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TBX overview

ISO 30042 Ballot

The production version of the TBX website (http://www.tbxinfo.net) will be frozen starting February 1st until the the ISO 30042 ballot closes on April 26th. During the time, please see the development version (http://tbxinfo-dev.byuling.net/) where an issue tracker will be implemented. By March 1st, everyone interested in TBX will be able to post comments about the production website. These website comments will be separate from the official ISO commenting template for the proposed DIS version of ISO 30042.

Any mention of TBX Default should be understood to refer to the master list of TBX data categories, rather than to a TBX dialect. Eventually (after the ballot ends in April), the website will be updated and the obsolete term TBX Default will no longer be mentioned except in historical notes.

TBX, or TermBase eXchange, is the international standard for representing and exchanging information about terminology.

The current version of the TBX standard was published in 2008. The next version is under development. In preparation for the next version, whenever you receive a TBX file, please check the value of the type attribute on the root element.

For example, in <martif type=”TBX” xml:lang=”en”> the type is simply TBX. The constraints on TBX are expected to be in an XCS file. However, in practice, the XCS file is often missing or not processed.

In the next version of TBX, the root element will be “tbx” instead of “martif” and the type cannot be simply “TBX”. It must be the name of a TBX dialect, for example “TBX-Basic”. Each dialect name is associated with a clear definition of that dialect expressed as a set of one or more modules. Each module clearly indicate which data categories are allowed, at which levels, with what values.

This change will address the single most common complaint about the current version of TBX: if there is no XCS file associated with a TBX document instance, you don’t know what to expect. In the new version there is no XCS file; there is a dialect name; and you do know what to expect.

Even before the next version of TBX is published, it will be possible to use a dialect name as the value of the type attribute and find out about that dialect on the Dialects tab of this (the TBXinfo) website.



  • Archiving the information in a termbase
    • To support future software change
  • Exchanging information between systems (three examples)
    • Authoring (send monolingual information from a termbase to an authoring tool)
    • Translation (send a subset of the information from a termbase to a translator)
    • Data mining (export most/all information from a termbase for analysis using XML)
  • Guiding the design of a new termbase for interoperability

For more information about TBX please see the posted content of this website.


Last updated: January 30, 2018 at 10:02 am

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