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Re: authoring @lang (was 3.6. The root element)

From: Sander Tekelenburg <st@isoc.nl>
Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2007 06:14:44 +0200
Message-Id: <p0624062cc2d4609cc00a@[]>
To: <public-html@w3.org>

At 12:37 -0500 UTC, on 2007-07-30, Robert Burns wrote:

[... @lang and @dir]

> Instead of just not requiring those attributes, we could also require
> those attributes have author specified values.

Make that "human specified values", because:

> We could give advice
> to authoring UAs that they should retrieve the values from these
> either from their own preferences or from the system preferences for
> the author.

*Many* people run their system in their native language even they though
regularly publish in some other language. So silently inserting that a user's
authoring environment's language into @lang would likely lead to lots of
incorrect @lang values, which would decrease the usefulness of @lang in

What *could* be required of authoring tools is that they encourage the user
to specify the language, and when the user doesn't, that the authoring tool
then does not output a lang atribute at all. I can even imagine that the
authoring tool (unless configured otherwise) by default pre-selects that
user's default system language in a list of languages to choose from. But it
must require the user to confirm or change that selection. Not silently
insert any @lang value.

This is similar to authoring tools silently defaulting to some value for
@alt. See <http://www.w3.org/TR/ATAG10/#check-no-default-alt>.

(Given how many 'rtl natives' also speak english, french, etc. I suspect the
same, although perhaps somehwat less widespread, applies to @dir.)

Sander Tekelenburg
The Web Repair Initiative: <http://webrepair.org/>
Received on Tuesday, 31 July 2007 04:19:36 UTC

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