The Only Game in Town
Later this month, the TAPICC initiative will launch four working groups with more than 60 volunteers.
There are a few things worth noting about why it’s happening now and why it’s happening at GALA.
Today, TAPICC is the only open-source, collaborative R&D initiative in the industry. There are simply no others. And, as cloud and automation are the most undisputed drivers of innovation and opportunity, it’s also a visionary initiative.
Why not OASIS? Do we need another standards body? Do we need another standard?
Since the early days of GALA’s work on collaborative initiatives, there have been questions like: why not OASIS or W3C?; why do we need another standard?; is GALA going to become a standards body?
Well, for one thing, both OASIS and W3C are expensive to participate in, and they also have a very different timeframe. It takes a “long-haul” perspective to participate in large standards organizations; their sheer size and elaborate processes make them almost totally out of reach for the translation and localization industry, where most of the actors are much smaller beasts.
Innovation is expensive. Some innovators are trying to raise venture funding in hopes of creating something “disruptive” and getting ahead of the pack, but what if the goal is just to simply build better roads for everybody?
With the TAPICC initiative, GALA lowers the barrier for R&D work for everyone. You can invest as much or as little as you can.
Also, forget about making another exercise of re-inventing the wheel, or doing something that is not natural for an industry association: TAPICC is not a pre-standardization effort, nor is it a post-standardization effort. It’s a collaborative playground aimed at finding a practical view on what the common useful components of Open Translation API should be, doing some R&D around that, and arriving at useful recommendations and examples.
What is quite inspiring is that Jamie Clark (OASIS guru on copyright and community work) has been very, very enthusiastic about the initiative. He said that this is something that OASIS would really encourage, so as to become either a seed of a future OASIS standard, or an implementation example for XLIFF 2.1 and XLIFF OMOS efforts. The interest and support of David Filip, who is a TAPIC Steering Committee member, is another confirmation of the fact that TAPICC does not compete with the interests and goals of standards bodies, but represents instead a very much needed complementary effort.
TAPICC is hoping to produce results that are of practical use for GALA members and the industry as a whole: recommendations, drafts, and samples of code.
This baby has hair and a moustache!
Since the very beginning, the TAPICC Steering Committee has clearly envisioned the proper legal framework to allow this initiative to grow, thrive, and mature–we have pondered and considered several options, and settled the 3-Clause BSD License (BSD-3 Clause) and Creative Commons Legal Code (CC-BY 2.0 License), which ensure that the results will not be appropriated by anyone and will stay in the public domain.
In this regard, TAPICC is just as mature as OASIS IPR itself, and safe to join for large corporations. If they can join OASIS or W3C, they can join TAPICC. (So don’t hold back!)
This baby has power
Why did many previous efforts fail or stall out? In part because there simply wasn’t enough power behind them. Excellent progress has been made, but with small working groups, limited resources, and narrower scope, the initiatives’ reach and acceptance have been limited.
TAPICC, on the contrary, is supported by a mature industry association, and backed with genuine commitment and drive from its leadership and staff, technical resources, PR power, and a growing body of engaged volunteers. GALA leadership and staff see this effort as seminal and meaningful for the industry and the project is sitting on the shoulders of a sophisticated global organization. GALA provides invaluable coordination and project management support–it really helps.
As TAUS sees it (and they are right), the localization and globalization industry is quickly becoming a high-tech industry.
(Not to mention those aliens we whom we will soon meet on Mars when one million earthlings arrive to colonize it–then we are really going to need a Universal Translation API!)
I think you need to join this project right now. You can start by joining one of the four working groups launching at the end of this month. Check them out in GALA Connect and contact GALA staff if you have any questions ([email protected]).