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RE: Language techniques: biggish changes

From: Deborah Cawkwell <deborah.cawkwell@bbc.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2005 17:52:17 -0000
Message-ID: <418B7E44473AC34488C9E730D09FF3CF05179034@bbcxue204.national.core.bbc.co.uk>
To: "Richard Ishida" <ishida@w3.org>, "GEO" <public-i18n-geo@w3.org>
Cc: <wendy@w3.org>
I've attempted to amalgamate Susan's & my comments:
+ [DC] General
+ The new approach (http://www.w3.org/International/geo/html-tech/test#contents) addresses my issues for a document that clearly informs readers of the issues & allows them to either dip in for reference or read through the whole. But I think we need to settle on one version & review that. I agree with Susan that the numbering is getting confusing.
+ Comments by me & Susan incorporated into this document/email, refer to current version 
(http://www.w3.org/International/geo/html-tech/tech-lang.html#contents) numbering & naming.
+ Tooltip implemented as title tag on icons: <img src="images/topOfPage.gif" width="26" height="26" alt="Return to top of contents..." align="right" />
Might also be useful to have tooltips on links, eg, to outline document link?
- [SM] General

 Turthfully, I'm getting a bit
confused with all the different versions of this doc.  If it is still an
issue - [SM]- [SM] RI would know best - [SM]- [SM] I would like to talk on the telecon

Using DC's suggestion to not just retitle it "How to" but in addition to
divide it into two parts: How to declare the primary language and How to
declare the text processing language. We pop back and forth a bit, also
discussing text processing lang first, after the reverse order in the
definitions. I think we could group these easily and eliminate a
substantial amount of redundant text which I believe might confuse the

I would also be interested in investigating the idea of a "Commentary"
heading within sections. It was once brought to my attention that in the
corporate training environment we made a mistake in conducting classes
as if we were still in college ("at uni"?) when what people really
needed was less a five- [SM]day theory seminar and more of a two- [SM]hour quick
and dirty "here's how to use this on YOUR job."

The discussion in this section in particular, while lovely to read,
seems to me a bit more than I, the developer need to know to do my job.
In my mind, a reader "dipping in to a particular section to find out how
to perform a specific task" may be thinking, "Just show me the markup."
So, I am wondering what you might think about "facts" first ie. the
technique and really pertinent info and then the "commentary" for the
more leisurely reader, who voluntarily chooses the additional
information, without reading through it for fear of missing a fact. I'll
not insist on a crystal ball icon for specific commentary on what the
future may hold.

Again, perhaps I have missed the versioning boat and this is a
non- [SM]issue. If so, apologies.


- [SM] Swedish/svenska technique: Re: "russian doll" approach, would just
"nested" be suggestive enough? Also pls change 'show' to 'shows' there.
10 Specifying the language of a link destination

- [SM] I think the potential problem discussed here would be handled in the
course of reasonable site maintenance and is overemphasized.

- [SM] Could this be placed physically next to the Swedish/svenska one? It
seems similar?


I would delete number references when linking to other sections, eg. "5
Definitions" reads to me like the number of definitions provided ("Four

I think I have already picked at the language, "Consider using" eg. for
more than one primary language.  To me this verb remains mushy. Should I
or shouldn't I? Are you recommending it or not? "Plusses" and "Minuses"?
"If you do" and "If you don't"?

Maybe I am icon/header crazed, but if there are "definite problems" (eg.
"Note that there is a definite problem when dealing with multilingual
title elements."), I'd like to see that called out a little more
+ [DC] Can we avoid the dangling 'of'? "Without it, none of these applications can be taken advantage of." 

- [SM] I agree with Deborah's earlier email comment and would only remove the word "such" from her suggested sentence.

+ [DC] "Marking up language meta information is something that can and should be done today. Without it, none of these applications can be taken advantage of." Suggestion: "Without it, advantage cannot be gained from such current and future applications".

- [SM] 1.1 Agree with DC on "author", but I would not put quote marks around either of the other words.

- [SM] 1.1 I might say "a localization group" rather than "the", agreeing with DC in wondering how many of them exist at this point.

1.2 How to use this document
+ [DC] Not clear: "Information is also available about the applicability of recommendations to user agents (see below)." Suggestion: "User agent suppport for I18N features is provided." Why 'see below'? 'User agent support' is important to developers & should have its own section; this would make it clearly available in this document from the table of contents.

- [SM] 1.2 I like this section, although I would say "stand alone" rather than "self-sufficient."

- [SM] 1.2 I would delete the final user agent comment (that DC had issues with) and leave all discussion of them to 1.4

+ [DC] Agree: retain Richard's original with SM's suggestions. 

1.3 Technologies addressed
- [SM] 1.3 Agree with DC in questioning "the right editing tools". Don't we just mean the appropriate or relevant ones?

+ [DC] Right editing tools could be Textpad, which is what I use. Are we thinking about valid in terms of XML markup &/or schema/DTD?

1.4 User agents addressed
- [SM] 1.4 Overall, I agree with DC's comments re: this section being ripe for simplification. Important Concepts aka Definitions

2 Definitions
Primary language
Important Concepts aka Definitions

- [SM] Primary language.  Works as previously edited for me. Would disagree with DC's foray into renaming it 'audience language.'

