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XHTML1: (Consistency of) Language Information

From: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>
Date: Mon, 12 Jul 2004 06:13:55 +0200
To: www-html-editor@w3.org
Message-ID: <41861002.1817834427@smtp.bjoern.hoehrmann.de>

Dear HTML Working Group,

  Appendix C.7 of the XHTML 1.0 Second Edition Recommendation states:

  Use both the lang and xml:lang attributes when specifying the language
  of an element. The value of the xml:lang attribute takes precedence.

The second sentence seems misplaced in the informative Appendix C but
rather seems to be a normative requirement for XHTML user agents. The
specification apparently does not discuss xml:lang versus lang in any
other place, which makes me wonder how a XHTML user agent is supposed
to handle them. Are XHTML 1.0 user agents required to derive the
language of an element from the lang attribute even if there is no
additional xml:lang attribute? That would then seem inconsistent with
the id versus name attribute discussion where XHTML user agents are
required to ignore the "legacy" attribute. So is it actually that the
xml:lang attribute does not take precedence but rather is the sole
indicator for language information? Please clarify this in a normative
section of the specification.

It also seems that for compatibility both attributes must specify the
same value as you would otherwise get inconsistent behavior across such
user agents. Could you please clarify whether this omission is
intentional? If it is intentional, could you please clarify why exactly?

Received on Monday, 12 July 2004 00:14:40 UTC

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