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RE: language selection in CSS validator

From: Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 2006 11:39:14 -0000
To: "'olivier Thereaux'" <ot@w3.org>, "'Felix Sasaki'" <fsasaki@w3.org>
Cc: "'QA Dev'" <public-qa-dev@w3.org>, "'Richard Ishida'" <ishida@w3.org>
Message-ID: <00f401c70ef4$00e3d9d0$6501a8c0@w3cishida>

Hello Olivier,

I just noticed this in my inbox.

> From: olivier Thereaux [mailto:ot@w3.org] 
> Sent: 13 November 2006 07:29

> The second step was more conventional, see e.g the top right 
> corner of 

I strongly recommend this, since people need to find out quickly that they
can change language and how to do it.  The biggest problem with using a
selection page is how to indicate the link to that page in a language
neutral way and a way that users will immediately recognise.  "Other
Languages" is bad, just bad ;-)   (How would an English speaker recognise
that in Japanese?)

Btw, if you *are* going to use such a page, you should keep it language
neutral (ie. no important stuff like "You can set your browser preferences
and have the validator automatically ..." in English, and no unnecessary
stuff like "The CSS Validation service is available in the following
languages:" in English, and out of politeness you should present
"German/Deutsch" as "Deutsch/German" to an English speaker, but
"Deutsch/Allemand" to a French speaker, etc.  I don't think you need a link
to English on an English page.  Also, I think Polski is sufficient for
Polish, rather than 'Polish language" which you currently have.

I would change your code as follows:

<p id="lang_choice" title="this page in your language">
       <a href="documentation.html.en">English</a> . 
       <a href="documentation.html.fr">Francais</a> .
       <a href="documentation.html.it">Italiano</a> .
       <a href="documentation.html.ja">???</a> .
       <a href="documentation.html.pl-PL">Polski</a> .
       <a href="documentation.html.zh-cn">??</a>

PROPOSED (for English page)
<ul id="lang_choice">
	<li title="French"><a href="..." lang="fr"
	<li title="Italian"><a href="..." lang="it"
	<li title="Japanese"><a href="..." lang="ja"
	<li title="Simplified Chinese"><a href="documentation.html.zh-hans"
lang="zh-hans" xml:lang="zh-hans">??</a></li>

Of course, the title attributes would need to be translated to the language
of the current page.  Note that they are outside the a element, so that they
are correctly labelled for language using lang and xml:lang.

I have added language attributes, and made the title provide information
about what the foreign text means. "this page in your language" is not
terribly useful, and the title text is more likely to be of use to the
person who is already reading in his/her language anyway.

Then use CSS #lang_choice li { display: inline; ... }.  Using a list allows
people using screen readers to skip quickly.

Note that I suggest changing the extension zh-cn to zh-hans - not essential.
Obviously this is much easier if you are using typemap rather than
multiviews content negotiation.

The zh-hans in the language attributes should probably stay, however.

How about adding a line below the language links saying "Always view in this
language" and make it a link pointing to the article?

By the way, note that I'm seriously wondering whether to disable content
negotiation for the i18n site.  This is because we have no idea how good the
translations are, and have some evidence to suggest that they are not great,
and we'd rather ensure that people see them only as non-authoritative
alternatives.  Do you check the quality of your translations?  If not, you
really should add a disclaimer in a very visible place to say that this is a
volunteer translation, that there may be errors, and where to find the
original. eg.
http://www.w3.org/International/questions/qa-lang-priorities.es.php top
right of page

Finally, I assume that you are intending to add these language links to the
same location on every page, English or not?

Hope that helps,

Richard Ishida
Internationalization Lead
W3C (World Wide Web Consortium)


> -----Original Message-----
> To: Richard Ishida; Felix Sasaki
> Cc: QA Dev
> Subject: language selection in CSS validator
> Hello Richard, Felix, my favorite i18n experts :)
> I have a small question regarding how to best advertize the 
> multilingual content of the CSS validator.
> Right now the tool is entirely translated in a number of 
> languages, but it's only language-negotiated, with no 
> language-specific link whatsoever. Bad, just bad.
> http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/
> For the next version of the tool, which has seen a little 
> redesign, a lot of documentation update, and an excruciating 
> effort in translation, I want to make the multilingual 
> content more prominent.  
> Still language-negotiated, but with speific linking too.
> The first step was to have a link in the menu at the bottom 
> of e.g http://qa-dev.w3.org:8001/css-validator/
> linking to
> http://qa-dev.w3.org:8001/css-validator/languages.html
> which then lists the available languages, and links to info 
> on how to set up lang neg in browsers (on the i18n website ;) ).
> Pros: links to info on how to set up browser once and for all
> Cons: not a usual location for language selection, 
> inconvenient for documents within the documentation tree
> http://qa-dev.w3.org:8001/css-validator/documentation.html.en
> (yes I know the links are 404. The translated docs are there, 
> but I didn't get jigsaw to index them yet)
> Pros: usual location, easy to switch language on each page
> Cons: not teaching users to set up their browser
> I'm now thinking of going with the second route, but keep a 
> link to "languages" at the bottom of the home page, hoping 
> that some people will at least follow the link and learn to 
> set up their browser to send the proper accept-language 
> headers. Does that sound like a good idea to you, and in sync 
> with good practices for multilingual sites?
> (further/contrary) ideas welcome.
> Thanks,
> olivier
> --
> olivier Thereaux - W3C - http://www.w3.org/People/olivier/ 
> W3C Open Source Software: http://www.w3.org/Status
Received on Thursday, 23 November 2006 11:39:41 UTC

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