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Re: Guideline 3.1 Language of content can be programmatically determined.

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 01:17:54 -0500 (EST)
To: Roberto Scano - IWA/HWG <rscano@iwa-italy.org>
Cc: WCAG List <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.55.0311240110350.1497@homer.w3.org>


I would prefer "where the lagnuage is declared in markup" or something

Some user agents can determine some languages heuristically, and any user
agent could in principle learn to pick them all like that (it's a fairly
simple bit of programming - look up words against a multi-lingual
dictionary...). I have seen it implemented in a four- or five-year-old mail
client that picks swedish, finnish and english for voice presentation.

Whether we insist on using the lang / xml:lang attribute in XHTML and cie is
a detail that needs to be thought about. On the one hand it puts us back into
the territory that gives us problems with "until user agents..."
requirements. On the other hand, the fact that Jaws can pick between a
handful of languages that it knows isn't sufficient reason to tell people
that languages can be automatically determined in general.

There are various techniques. And there is a clear argument that if you use
code according to specification, then for HTML you are automatically required
to mark up the language. But it isn't an argument I would expect everyone to
find obviously convincing, unless the group was prepared to write down this
interpretation of it.



On Sun, 23 Nov 2003, Roberto Scano - IWA/HWG wrote:

>"programmatically" don't is good for "non english" people....
>I suggest to change the guideline text with:
>"create contents where the language can be determined by the User Agent"

Charles McCathieNevile  http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  tel: +61 409 134 136
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Received on Monday, 24 November 2003 11:54:04 UTC

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