[Accessforall] Considerations on labels for terms

Gottfried Zimmermann (List) zimmermann at accesstechnologiesgroup.com
Wed Jun 5 15:07:40 EDT 2013

Here are some thoughts on labels for (registered) terms, as promised in our
call on Monday.  For now, these are just some statements, and I should
probably provide some background information (probably in the call on
Monday).  But I thought I post them to the list ahead of time so there is
sufficient time to think about them before the next call.


I propose to discuss these statements one by one in the 24751 call on





Statements on labels for terms:


1.       Human-readable labels for terms are not first-class candidates for
standardization (as the terms themselves are).  It should be possible to
change a label (or provide additional labels) without invalidating the
status of the pertinent (registered) term.  


2.       We cannot - in general -  expect from a term submitter to provide
labels for their terms in multiple languages. At most, we could require that
a default textual English label and a textual English description is
specified upon registration of a new term.  Other labels (in other
languages) and descriptions (in other languages) will have to be provided by
3rd parties (upon demand).  
Note: The ISO 639-3 set of language codes currently consists of
<http://www-01.sil.org/iso639-3/download.asp> 7874 items! While it is clear
that we would not require labels in all of these languages, it will be
difficult (and somewhat arbitrary) to select a subset of them as mandatory
languages for labels.


3.       Labels can take many forms and variations, e.g. text, image (icons)
in various resolutions, audio (earcon), video (sign language) in various
resolutions.  In the same vein, descriptions can take many forms and
variations (e.g. a diagram could be used to describe a term).


4.       In general, the labels for terms are application-specific like any
other labels for applications.  There are various ways in which applications
deal with this issue (including internationalization aspects), e.g. through
resource bundles or resource sheets. 
Note: In ISO/IEC 24752, labels (in any format) for an application are
specified in (language-specific) resource sheets, which are stored on a
resource server where applications can query and retrieve them.


5.       Nevertheless, there is a value in defining “default labels” for
registered terms, so that applications can use these default labels in case
they don’t have any other suitable labels available. So, there should be
“default resource sheets” (each in a specific language, providing labels in
text format at least) which are to be maintained by term submitters and 3rd
parties.  A Web-based tool would provide for easy editing and versioning.
The process for maintaining the default resource sheets should be very
light-weight (probably automatic), and not require an approval committee.


Conclusion: Labels for terms are subject to user interface adaptation (with
regard to a user’s preferences, and context of use, including the
application they are used in). They should be construed as digital resources
(not standardized) rather than part of a term (concept).




 Gottfried Zimmermann

 Prof. Mobile User Interaction

Hochschule der Medien, Stuttgart, Germany

Phone: +49 711 8923-2751

 Email:  <mailto:gzimmermann at hdm-stuttgart.de> gzimmermann at hdm-stuttgart.de

Web:  <http://www.hdm-stuttgart.de/home/gzimmermann>




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