On June 2, 2011, the GALA Standards Initiative released the first public version of the action plan to develop global localization industry standards.
The document emphasizes the crucial significance of standards in industry development: the standards are meant to simplify interaction among localization process participants, remove contradictions and obstacles that hinder work in the network of service providers, eliminate barriers of incompatibility of different technologies and business processes, and make the work of industry professionals more effective in general.
The localization industry has no shortage of standards as such, and their number is growing with each passing year. However, the application of standards remains problematic, as many existing standards are unknown, too obscure for potential users, complicated, insufficient, or are enforced ineffectively.
For the standards to serve the industry better, efforts to this end must include, besides the development of standards, the coordination of standards-related research, educational efforts, and promotion of new ideas in the field of standards.
Even though the localization industry has multiple groups addressing aspects of standardization, the industry needs in the field of standards are unmet, which has become especially obvious after the winding-up of LISA.
This past April, GALA announced its own initiative in the field of industry standards. The chief objectives of the initiative are to create an open representative structure for coordinating industry-wide standardization efforts, set up a shared platform for research and discussion of industry standards, ensure coordinated and effective application of industry standards, promote standards and educate users. These efforts will be founded on the principles of openness, transparency, and cooperation, making it possible to consolidate industry efforts along these lines, avoid overlaps, use best experience and ideas, and factor in the needs of all the interested parties.
GALA (The Globalization and Localization Association) is the world's largest international non-profit organization in the field of localization. It unites providers of language services and technologies, localization professionals and other industry representatives. Because the GALA mission is to represent the localization industry on a global scale, standardization efforts in this field are a key aspect of this mission. GALA also possesses the requisite experience and infrastructure to organize such efforts.
While coming forward with the initiative to shape industry standards, GALA does not seek the role of a developer of standards, but assumes the function of coordinating and promoting localization standards.
Logrus President Serge Gladkoff is one of the three authors of the Gala Standards Initiative. As a leading Russian provider of translation and localization services, Logrus plays a major role in the global localization industry.