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RE: ISSUE-88 / Re: what's the language of a document ?

From: CE Whitehead <cewcathar@hotmail.com>
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 2010 22:20:55 -0400
Message-ID: <SNT142-w5600493544F287364790AEB31C0@phx.gbl>
To: <ian@hixie.ch>
CC: <ishida@w3.org>, <www-international@w3.org>, <public-html@w3.org>

Hi.
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 2010 23:10:46 +0000 (UTC)
From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch> 
> On Thu, 1 Apr 2010, Phillips, Addison wrote:
>> > 
>> > It was not an oversight.
>> 
>> The Internationalization working group maintains that, for compatibility 
>> with existing documents, authoring practice, and non-browser tools and 
>> user-agents, the existing syntax of HTML <meta> Content-Language really 
>> MUST be preserved.
> The existing syntax of HTML <meta> Content-Language as defined by HTML4 
> doesn't match what you are proposing. HTML4 says that this feature is for 
> use by servers, not user agents.
O.k.; 'for compatibility with existing documents . . . and non-browser tools and servers' then
> The existing syntax of HTML <meta> Content-Language as defined by legacy 
> implementations doesn't match what you are proposing. User agents only 
> look at the first language, and do not support multiple languages.
> The existing syntax of HTML <meta> Content-Language as defined by existing 
> documents doesn't match what you are proposing. The only effect the pragma 
> has in legacy documents is the effect exposed by user agents, which only 
> look at the first language.
> Non-browser tools and user agents are not affected by the changes you are 
> suggesting, since those changes do not affect the user agent requirements.
> Changing conformance requirements for authors has no effect on existing 
> documents and non-browser tools and user-agents. This leaves authoring 
> practices, but I strongly disagree with your assertion that we want to 
> preserve those authoring practices, since those authoring practices are 
> effectively wasting author time: there's no point authors providing 
> multiple languages if user agents then ignore all but the first.
Hmm.  Possibly so.  All the same I would leave that up to the authors -- and just tell them what most user agents and servers
are currently doing.
> Therefore IMHO the argument you are making above does not make sense given 
> the change proposal you are suggesting.

> I would be interested to know which non-browser tools and user agents you 
> specifically had in mind, by the way. If there really are tools that are 
> affected by this, then we should change the user agent requirements to 
> match what they do. What tools are these?
> . . .
> -- 
> Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
> http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
> Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
From: Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org> 
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 2010 19:25:07 -0000
> Can you share this evidence? If people really are learning how to use this
> pragma, that changes matters significantly.
I do remember that Richard Ishida mentioned some
(in hs 12 March email, reprinted here below):
From: Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org> 
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2010 17:35:02 -0000
> I looked but was unable to find the slides I remember seeing at a conference
> - they showed trends in usage of lang vs pragma for declaring the language
> of the document - ie. it was showing that people appear to be declaring the
> language of content at the element level (not metadata) in the right way.
Best,
C. E. Whitehead
cewcathar@hotmail.com
 		 	   		  
Received on Friday, 2 April 2010 02:21:41 UTC

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