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Re: Techniques suggestions

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charlesn@srl.rmit.EDU.AU>
Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 14:41:34 +1100 (EST)
To: Masayasu Ishikawa <mimasa@w3.org>
cc: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.91.981113142427.22316A-100000@sunrise>
I'm with Masayasu on this one. LANG may not be so important in most 
English speaking countries, but where there is a need for several 
languages on a page, (and in the wide world that applies to a lot of 
places - think about http://europa.eu.int - the European Union's page, or 
http://www.sbs.com.au - the Australian multilingual version of the BBC) 
we should be providing support for recognising those languages.

There is an argument to be made, I suppose, that this is an i18n issue, 
but there is also a very strong argument that i18n is a WAI issue.

Another thing in the same basket is the recognition of character sets. It 
should be possible for a user to configure character sets. In Navigator 4 
there is provision to deal with one(1) user-defined character set. In 
MSIE there is the same, but fewer pre-loaded options as well.

I'm no great linguist, but I have needed to use two character sets for 
vietnamese, one for Thai, one for Yolngu (An aboriginal Australian 
language which I don't think any major developers have ever considered 
including in their list of options) and wanted to use a few others but 
given up in disgust.

If i18n is to have any hope of working in a standardised way, then these 
features must be implemented in UAs. If i18n doesn't work in a 
standardised way, the likely implication for WAI is that multilingual 
pages will be possible, but excessively difficult, to access across 
different media types. Which makes solving the problem a WAI priority 2 
requirement.

(To slightly abuse the jargon)

Charles McCathieNevile
Received on Thursday, 12 November 1998 22:45:22 GMT

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