+ [DC] OK. It was only a foray :) - just trying to get the concept straight in my own word, 'audience' helps me, but it is in the definition...
- [SM] 3.1 "Primary language metadata is usually best declared outside the document in the HTTP Content- [SM]Language header, although there may be situations where an internal declaration ..." begs the question for me. Don't we talk about this somewhere? If so, link to it?
"Primary language is metadata about the document as a whole. Such metadata may be used for searching, serving the right language version, classification, etc."
+ [DC] "serving the right language version" confused me for a moment...

+ [DC] what's classification about?
+ [DC] Note / pointer to content neg FAQs?
FAQ: When to use language negotiation
Question: When is it appropriate, or not, to use language negotiation?

FAQ: Apache language negotiation set up
Question: How do I use the MultiViews approach on an Apache Web server to automatically serve resources in the language requested by an HTTP request?

Text processing language
+ Is there a defining sentence such as for 'primary' language, eg "The 'primary' language typically describes the language of the intended audience of the document"? 
"When specifying the text processing language you are declaring the language in which a particular range of text is actually written, so that user agents or applications that manipulate the text, such as voice browsers, spell checkers, or style processors can effectively handle the text in question. So we are, by necessity, talking about associating a single language with a specific range of text."
+ Could the first sentence of this 'text processing' language section be:
"The text processing language is the language of a particular range of text, which can be different to the primary language, eg where in a phrase book context. Information is required so that user agents or applications can manipulate that text appropriately, eg voice browsers, spell checkers or style processors."
- [SM] 3.2 "The default text processing language is not necessarily the same as the primary language of a document."
OK. I'll bite: add example of when they'd be different?

+ [DC] It's 'default' that I don't understand.

3 Declaring the language of a page
+ Should this be 'how' to declare the language of a page? With another section (preceeding) on 'why' declare the language of a page?
- [SM]3.3 Introduces the term "natural language" - [SM] previously undefined. Worrisome.

+ [DC] Can't see what 'natural language' adds. 

- [SM]3.3 Lovely use of the word "conflated," which I can appreciate after having finally found the definition in the online UK dictionary after
the US one did not have it. Perhaps the more pedestrian "confused" would
work for us colonials and the ESL crowd? ;- [SM])

- [SM]3.3 Final sentence again seems to beg a link.
Declaring the language of a page
This section is a big mouthful to swallow.  It may be that the language
section of
http://www.w3.org/International/geo/html- [SM]tech/outline/html- [SM]authoring- [SM]out
line.html has resolved most of my issues. 

In new version of techniques
4 Mechanisms for declaring language in HTML
+ [DC] Great. Really useful re meta in head. I kept thinking of meta content-type, eg, <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">, I suppose because WS uses that... I think I forget meta content-language. Maybe we should always specify rather than just saying the meta element.
+ [DC] Include HTML elements. Overlap with HTML element itself being used. State explicitly that with lang attribute which is used with HTML elements, that only one language can be specified. Should this be changed in the HTML spec??

	-----Original Message----- 
	From: public-i18n-geo-request@w3.org on behalf of Richard Ishida 
	Sent: Tue 2/8/2005 11:03 
	To: GEO 
	Cc: wendy@w3.org 
	Subject: Language techniques: biggish changes

	After reading Deborah's recent comments on the Language techniques document, I have created a proposal for new material and organization.  Please take a look at this and voice your opinions by email and/or during the telecon this week.
	If I do not hear voices to the contrary, I will begin to make permanent changes to the document towards the end of this week, ie. after the telecon.  I also plan to remove the current change marks at the same time - so please comment on those if you are intending to.
	[1] Additional introductory material
	I have quickly written up three new sections:
	2 Why specify language?
	3 Important concepts
	    3.1 Primary language
	    3.2 Text processing language
	    3.3 Relationships with character encoding and directionality
	4 Mechanisms for declaring language in HTML
	You can see these at http://www.w3.org/International/geo/html-tech/test (Note that I temporarily left in the following 'Definitions' section (section 5) so as not to break id-refs.  Assume that that will not be there in a final version.)
	The effect of adding these is to make this document more self-contained for someone wanting to know about language declarations. Previously we had aimed to largely document just the techniques themselves, and use pointers to faqs, etc. to flesh out the areas in the new sections. 
	These additions make the document much more the type of document you might read end to end - rather than just dip into for clarification on a particular technique.
	Note also that it duplicates some of the material in Faqs and tutorials.
	Is this a good approach?
	[2] Changes to the table of contents
	I have had people comment on how useful the toc was because it included the text of the techniques.  Indeed I have found that very useful myself for getting an overview of the document.
	It is arguable, however, that such information is available in the outline document.
	As an experiment, I implemented Deborah's idea of shorter titles for the techniques in the toc.
	See http://www.w3.org/International/geo/html-tech/test#contents for the new approach.
	See http://www.w3.org/International/geo/html-tech/tech-lang.html#contents for the current approach.
	Should we adopt the new approach, or return to the previous?
	[3] Reordering of techniques
	I made plans to substantially reorder the techniques.  The proposal is NOT yet implemented in the document linked to above.  You should instead look at the language section of

	(Note that the section "Identifying in-document language changes" duplicates material, and would NOT appear in the techniques doc - only in the outline.)
	The rearrangement helps to more clearly separate primary vs text processing declarations, and improves the clarity of the section headings.
	I have not followed Deborah's suggestions exactly, but I think this is a good alternative.
	Do you have any objection to this new order?
	Comments asap please.
	Richard Ishida
	contact info:

	W3C Internationalization:

	Publication blog:



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Received on Wednesday, 9 February 2005 17:52:19 UTC

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