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Re: Language tags on root

From: François Yergeau <francois@yergeau.com>
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2005 16:16:07 -0500
To: aphillips@webmethods.com
Cc: Misha Wolf <Misha.Wolf@reuters.com>, public-i18n-core@w3.org, i18n IG <w3c-i18n-ig@w3.org>, www-html@w3.org
Message-id: <41F95A17.4020300@yergeau.com>

Addison Phillips [wM] a écrit :
> A couple of notes on Misha's comments.
> 
> 
>>The code for multiple languages is "mul":
>>   http://www.loc.gov/standards/iso639-2/englangn.html#mn
> 
> 
> Language tags and ranges containing the primary language "mul" (and its
> friend "und" for undetermined) are deprecated by RFC 3066 (item 6 in section
> 2.3). Tagging a document's root element with "mul" is essentially
> meaningless.

Not quite, as you show just after:

> It does
> indicate that multiple languages exist in the document and that none of them
> are to be considered the primary language.

or the processing language (per the terminology of 
http://www.w3.org/International/geo/html-tech/tech-lang.html).  It does 
tell a user-agent that it must look elsewhere for this information.

> But having an empty xml:lang does the same thing (effectively).

Very much, but with a twist in the context of requiring xml:lang on the 
<html> element (with the goal of increasing the near-zero fraction of 
web pages that are tagged).  If xml:lang is required but allowed to be 
empty, common practice may very well move from "not tagged" to "tagged 
with empty", an illusory gain.  xml:lang should therefore be required to 
be non-empty, but then "mul" must be allowed for multilingual documents 
with no single primary language or sensible default processing language.

-- 
François
Received on Thursday, 27 January 2005 21:17:12 GMT

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