|Internet media type||
|Latest release||1.2 / February 1, 2008|
XLIFF (XML Localisation Interchange File Format) is an XML-based format created to standardize the way localizable data are passed between tools during a localization process. XLIFF was standardized by OASIS in 2002. Its current specification is v1.2 released on Feb-1-2008.
The specification is aimed at the localization industry. It specifies elements and attributes to store content extracted from various original file formats and its corresponding translation.
XLIFF forms part of the Open Architecture for XML Authoring and Localization (OAXAL) reference architecture.
An XLIFF 1.2 document is composed of one or more
<file> elements. Each
<file> element corresponds to an original file or source (i.e. database table). A
<file> contains the source of the localizable data and, once translated, the corresponding localized data for one, and only one, locale.
Localizable data are stored in
<trans-unit> elements. The
<trans-unit> element holds a
<source> element to store the source text, and a
<target> element to store the latest translated text. The
<target> elements are not mandatory.
<trans-unit id="1"> <source xml:lang="en">Cannot find the file.</source> <target xml:lang="fr">Fichier non trouvé.</target> </trans-unit>
The example below shows an XLIFF document storing text extracted from a Photoshop file (PSD file) and its translation in Japanese:
<xliff version="1.2"> <file original="Graphic Example.psd" source-language="en-US" target-language="ja-JP" tool="Rainbow" datatype="photoshop"> <header> <skl> <external-file uid="3BB236513BB24732" href="Graphic Example.psd.skl"/> </skl> <phase-group> <phase phase-name="extract" process-name="extraction" tool="Rainbow" date="20010926T152258Z" company-name="NeverLand Inc." job-id="123" contact-name="Peter Pan" contact-email="email@example.com"> <note>Make sure to use the glossary I sent you yesterday. Thanks.</note> </phase> </phase-group> </header> <body> <trans-unit id="1" maxbytes="14"> <source xml:lang="en-US">Quetzal</source> <target xml:lang="ja-JP">Quetzal</target> </trans-unit> <trans-unit id="3" maxbytes="114"> <source xml:lang="en-US">An application to manipulate and process XLIFF documents</source> <target xml:lang="ja-JP">XLIFF 文書を編集、または処理 するアプリケーションです。</target> </trans-unit> <trans-unit id="4" maxbytes="36"> <source xml:lang="en-US">XLIFF Data Manager</source> <target xml:lang="ja-JP">XLIFF データ・マネージャ</target> </trans-unit> </body> </file> </xliff>
Current Activity Development Around The XLIFF Standard 
The XLIFF Technical Committee is currently at work on XLIFF 2.0. Much feedback has been gathered from XLIFF's user community which will be synthesized and implemented into the next version of the standard. Two of the primary methods include compiling a list of extensions used by XLIFF toolmakers, and compiling a list of XLIFF features supported in each XLIFF tool.
Extensions Used By XLIFF Toolmakers 
Makers of XLIFF tools have taken advantage of XLIFF's extensibility mechanism in order to implement a number of features. By collecting a list of these extension points, and analyzing them for common tasks, the XLIFF TC hopes to improve the XLIFF 2.0 Specification to include mechanisms that will enable the toolmakers to support these features without using extensibility.
Features Supported By XLIFF Toolmakers 
Makers of XLIFF tools have supported different sets of features in the XLIFF 1.2 Specification. By compiling a list of these features the XLIFF TC hopes to identify areas where the XLIFF 2.0 Specification can be improved to enable toolmakers to more widely support the specification.
XLIFF Related Tools 
File Manipulation and Checking Tools 
- The Okapi Framework provides multiple filters that generate XLIFF documents and various components that use XLIFF.
- Translate Toolkit converts various file formats to XLIFF and provides checking, filtering and manipulation tools for the format.
- XLIFFChecker is an open source cross-platform tool that verifies the validity of XLIFF files against XML grammars and specifications.
- OmegaT (with Benten - a cross-platform and open source CAT tool.
- Pootle - a Web-based localisation platform.
- Swordfish Translation Editor - an XLIFF-based cross-platform CAT tool.
- Virtaal - an open source CAT tool.
- Weblate - Web-based translation tool.
- XTM-CAT is a Web server based CAT environment with extensive support for XLIFF (1.0 through to 1.2) as well as an implementation of the OASIS OAXAL architecture.