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RE: Usefulness of language annotations

From: Katie Haritos-Shea GMAIL <ryladog@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2014 09:24:00 -0400
To: "'Hoffman, Allen'" <allen.hoffman@hq.dhs.gov>, "'Jens O. Meiert'" <jens@meiert.com>, "'W3C WAI GL'" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Cc: "'Richard Ishida'" <ishida@w3.org>, "'John Foliot'" <john@foliot.ca>, "'Janina Sajka'" <janina@rednote.net>
Message-ID: <051001cfb630$ae9835d0$0bc8a170$@gmail.com>
Super +1 to that Allen, I heartily agree!




* katie *


Katie Haritos-Shea 
Senior Accessibility SME (WCAG/Section 508/ADA/AODA)


Cell: 703-371-5545 |  <mailto:ryladog@gmail.com> ryladog@gmail.com | Oakton, VA |  <http://www.linkedin.com/in/katieharitosshea/> LinkedIn Profile | Office: 703-371-5545


From: Hoffman, Allen [mailto:allen.hoffman@hq.dhs.gov] 
Sent: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 8:13 AM
To: Jens O. Meiert; W3C WAI GL
Cc: Richard Ishida; John Foliot; Janina Sajka; Katie Haritos-Shea
Subject: RE: Usefulness of language annotations


>From a guidance perspective we need to clearly identify what is needed, e.g. without language identification some assistive technologies will be forced to figure out pronunciation, and inevitably will be wrong on occasion.  While development/authoring tools can step up here, authors do know languages they are working with and can insert language codes without undue burden of additional work.  Retrofitting content can be challenging and helpful tools to expedite such work would be nice as well, however, in general the idea is to ensure information for rendering content is available, not leave folks with an expectation of magic behind the scenes to just make things work.  In a nutshell support for use of language attributes is far from immature today but not at 100% yet, the vast majority of content still requires remediation to meet this requirement, authoring tools and remediation tools are immature in respect to making this work easier for authors or technical administrators, and in general end-users don’t raise this as a red flag often because they are busy just getting on with life.  The requirement is there and we can certainly provide ongoing updates to resources and information, but at this point I don’t see much change other than some changes in which products fully support rendering based on language attributes.





Allen Hoffman

Deputy Executive Director

The Office of Accessible Systems & Technology

Department of Homeland Security

202-447-0503 (voice)

allen.hoffman@hq.dhs.gov <mailto:allen.hoffman@hq.dhs.gov> 


DHS Accessibility Helpdesk

202-447-0440 (voice)

202-447-0582 (fax)

202-447-5857 (TTY)

accessibility@dhs.gov <mailto:accessibility@dhs.gov> 


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From: jens.meiert@gmail.com <mailto:jens.meiert@gmail.com>  [mailto:jens.meiert@gmail.com] On Behalf Of Jens O. Meiert
Sent: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 6:28 AM
Cc: Richard Ishida; John Foliot; Janina Sajka; Katie Haritos-Shea
Subject: Re: Usefulness of language annotations


I’d be curious about support across screen readers. I have made the assumption, perhaps prematurely, that support was still poor.

But to the problem, it seems that

* Developers will never mark up language and changes in language consistently, for lack of knowledge and discipline reasons (developer = anyone touching HTML, which includes a vast pool of novices).

* Tools will never get automatic language detection entirely right.


* The cost of manually marking up languages is much higher (recurring) than of determining them automatically.

(This last point seems to speak against the “easy” solution of just requiring both.)

So to rephrase the point:

* What is the bigger problem from an accessibility standpoint—all the developers who don’t mark up languages, or all the tools (rather, instances in) which don’t detect languages correctly?


* Granted language annotations are useful (given sufficient support), how strong must any guidelines be in this regard? Developers may/should/must mark up languages and changes in language?

—I realize I should have gone about this a bit differently, as a different way of stating the problem was possibly more useful for WCAG and UAAG.

The subject line is misleading… I originally meant this more along the lines of “useful for a developer to handle.”

Jens O. Meiert
Received on Tuesday, 12 August 2014 13:24:38 UTC

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