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

From: Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2007 00:02:22 -0500
Message-Id: <0B025109-F2D2-4139-91C5-38E3949A2774@robburns.com>
To: public-html WG <public-html@w3.org>


On Jul 30, 2007, at 11:14 PM, Sander Tekelenburg wrote:

>
> 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
> general.
>
> 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 basically the same thing I said (though you truncated my  
message).

<http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007Jul/1192.html>

There I said:

"Proving a dialog on "new" can also help the  author change those  
values on a case-by-case basis."

There I was basically suggesting that the  dialog would come up with  
the author's default language and then the author would confirm or  
change and confirm the language.

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

I agree and it's probably worth stressing the need to not  
automatically add errant values (as you did with your email).

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

There I think the direction is very dependent on the language. In  
other words having the language set give everything required for  
directionality (unless I'm forgetting a particular case). In that  
sense the @dir is most useful when @lang is missing. Once @lang is  
there, @dir can be computed accordingly. However, for compatibility  
(with existing UAs in particular), it does not seem like much of a  
burden for authors (with authoring tool assistance) to simply add  
@dir at the same time @lang is added to the root element.

Take care,
Rob
Received on Tuesday, 31 July 2007 05:02:29 GMT

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