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Re: Priority for Techniques Dealing with Foreign Language Markup

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charlesn@srl.rmit.EDU.AU>
Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 10:02:39 +1100 (EST)
To: A.Flavell@physics.gla.ac.uk
cc: "'GL - WAI Guidelines WG'" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.91.981119095649.9313C-100000@sunrise>
Comments interspersed. Look for CMcCN:: or AJF:: Basically I am agreeing 
with things.

On Wed, 18 Nov 1998, Alan J. Flavell wrote:
> I'm sorry for not making my reasoning clear.  I was referring
> implicitly to an argument elsewhere on this thread, that were some
> large site had already been created without language attributes in its
> markup, then it might be impractical to correct that.
> Well, processing a whole collection of files to do nothing more than
> change <HTML> into <HTML LANG="value"> for some fixed "value" is
> hardly rocket science, but I was suggesting an alternative solution
> that could be applied without editing the files, if that were
> preferred. 
> I find this very sad: the HTTP protocol has many valuable features,
> it's a tragedy that it's being crippled in this way.  And the most
> popular server, Apache, has no difficulty putting these matters into
> the hands of the document owners via their .htaccess files.  But you
> could well be right that it's impractical to expect this part of the
> WWW to work as designed. 

Yes. It seems sad, but my experience is that it's true and becoming more 
so. I tend to use META HTTP-EQUIV pretty often. In an ideal world this 
wouldn't happen. But when I'm writing pages for people to give to someone 
else to put on their ISPs (unknown flavour of) server it's better to be 

and I had written
> > authors know better what language they write)

> Yes, that much is true enough, I have no dispute with that.
> I'm sorry, I'm rather conscious that this has addressed issues that
> are relevant to i18n in general, and not particularly specific to
> accessibility.  However, they are issues that can have much more
> critical consequences in an accessibility context, so I thought it
> was worth trying to clarify the issues.
> all the best
I agree that they are important to accessibility. I think the reasons 
have been explained pretty well recently. So it's nice to see the topic 
being taken up.


Charles McCathieNevile
Received on Wednesday, 18 November 1998 18:06:30 UTC

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