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

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2010 06:08:29 +0000 (UTC)
To: "Phillips, Addison" <addison@amazon.com>
Cc: Mark Davis ☕ <mark@macchiato.com>, "www-international@w3.org" <www-international@w3.org>, HTMLwg WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.64.1002220544110.20980@ps20323.dreamhostps.com>
On Mon, 22 Feb 2010, Phillips, Addison wrote:
> The problem that Mark (and Richard) are referring to (I think) is the 
> <meta> pragma, which is not currently and should not be changed to be, 
> IMHO, considered the "primary" language of the document. This pragma can 
> contain a list of languages. One of these might be inferred to be the 
> primary (outer) document processing language if the 'lang' attribute is 
> missing. And that, in a nutshell, is what I think we're wrestling with 
> here: whether the pragma should be wired up to 'lang' in that case, and, 
> if it has more than one language, which language should be applied.

The spec's definition of the Content-Language pragma is specified as it is 
because that's what user agents do with that pragma. Making it do 
something else would require changing user agent implementations.

It would be helpful to know what practical problem having Content-Language 
at all actually solves... having it specify multiple languages wouldn't 
work well with CSS or speech synthesisers, for instance. Originally I was 
going to just make it non-conforming outright, but we left it in based on 
feedback that there were lots of pages that specify it and that removing 
it was as much of a waste of time as adding it, so we didn't want people 
to be told their pages were non-conforming just because they had this 
vestigial <meta> element in their pages. Validators include a warning to 
authors to this effect, to discourage new authors from using it.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Monday, 22 February 2010 06:09:00 UTC

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