An introduction to XLIFF 2.0


Yves Savourel
MultiLingual June 2014

What is new with 2.0? To start with, the new version is not backward compatible with 1.2. This allows for a new structure with a different representation of the segmentation, as well as an important feature often requested: modularity. The specification splits the format into a base namespace called the Core that all implementations must support and several specialized optional modules. This separation ensures the stability of the format while providing the possibility of future enhancements....

Linked data are an important and increasing part of today’s technologies. So it is imperative for 2.0 to provide a well-defined and interoperable mechanism to point to places inside an XLIFF document.

Unlike in traditional XML documents, an XLIFF document has several sets of IDs that are not necessarily unique within the whole document. So you cannot use something like ref="myFile.xlf#id1" because id1 may be the identifier of several elements. XLIFF has always had this particularity and finally 2.0 addresses it by defining its own fragment identifier syntax. While uncommon for XML documents, there is provision for this type of definition in the MIME Type specification.

The syntax provides a way to specify both the ID value and the context of the element being pointed to....