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

From: Sander Tekelenburg <st@isoc.nl>
Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2007 09:33:49 +0200
Message-Id: <p06240632c2d48a1f7a9b@[192.168.0.101]>
To: <public-html@w3.org>

At 00:02 -0500 UTC, on 2007-07-31, Robert Burns wrote:

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

[...]

>> What *could* be required of authoring tools is that they encourage
>> the user to specify the language [...]
>
> This is basically the same thing I said [...]
>
> "Proving a dialog on "new" can also help the  author change those
> values on a case-by-case basis."

Yeah. I ignored that on purpose ;) because "new" is not the only situation to
which this applies. Consider the situation where one person edits existing
content that was authored by another person. The edit may well consist of a
language change, perhaps a partial one. So with every edit, not just on
"new", the authoring tool should allow the user to explicitly define @lang. A
new document is just a special case, where the tool must require either user
input, or insert no lang attribute.

[...]

>> (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.
> [...] Once @lang is there, @dir can be computed accordingly.

I don't think so. I don't speak most languages :) but for sure it isn't as
clear cut as a specific language equaling a specific direction. (Or else why
the need for @dir at all?) @dir is about scripts, not languages. One language
can be expressed in different scripts, so can have different directionalities.

I've no idea how widespread that practice actually is, but for instance
romanization of hebrew appears to be rather common:
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanization_of_Hebrew#Modern_uses>. Notably
"Some Hebrew speakers use romanization to communicate when using Internet
systems that have poor support for the Hebrew alphabet." suggests that at
least romanization is likely used in many other languages as well. (But
always take Wikipedia with a grain of salt.)


-- 
Sander Tekelenburg
The Web Repair Initiative: <http://webrepair.org/>
Received on Tuesday, 31 July 2007 07:39:46 GMT

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