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language attributes and terminology

From: Tex Texin <tex@i18nguy.com>
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2005 11:17:38 -0800
Message-ID: <4210F952.BFB9525@i18nguy.com>
CC: public-i18n-core@w3.org

ok, I read the text, thanks.

I don't see that it changes my comments, but I understand your concern
for clarity. I have a concern in turn.

We have a problem with redefining terms used in the standards. I
appreciate we need to clarify, but primary language is used in html 4.01
to refer to both content-language and lang attribute, and we now have
our own language distinguishing these and reusing the standard's term in
a singular way. This will be confusing as existing standards that
reference html 4's terminology and mean one thing, will be different
from new standards that we have encouraged to use the new terminology
without highlighting the change.

I also think we should be careful with putting spins on the standards
and spreading our own new gospel since it doesn't get the benefit of as
wide a review. Feels a bit like rewriting the constitution without
actually voting on an amendment. (For a thoroughly non-international
metaphor!)

Please highlight in the document
http://www.w3.org/International/geo/html-tech/tech-lang.html that the
terminology has been refined and is not as used in the standards. We
might also look for the usages and make sure the new version fits all
the references.

I note for example, section 8.1.2 in HTML implies that they are all
equivalent since one is inherited from the other:

An element inherits language code information according to the following
order of precedence (highest to lowest):

The lang attribute set for the element itself. 
The closest parent element that has the lang attribute set (i.e., the
lang attribute is inherited). 
The HTTP "Content-Language" header (which may be configured in a
server). For example: 
Content-Language: en-cockney

User agent default values and user preferences. 



And the next para uses primary language which "we" would like to replace
with text-processing:

In this example, the primary language of the document is French ("fr").
One paragraph is declared to be in Spanish ("es"), after which the
primary language returns to French. The following paragraph includes an
embedded Japanese ("ja") phrase, after which the primary language
returns to French.


Redefining language jeopardizes our ability to be 1) authorative and 2)
understood.
The former, because we may be seen as saying things contradicting the
standard. The latter is obvious.

That said, we are in good company, as a great egg once said "Words mean
exactly what I choose them to mean"
;-) (Humpty Dumpty)

Not looking to start a contraversy, just raising a concern.

