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Re: meta content-language

From: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Date: Sat, 16 Aug 2008 03:18:51 +0200
Message-ID: <48A62AFB.3090108@malform.no>
To: "Phillips, Addison" <addison@amazon.com>
CC: Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>, 'Ian Hickson' <ian@hixie.ch>, 'Henri Sivonen' <hsivonen@iki.fi>, 'HTML WG' <public-html@w3.org>, "public-i18n-core@w3.org" <public-i18n-core@w3.org>

Phillips, Addison 2008-08-14 18.49:

> In looking at 4.2.5.3, I also notice some problems:
> 
> 1. The content language collecting algorithm doesn't deal with
> the fact that there can be multiple languages in the <meta>
> tag. It is written in a way that jams them together. Thus the
> value "fr, de" becomes the language "frde", which is not the


However, that is an invalid language tag. Thus, if we wish that 
the META element should not be looked at when or if it specifies 
several languages, then we could say that the algorithm is good 
enough, per se, provided the UA only uses the language tag if it 
is valid. I don't think that the META tag should serve as fallback 
language information if it contains more than one language tag.

> intention. The algorithm should collect the list of languages
> (and not set the default text processing language). There is a
> note to the effect that it collects only one language, but that
> doesn't fit with how I read the text. Since <meta> can and
> should be permitted to contain a list of languages, an
> algorithm that sets the content language to only the first
> language is inappropriate.

There is currently nothing, I think, which prevent authors from 
making the META content-language element appear several times in 
the same <head> element. Did the algorithm take this into account?

I don't know how Web servers which eventualy is set up to read the 
META content-language element will then read *all* the elements 
and present it to UAs as as some kind of list.

But for those UAs which uses META as fallback when text processing 
language information is lacking -- then I know that if you use 
several META elements (one element per language) instead of one 
element with a list of all the languages, then only the /last/ 
META element will be used for as fallback text-processing 
language. The last will be seen as "overriding" the other META 
elements.

Take for example Firefox. If you add these two elements,

<meta http-equiv=Content-Language content="en,ru,uk,nn,nb,sv,el" >
<meta http-equiv=Content-Language content="de">

then Firefox, in its page-info function, will list both all the 
languages of the first meta element, as well as the 'de' in the 
second element as content languages. Wheras if you try to apply 
the both :lang(en) and :lang(de), then only :lang(de) will work. 
The same goes for WebKit.
-- 
leif halvard silli
Received on Saturday, 16 August 2008 01:19:45 GMT

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