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Re: lang attribute and not widely spoken languagues

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2001 10:31:00 -0400
Message-Id: <200106131427.KAA588495@smtp2.mail.iamworld.net>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
At 12:34 AM 2001-06-13 , Graham Oliver wrote:
>I am trying to recommend on the use of the 'lang'
>attribute in relation to a not widely spoken language.
>(Maori, the native language of New Zealand)
>I am struggling to see what benefit using lang="mi"
>will have.
>These are the reasons put forward by WAI
>-Assisting search engines 

This by itself is more than sufficient.  I am not sure what you mean by a real
world example.  Did the person who asked you this question ever think of what
it would be like to try to find the information that is available over the
Internet in Maori _without_ using a search engine?

Just as there are [in the world] a minority of people who are the audience for
content in Maori, there is a minority [in the world] of Web content that is
accessible to Maori speakers.

Finding that content by hand is not a practical task.  Marking the Maori
content in a machine-comprehensible way enables the Maori speakers all over
globe to share their own virtual private Internet and gain all the benefits of
the Internet.  Without the language markup, one has a Maori intranet composed
of a few well-known sites.  With the language markup, there is a whole
of capability serving the Maori speaking community.  Every Maori speaking
student's home page from Tanzania to Tarzana is there.

If it's worth capturing content in Maori in the first place, and putting it in
contact with the Internet, it's worth identifying it in the orthodox attribute
code as Maori.  All the more so because it is such a small minority.


>-Assisting speech synthesizers 
>-Helping a user agent select glyph variants for high
>quality typography 
>-Helping a user agent choose a set of quotation marks 
>-Helping a user agent make decisions about
>hyphenation, ligatures, and spacing 
>-Assisting spell checkers and grammar checkers 
>Can anyone help me out with a real world example of
>any of the above OR give a reason apart from any of
>the above as to why to use the lang attribute.
>Graham Oliver
>'Making on-line information accessible'
>Mobile Phone : 025-919-724 
>Work Phone : 09 846 6995
>AIM ID : grahamolivernz
>Do You Yahoo!?
>Get your free @yahoo.co.uk address at
>or your free @yahoo.ie address at <http://mail.yahoo.ie/>http://mail.yahoo.ie
Received on Wednesday, 13 June 2001 10:27:32 UTC

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