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human language of HTML docs.

From: Nir Dagan <nir@nirdagan.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 04:49:13 GMT
Message-Id: <199811161938.UAA15492@sahara.upf.es>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Excuse me for bringing this topic again. In my view authoring 
guidelines should suggest that: 
1. The language of ALL the text in a document should be 
2. This is priority 1.

In most documents it means that the author 
uses the lang attribute in the HTML element. 
(and/or sets a certain HTTP header)

The rationale for this is that a speaking or Braille 
browser *must* know the language of a document 
in order to render it correctly. (or to warn the user that 
it can't render the document, and ask the user's advice)

Currently, the guidelines talk about language changes, 
and about foreign languages. This would have made sense
if HTML had a default human language, and all other 
languages are defined as foreign, or if the W3C was 
wrting recommendations for mono-lingual intranets.

How can a speaking or Braille browser know 
the document's major language? by guesssing?

"Foriegn language" is author dependent. I write in all
my documents <HTML lang="en"> because English is a 
foreign language, but if I were a native speaker of 
English then I may have  omitted the lang attribute? 
Why the user/browser cares what is a foreign language 
to the author?


Nir Dagan, Ph.D.

"There is nothing quite so practical as a good theory." 
-- A. Einstein
Received on Monday, 16 November 1998 14:48:00 UTC

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