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Tongue twister

From: Julian Vallis <lists@vallis.net>
Date: Tue, 02 Dec 2003 17:06:48 -0000
To: W3C WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20031202170651.8DEA613469@dr-nick.w3.org>

There are a couple of contradictions (tiny and inane ones) between WCAG 1.0 and XHTML specs.

XHTML 1.0 Strict and XHTML 1.1 deprecate LANG attribute (<html lang="en">), in favour of <html xml:lang="en">.

However WCAG 1.0 specifies:
11.1 Use W3C technologies when they are available and appropriate for a task and use the latest versions when supported
11.2 Avoid deprecated features of W3C technologies. 

Although this is ridiculously pedantic, this basically states you cannot use XHTML 1.0 Strict or XHTML 1.1 with a WAI compliant site, yet WAI states you must use the latest technology. I'm only really raising it because the gizmos like Cynthia Says and Bobby fail a site if you don't have the lang attributes. I suggest the code is modified to search for just 'lang="<lang>"', whether it is 'lang="en"' or 'xml:lang="en"'.

ATM, in order to 'pass' tests, you have to use XHTML 1.0 Transitional and put <html lang="en-gb" xml:lang="en-gb">

Personally I think this is all useless anyway, since a global declaration is really the responsibility of the following META tag:

<meta name="language" content="en-gb" />

The lang or xml:lang attribute should only be used when the language changes mid-stream as such (assuming the english META had been declared):

<p class="bodyText">The governor of the Bank of England took a <span xml:lang="fr">laissez-faire</span> attitude to raising interest rates</p>

kind regards
Received on Tuesday, 2 December 2003 12:06:53 UTC

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