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Re: PRI - 9 LANG Attribute

From: <thatch@us.ibm.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1999 19:44:49 -0500
To: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>
cc: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <85256760.0004643A.00@d54mta08.raleigh.ibm.com>

Jason said: "a priority 2 rating should be retained in respect of
multilingual material."

Priority 2 says: A Web content developer should satisfy this checkpoint.
Otherwise, one or more groups will find it difficult to access information
in the document. Satisfying this checkpoint will remove significant
barriers to accessing Web documents.

1) I believe that satisfying this requirement will remove no barriers, let
alone remove significant barriers.

2) It is inconceivable to me why the lang attribute internal to the page
should be priority 2, while the lang attribute on the html element is
priority 3. As Phill has already indicated, IBM's Home Page Reader will be
supporting the lang attribute on the HTML element but not within the page.
I don't think the lang element at the top should be priority 2 either.

3) I don't see why the language of a phrase is an accessibility issue for
person's with disabilities -- even if either this or 6.3 were yielding
significant benefits.

Jim Thatcher
IBM Special Needs Systems

Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au> on 04/26/99 06:25:20 PM

To:   Web Content Accessibility Guidelines <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
cc:    (bcc: James Thatcher/Austin/IBM)
Subject:  Re: PRI - 9  LANG Attribute

In anticipation of user agent support for the LANG attribute, in
recognition of the language-dependent nature of text to speech and braille
conversion processes, and taking into account the difficulties raised by
multilingual documents, I propose that no change be made to the priority
of this checkpoint.

If it were only a priority 3 requirement today, then it would be rarely
implemented, even in multilingual documents. Then, when user agents start
supporting the LANG attribute, it will not be of benefit due to the
absence of this important linguistic distinction in marked up documents.
Therefore, a priority 2 rating should be retained in respect of
multilingual material. Also, this requirement needs to be considered in
relation to the WAI user agent guidelines, which ought to recommend
implementation of the LANG attribute by user agents and assistive
Received on Monday, 26 April 1999 20:48:17 UTC

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