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< Contents ERCIM News No. 61, April 2005

W3C Issued Critical Internationalization Recommendation

The goal of the Character Model for the World Wide Web is to facilitate use of the Web by all people, regardless of their language, script, writing system, and cultural conventions, in accordance with the W3C goal of universal access. One basic prerequisite to achieve this goal is to be able to transmit and process the characters used around the world in a well-defined and well-understood way.

As the number of Web applications increases, the need for a shared character model has become more critical. Unicode is the natural choice as the basis for that shared model, especially as applications developers begin to consolidate their encoding options. However, applying Unicode to the Web requires additional specifications; this is the purpose of the W3C Character Model series.

'Character Model of the World Wide Web - Fundamentals' is the first in a set of three documents. Building on the Universal Character Set defined by Unicode and ISO/IEC 10646, it gives authors of specifications, software developers, and content developers a common reference for text manipulation. The two other specifications are in development: ";Character Model for the World Wide Web 1.0: Normalization" specifies early uniform normalization and string identity matching for text manipulation, and "Character Model for the World Wide Web 1.0: Resource Identifiers" specifyies IRI (International Resource Identifier) conventions.

Character Model of the World Wide Web Fundamentals:
W3C Internationalization (I18N) Activity: