IETF-92 Proceedings

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Selection of Language for Internet Media (slim) (WG)

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Charter (as of 2015-03-16):

Description of Working Group:

A mutually comprehensible language is helpful for human communication. This is true across a range of circumstances and environments. In general, the problem is most acute in situations where there is not a clear choice for a single language, such as environments lacking contextual or out-of-band information regarding the identity of the parties and the language to be used.

The group will address two specific cases that most urgently need a technical solution: One problem space is non-real-time communication, specifically email for one-to-many or where the set of recipients is dynamic or different recipients require different languages; the other is real-time communication, specifically emergency calling, preferably also useful for other cases where the parties may not know each other personally or where one party wishes to accommodate people with varying language and media needs.

In the real-time communication case, language and media are intrinsically linked, for example, signed languages require a video media.

While the two use cases are in different contexts (real time and non-real-time), the fundamental goal is the same: to enable selection of the best-fit language(s) for a specific situation. Some of the details will also be in common across the cases. Having a single WG address both cases makes it clear that these are two aspects of the same basic problem. A single WG also makes it easier to maximize similarities and avoid unnecessary fragmentation of the solutions.

The group will produce two specifications: one for email and one for real-time communications.

In the email case, the group will produce a media-type specification that enables a single email message to contain multiple language versions of the content, with provisions to help clients select a best fit version.

In the real-time communication case, the group will produce a specification enabling negotiation of a human language per media stream. The specification must be suitable for use in emergency communications as specified in RFC 6443 and RFC 6881 (which use SIP and SDP to negotiate media); it is desirable to also be suitable for use in non-emergency real-time communications that share the same call set-up and media negotiation protocols. The mechanism will permit the caller's media and language needs and preferences to be matched against what the called party is able to provide. The mechanism will permit resources (e.g., translation, relay, media) to be allocated or engaged as early as possible in the call set-up or for the call to be routed or handled specially (e.g., routed to a resource able to provide a needed language and/or media).

By adding language to the existing media negotiation mechanism as used in RFC 6443 and RFC 6881, the group can meet the basic use cases with minimal added complexity and be able to enhance later for additional use cases as needed.

Goals and Milestones:
July 2015 -- Submit "Multiple Language Content Type" to the IESG
November 2015 -- Submit "Negotiating Human Language in Real-Time Communications" to the IESG