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Re: Usefulness of language annotations

From: Janina Sajka <janina@rednote.net>
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2014 12:30:42 -0400
To: "Jens O. Meiert" <jens@meiert.com>
Cc: W3C WAI GL <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>, John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>, Katie Haritos-Shea <ryladog@gmail.com>
Message-ID: <20140812163042.GS1631@concerto.rednote.net>
When you say "developer," are you speaking of content authoring?
Usually, I consider that term applies to the engineers that produce user
agents, and I think it important to use terms carefully here, so I'm
pointing out my confusion.

If I'm correct in my interpretation of what you say ...

Jens O. Meiert writes:
> I’d be curious about support across screen readers. I have made the
> assumption, perhaps prematurely, that support was still poor.

I believe we've established that there's  excellent support in some, and
nonexistent support in others.

> 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).

I'm far more interested in the digital publishing industry than in
novice authors. The industry that produces textbooks by which our
children are educated, the industry that produces the technical
publications that our professionals rely on, should not be required to
rely on hit and miss "best guess" user agent heuristics.

Let me now ask you a question ...

What's the concern you have with existing lanb markup? Why this sudden
interest? What are you seeking to achieve?

> * Tools will never get automatic language detection entirely right.

I'm glad we agree.

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

So what? A BMW costs more than a Volkswagen, clearly. Are you saying
there's no place in the world for BMW?

What are you trying to achieve?


> (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?

If you can kindly speak to the reasons behind your concern, I think we
will be better able to answer this question.

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

> --
> Jens O. Meiert
> http://meiert.com/en/


Janina Sajka,	Phone:	+1.443.300.2200
		Email:	janina@rednote.net

Linux Foundation Fellow
Executive Chair, Accessibility Workgroup:	http://a11y.org

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
Chair,	Protocols & Formats	http://www.w3.org/wai/pf
	Indie UI			http://www.w3.org/WAI/IndieUI/
Received on Tuesday, 12 August 2014 16:31:29 UTC

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