tex

Richard Ishida wrote:
> 
> Tex,
> 
> I agree with your concern about 'requiring', but please read carefully
> http://www.w3.org/International/geo/html-tech/tech-lang.html before
> continuing with this thread, noting the recommendations that touch on
> documents with multiple primary languages and the careful use of the terms
> 'primary language' and 'text-processing language'.
> 
> Let's also maintain a separate thread about the WCAG techniques and/or
> guidelines, otherwise this will become totally confusing (note that I didn't
> address the lack of clarity in the WCAG techniques in my mail - we have sent
> comments on that before).
> 
> RI
> 
> ============
> Richard Ishida
> W3C
> 
> contact info:
> http://www.w3.org/People/Ishida/
> 
> W3C Internationalization:
> http://www.w3.org/International/
> 
> Publication blog:
> http://people.w3.org/rishida/blog/
> 
> 
> 
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Tex Texin [mailto:tex@i18nguy.com]
> > Sent: 14 February 2005 18:00
> > To: Richard Ishida
> > Cc: 'Michael Cooper'; 'WAI WCAG List'; public-i18n-core@w3.org
> > Subject: Re: [techs] Test 49 Suggestion
> >
> > I think this bears a little discussion. I agreed with
> > Richard's wording but noted that Michael spoke of requiring it.
> >
> > A *requirement* for html elements to have a lang attribute,
> > is different from the recommendation that it is a good idea
> > to have it specified.
> >
> > Perhaps in the context of the test guidelines, requirement
> > has a special meaning. If not, we should not insist on html
> > elements having a lang attribute.
> >
> > For one, the head contents can have their own langs, as
> > noted. For my pages, I sometimes translate the content
> > descriptions and keywords, etc.
> > and so the head has no single language. (I wish we could have multiple
> > titles!)
> >
> > For two, unfortunately a document can only have one primary
> > language, even though there are documents that are
> > multilingual in nature and may not have one overriding language.
> > It would therefore be misleading to force the multilingual
> > document to have a single primary language and should be
> > quite fine to move the lang attribute to the body or lower in
> > the document. (Anyone try html with two bodies?)
> >
> > For most documents the recommendation is quite right, put the
> > lang attribute on the html element. But I would be careful
> > with *requiring* it.
> >
> > I noted also that the guideline refers to language setting by
> > http. If this is referring to content-language, that
> > describes the intended audience, not the language of the
> > document, and they may be different.
> > And I never quite figured out what to do if the
> > content-language listed multiple languages, since the
> > document can only be assigned one primary language.
> > Is there another way for http to declare the language of a document?
> > If not, the guidelines should clarify the distinction.
> >
> > tex
> >
> >
> > Richard Ishida wrote:
> > >
> > > Apologies. This links is much better than the one below:
> > > http://www.w3.org/International/geo/html-tech/tech-lang.html
> > >
> > > ============
> > > Richard Ishida
> > > W3C
> > >
> > >
> > > > -----Original Message-----
> > > > From: public-i18n-core-request@w3.org
> > > > [mailto:public-i18n-core-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of
> > Richard Ishida
> > > > Sent: 14 February 2005 15:43
> > > > To: 'Michael Cooper'; 'WAI WCAG List'
> > > > Cc: public-i18n-core@w3.org
> > > > Subject: RE: [techs] Test 49 Suggestion
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > [Copying i18n]
> > > >
> > > > Just noticed this.  Please do not recommend putting language
> > > > information on the body element.  Please strongly
> > recommend that it
> > > > be put on the html element.
> > > >
> > > > Please also look at http://www.w3.org/TR/i18n-html-tech-lang/
> > > > before designing your test.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Also, note that the test procedure is incorrect in step
> > 6.  A French
> > > > Canadian document may be marked up as fr-CA, which is
> > more than just
> > > > a ISO
> > > > 639 language code.  (Another example, Simplified Chinese may be
> > > > zh-Hans, using a special IANA-registered code.)  The correct
> > > > reference point is RFC
> > > > 3066 *or it's successors* (since one is currently in
> > preparation).
> > > > This is a large set of possibilities, so I'm not sure how
> > you will
> > > > easily be able to test that the code is correct.
> > > >
> > > > Alternatively, you might recommend that the *first part* of the
> > > > langauge code is an ISO 639 or IANA registered code.
> > > > Just thought that up, so I'm not sure whether it makes sense.
> > > >
> > > > Also, you should reconsider your test files
> > > > - the examples shown seem to assume an XML MIME type, rather than
> > > > text/html by saying that the lang attribute is invalid
> > > > -     or did you mean that the language attribute value,
> > > > "language", is
> > > > invalid? - in which case, you should still specify the MIME type
> > > > used (ie.
> > > > currently text/html)
> > > >
> > > > Best regards,
> > > > RI
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > ============
> > > > Richard Ishida
> > > > W3C
> > > >
> > > > contact info:
> > > > http://www.w3.org/People/Ishida/
> > > >
> > > > W3C Internationalization:
> > > > http://www.w3.org/International/
> > > >
> > > > Publication blog:
> > > > http://people.w3.org/rishida/blog/
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > > -----Original Message-----
> > > > > From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org
> > > > > [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Michael Cooper
> > > > > Sent: 14 February 2005 15:11
> > > > > To: WAI WCAG List
> > > > > Subject: RE: [techs] Test 49 Suggestion
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > I think there is nothing wrong with providing the "lang"
> > > > > attribute on the <body> element, but I think we should
> > > > still require
> > > > > it on the <html> element. This is a place we can expect
> > > > user agents to
> > > > > be consistent in looking for the attribute. Also, there are
> > > > elements
> > > > > in the <head> section of the document that require language
> > > > > information, such as the title, description, keywords, and
> > > > potentially
> > > > > others. While it possible to see the attribute on those
> > > > individually,
> > > > > I just think it is good practice to have the attribute at
> > > > the highest
> > > > > level possible. Michael
> > > > >
> > > > > > -----Original Message-----
> > > > > > From: Chris Ridpath [mailto:chris.ridpath@utoronto.ca]
> > > > > > Sent: February 11, 2005 2:54 PM
> > > > > > To: WAI WCAG List
> > > > > > Cc: y.p.hoitink@heritas.nl; Michael Cooper
> > > > > > Subject: [techs] Test 49 Suggestion
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Yvette suggested that another way to pass test 49 [1] would
> > > > > be to put
> > > > > > a lang attribute on the body tag. e.g. <body lang="nl>
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Should we permit this? Or do we always require that the HTML
> > > > > > lang
> > > > > > attribute(s) be set?
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Chris
> > > > > >
> > > > > > [1] http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/WCAG20/tests/test49.html
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> >
> > --
> > -------------------------------------------------------------
> > Tex Texin   cell: +1 781 789 1898   mailto:Tex@XenCraft.com
> > Xen Master                          http://www.i18nGuy.com
> >
> > XenCraft                          http://www.XenCraft.com
> > Making e-Business Work Around the World
> > -------------------------------------------------------------
> >

-- 
-------------------------------------------------------------
Tex Texin   cell: +1 781 789 1898   mailto:Tex@XenCraft.com
Xen Master                          http://www.i18nGuy.com
                         
XenCraft		            http://www.XenCraft.com
Making e-Business Work Around the World
-------------------------------------------------------------
Received on Monday, 14 February 2005 19:17:40 GMT

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