between users and systems encompasses input and output devices in information technology environments, including multimedia, in the following domains:

    Recommendation 4: Placement of SC 2, JTC 1/WG 5 and SC 22/WG 20

    CAW recommends that SC 2 and JTC 1/WG 5 be placed under this new technical direction.  For the placement of SC 22/WG 20, see the following note:

    NOTE: The scope of the proposed new TD Cultural Adaptability and User Interfaces should include responsibility for JTC 1 wide cultural adaptability.  However, two existing projects that are already assigned to SC 22 should be completed by SC 22 (Programming Languages & Software Interface TD). These are ISO/IEC 14651 (International string ordering), and ISO/IEC 14652 (Specification method of Cultural Conventions). After the completion of each project, maintenance work of the resulting standards should be transferred to the new TD.  Project 22.15435: ISO/IEC 15435 (Internationalization API) should be the subject of further discussion by SC 22 and JTC 1.

    Recombination 5: Response to the CALS Community concerning Multi-byte Character Sets and Internationalization

    CAW reviewed the contribution from HLSG on CALS in document CAW N 07.  CAW feels that there is a misunderstanding regarding the content of ISO/IEC 10646 and the relationship between SC 2/WG 2 and the Unicode Consortium.  The following is a much more detailed explanation in response to the specific question regarding character sets.

    ISO/IEC 10646 does support a full range of character sets used by all nations. Most national body character set requirements have been included as part of various amendments to ISO/IEC 10646.  In addition, there are several proposals under review, which address repertoire additions from several national bodies, liaison organizations and experts via a well-defined process.

    SC2/WG2 has a good working relationship with the Unicode Consortium.  Both organizations continue to work on the same common architecture and extension mechanisms. The Unicode Standard 2.0 publication is in sync with ISO/IEC 10646 through amendment 7.  Future publication of Unicode Standard 3.0 and the next edition of ISO/IEC 10646 are being coordinated to ensure synchronization of the content as well.  The latest amendment of ISO/IEC 10646, # 22, is in progress.

    CAW recommends to JTC1 to relay the above explanation to the CALS community and to extend an invitation to them to participate in future SC 2/WG 2 meetings to help clarify and avoid any misunderstandings.

    Recommendation 6 : Responsibility and Visibility

    In the area of cultural adaptability, valuable work is being done outside of JTC 1.  Some of this work is being done within regional organizations where JTC1 National Bodies are participating, and some is done in other organizations developing standards and specifications.

    CAW recommends to JTC1 that this work be recognized, employed, and, where necessary, referenced in JTC1 standards.


    CAW  expresses its appreciation to:

    1. the drafting committee for its timely preparation of the recommendations.
    2. SC 2 and the CAW Planning Committee for planning and executing this workshop.
    3. the National Body of Canada for hosting this workshop and providing the meeting facilities and administrative support.  In particular,  special thanks to the following individuals:
    4.     Mr. Carman Mondello

          Mr. Joe Côte
          Mr. Doug Langlotz
          Ms. Nancy Coll-Brault

    5. SCC and its Sponsors -  IBM, ITAC, Northern Telecom, Digital Equipment, Industry Canada, Treasury Board Secretariat , Canaglobe International Inc.

    List of Attendees to the JTC 1 Cultural Adaptability Workshop, 1998-01-20/22, Ottawa, Canada  

    Shibano, Kohji Convener (SC 2 Chair) 
    Kimura, Toshiko Secretariat (SC 2 Secretariat) 
    Aihara, Shinya Japan
    Bobal, Komal Canada
    Clews, John UK
    Cortot, Jean-Louis  France 
    Coté, Joseph Canada 
    Farance, Frank  US
    Freytag, Asmus The Unicode Consortium 
    Hamon, M. Claude.  France 
    Hodgkinson, Richard JTC 1/WG 5 Convener 
    Kido, Akio  Japan
    Knoppers, V. Th. Jake Canada 
    Kolehmainen, Erkki I  Finland 
    Ksar, Mike SC 2/WG 2 Convener 
    La Bonté, Alain  Canada 
    Lewis, Steven  US
    Messier, Royal Canada
    Mondello, Carman  Canada 
    Mouzard, François Canada 
    Neuville, Yves France
    Oksala, Stephen P. US 
    Pereira, Janice Canada
    Riess, Rudolph M. US 
    Sato, Takayuki K. Japan 
    Shildneck, Jean JTC 1 Secretariat 
    Sigurdsson, Thorgeir Iceland 
    Simonsen, Keld  Denmark 
    Soor, Baldev  Canada 
    Thiess, Helmut  US
    Wallace, Ann SC 22
    Winkler, Arnold SC 22/WG 20 Convener