ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 35 N851

Taxonomy of cultural and linguistic adaptability user requirements

Source: Keld Simonsen

Introduction and scope

In order to approach standardization in a systematic way, a common approach is to develop a way to classify the subject area, or a taxonomy. This helps in two ways:

- a taxonomy helps to identify all aspects of the domain in question which might be subject to standardization;

- a taxonomy helps to provide a logical structure for the standardization activity.

A taxonomy has been developed of relevant concepts in the domain of of cultural and linguistic adaptability, based on user requirements for functionality, as discussed in Clause 4 of Part I of the CEN/TC304/PT01 report on User requirements on IT.

By way of an application, all known current standards and standardization activities have been grouped according to this taxonomy, thus forming another type of taxonomy, that of the standards themselves.

A taxonomy of cultural and linguistic adaptability user requirements.

The present classification of the concepts was made through the identification of commonalties, such as characters, sets, fonts and rules relating to presentation. The analysis was based on a much wider view of "multi-cultural support", which attempts to map some of its concepts. Areas relevant to this taxonomy were chosen and developed into the full taxonomy, shown in clause 3.2. This latter choice comprises the technology which relates to methods for specifying, and rules governing, the creation of unique properties and codes which facilitate the presentation, storage and transmission of individual characters.

The taxonomy in clause 3.2 was based on references ISO/IEC TR 10000-1, ISO TR 12382 and IEC 824 and the activities of appropriate standardization bodies, but most notably the work of ISO/IEC JTC 1.

Description of classification

3.1 Description

User requirements may be summed up in the single phrase "multi-cultural support", being the need to accommodate all the requirements of different types of users, whether they are racial, national, typographical, occupational or individual. The primary choice was for text based topics, in line with the capability of computer technology to code, store and process individual characters.

The taxonomy in clause 3.2 takes the classic form of a tree structure, where two major classes are recognized; Locales and Characters. The former deals with the cultural environment of the user, the latter with the smallest divisible parts that make up the messages which are being electronically processed.

A taxonomy of whatever phenomena can be constructed in several ways, depending on its purpose and the aspects applied. (For instance, a number of persons may be grouped firstly according to age, then according to gender, then according to place of living -- or precisely the other way around, according to need.) A taxonomy for standardization purposes naturally has to take into account the most practical ways to group existing standards and standardization projects as well as the logical connections between them and any conceptual "holes" which may need to be filled in order to cover the full need for standardization.

The following taxonomy is thus intended to provide a map for almost all of the user requirements. Therefore the level of subordination in some cases go very deep -- this does not mean that the actual standardization projects need a taxonomy of the same complexity. When a sub-level is empty of existing or future standards, the entries in that sub-level are simply collapsed and only the level above remains.

3.2 The taxonomy

What follows is a specification of the taxonomy. There is no further information, eg. on where this work is going on, as this information changes quite frequently. That information may then be provided via web page that can be updated more frequently than a Technical Report.
Code Title
/ (no id) TAXONOMY
L/1 Specifications
L/11 Languages
L/111 Natural languages
L/1111 Vocabulary
L/11111 Standard terminology
L/11112 Thesauri
L/11113 Standard phrases
L/11114 Translation
L/1112 Grammar
L/1113 Orthography
L/11131 Alphabet
L/11132 Spelling
L/11133 Use of special characters
L/11134 Capitalization
L/11135 Hyphenation
L/11136 Punctuation
L/11137 Transcription
L/11138 Ordering
L/11139 Personal names and titles
L/1114 Speech
L/12 Cultural conventions
L/121 Cultural elements
L/1211 Orthography
L/12111 Date and time format
L/12112 Numeric separators
L/12113 Monetary format
L/12114 Telephone number format
L/12115 Payment number format
L/12116 Mail address format
L/12117 National places
L/1212 Measurement system
L/1213 Layout styles
L/1214 Paper sizes
L/13 Operating system dependency
L/132 Other TOG
L/2 Registration
L/21 Procedures
L/211 Europe
L/2111 National
L/212 World-wide
L/3 Implementation
L/31 Fallback
C/1 Character information
C/11 Identification
C/111 Characters
C/1111 Identifiers
C/1112 Attributes
C/112 Repertoires
C/1121 Graphic characters
C/11211 Natural language alphabets
C/112111 Europe
C/1121111 General
C/1121112 Elderly/disabled
C/112112 World-wide
C/11212 Programming language alphabets
C/11213 Non-alphabetic symbols
C/112131 General
C/112132 Disabled/elderly
C/1122 Control functions
C/1123 Registration
C/113 Glyphs
C/1131 Registration
C/1132 Character correspondence
C/114 Glyph repertoires
C/1141 Registration
C/1142 Repertoire correspondence
C/12 Manipulation
C/121 Transformation
C/1211 Case conversion
C/1212 Transliteration
C/1213 Fallback representation
C/2 Input/output
C/21 Input
C/211 Keyboard
C/212 Other means
C/22 Output
C/221 Character repertoires
C/222 Character attributes
C/3 Electronic processing
C/31 Processing of coding schemes
C/311 Encoding of graphic characters
C/312 Encoding of control functions
C/313 Code transformations
C/3131 UCS--UCS
C/3132 UCS--other coding schemes
C/32 Interchange/communication
C/321 7-bit method
C/322 8-bit method
C/323 Multiple-octet method
C/33 Internationalization support
C/331 Programming languages
C/3311 Language-dependent
C/3312 Language-independent
C/332 Operating systems
C/333 Communications
C/3331 Directory services
C/3332 Telematics


CEN/TC304/PT01 User requirements on Information Technology.