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RE: I18N Repsonse to XHTML2 comment 35c

From: Addison Phillips <addison.phillips@quest.com>
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2005 10:13:26 -0800
Message-ID: <634978A7DF025A40BFEF33EB191E13BC0AD1767E@irvmbxw01.quest.com>
To: "Steven Pemberton" <steven.pemberton@cwi.nl>, <w3c-html-wg@w3.org>
Cc: <xhtml2-issues@mn.aptest.com>, <public-i18n-core@w3.org>

I don't think you're understanding our concern.

Yes, if the content author wishes to set the Accept-Language header, overriding the settings in the user's user agent (which is what you propose) in order to get the behavior you describe (which is a valid use case), then we need to provide a mechanism for them to use to do so.

However: 'hreflang' already exists in various markup languages related to XHTML2 and exists as an assertion about a particular resource based on that resource being static. XHTML2 proposes to change the meaning of that attribute from an assertion to override the user agent's local settings when requesting the resource. Therefore we feel strongly that you should name the attribute differently, more in line with what it does, so that there is no confusion about what the attribute does and what effect it should have on user agents. Otherwise existing generated content that is forward migrated will likely get unusual results based on (wrongly) mapping an assertion to an active attribute. And user agent authors may not implement the behavior correctly (either for XHTML2 or by wrongly changing the behavior for older markup).

Hope that helps.

BTW, Richard Ishida did note in our teleconference that you are proceeding to Last Call shortly. We are holding our other responses on your responses until we see the changes, per your request.

Best Regards,


Addison P. Phillips
Globalization Architect, Quest Software
Chair, W3C Internationalization Core Working Group

Internationalization is not a feature.
It is an architecture. 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Steven Pemberton [mailto:steven.pemberton@cwi.nl]
> Sent: mercredi 30 mars 2005 06:57
> To: Addison Phillips; w3c-html-wg@w3.org
> Cc: xhtml2-issues@mn.aptest.com; public-i18n-core@w3.org
> Subject: Re: I18N Repsonse to XHTML2 comment 35c
> On Tue, 29 Mar 2005 13:35:22 -0800, Addison Phillips
> <addison.phillips@quest.com> wrote:
> > Dear HTML WG,
> [...]
> > On this issue you said:
> >
> > <q xml:lang="en-GB">
> > 35c: Since the behaviour in *correct* situations (i.e. when the document
> > really is in that language) will be identical, and only in error
> > situations
> > will be different (and in XHTML2 clearer than in XHTML1), we believe
> that
> > retaining the name is acceptable.</q>
> >
> > We believe quite strongly that this is a mistake and would like you to
> > reconsider.
> Let's take an example.
> Suppose someone whose preferred language (in their browser language
> preferences) is German clicks on
> 	<a href="doc" hreflang="ja">The document in Japanese</a>
> in an HTML4 document and in an XHTML2 document.
> There are several possibilities for the resource named "doc":
> 	1) It is in Japanese
> 	2) It is available in several languages according to accept-lang,
> 	   one of which is Japanese, and for the sake of argument, also in
> German
> 		(an example is
> http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/Forms/2003/xforms-for-html-authors,
> 		 which will be served according to your language preferences)
> 	3) It is not available in Japanese, but for the sake of argument, in
> Chinese
> 	4) It is available in Chinese and German
> 	5) It is available in Chinese and Thai
> Here is what the user will get in each case:
> 1)	Japanese	Japanese
> 2)	German	Japanese
> 3)	Chinese	Depends on server
> 4)	German	Depends on server
> 5)	Random	Depends on server
> "Depends on server" means that the webmaster can decide how to respond to
> requests for a Japanese version of a document that isn't available in
> Japanese.
> So it is difficult to see in what way this is "overriding the wishes of
> the user". Remember, we are pointing them to the Japanese version of the
> document. If the user doesn't want the Japanese version of the document,
> they shouldn't click on a link taking them there. If the author doesn't
> want to override the user's language preferences, they shouldn't include
> an hreflang attribute, but let language negotiation do the work.
> On the other hand, the advantage of the XHTML2 version is hopefully
> obvious from the above: unlike HTML4, if the document is in Japanese, the
> user will really get it, and if it isn't, the webmaster has the ability to
> give some friendly message to the user explaining why they didn't get the
> Japanese version they were expecting.
> Best wishes,
> Steven Pemberton
> For the HTML WG
Received on Wednesday, 30 March 2005 18:13:31 UTC

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