The first two words of WWW mean "world wide," and this is one important aspect of the Web that the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) (news, site) is currently focusing on. With about 2 billion Internet users around the world across continents, not everyone is speaking the same language. Given the relative increase in use of non-English languages in Web content, the W3C recognizes the importance of standardizing access to multilingual content for best compatibility and usability.
Through the W3C Internationalization Activity, the organization aims to standardize use of the web so as to transcend language barriers. The W3C will be conducting a workshop entitled "Content on the Multilingual Web" on April 4 to 5, 2011 in Pisa, Italy. Organized through the EU-financed Multilingual Web Project, participation is free, although participants are expected to shoulder their own travel and lodging expenses.
2010 Madrid Workshop
The Pisa event acts as a follow-up to an earlier workshop conducted late 2010 in Madrid where the current state of localization and multilingual use was explored through the perspective of various stakeholders: developers, creators, localizers, users and even machines (with developers speaking for the infrastructure-related concerns).
2011 Pisa Workshop
The W3C has issued a call for participation for the upcoming workshop in Pisa, which aims to continue the discussions put forth in the Madrid workshop, which should ultimately be pieced together as a four-part series of workshops.
The Multilingual Web project is looking at best practices and standards related to all aspects of creating, localizing and deploying the Web multilingually. The project aims to raise the visibility of existing best practices and standards and identify gaps. The core vehicle for this is a series of four events which are planned for the coming two years."
Again, while registration is free, the workshop logistics only permit a limited number of participants on a first-come, first-served basis. Presenter participation will usually entail 15 to 20 minute talks on best practices relating to multilingual access, new standards and ways to fill in the gaps that these best practices and standards are not currently able to address.