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RE: Problem with LANG keyword

From: Reuven Nisser <rnisser@ofek-liyladenu.org.il>
Date: Wed, 24 Sep 2003 18:29:23 +0200
To: "Rowland Shaw" <Rowland.Shaw@crystaldecisions.com>
Cc: <www-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <EOEHIKCGOKGNIEEKJHEKOEHJDCAA.rnisser@ofek-liyladenu.org.il>

I agree that my argument holds only when different languages use different
alphabets. Yes, it's a limitation I can live with.

Notice that the Content-Language META allows usage of more than one
language. It also defines that the order of the languages is important and
represents "priorities". This could be the same case for LANG attribute.
When you get a character you check it against the list of languages appears
in this attribute and the first which fits is the language to be used.

As long as it is defined it is not a problem. Whenever someone wants
something else than the default definition he needs to define LANG
attributes inside the text.

Not to define the language at all is a possibility but I fill that it's like
throwing the water and the baby. I agree that defining Content-Language META
with the list of languages is enough for the W3C standard. But still W3C
standard needs to define exactly which language to be use for each character
so we still need to define the rules for that.

Reuven Nisser
Ofek Liyladenu

-----Original Message-----
From: Rowland Shaw [mailto:Rowland.Shaw@crystaldecisions.com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2003 4:12 PM
To: 'Reuven Nisser'
Cc: www-html@w3.org
Subject: RE: Problem with LANG keyword

By a similar argument though, it's obvious that a large, centred bold piece
of text is a heading, but I'd still mark it up as a <h1> (etc).

Your argument holds only for long enough that the differing languages use
different alphabets, if you had, for example, a collection of Spanish,
Italian, French and English in a document (so all using ISO-Latin-1,
assuming no euro symbols...) it's not obvious which language is which.

Perhaps a better solution for this problem, if it isn't practical to mark-up
English as English and Hebrew as Hebrew, could be to not specify a language
at all?

-----Original Message-----
From: Reuven Nisser [mailto:rnisser@ofek-liyladenu.org.il]
Sent: 24 September 2003 14:50
To: Chris Moschini; www-html@w3.org
Cc: gilagh@netvision.net.il; 'shaula haitner'; Yuval Rabinovich
Subject: RE: Problem with LANG keyword

The problem is the overhead necessary to add the LANG tag in all places. If
you look at Israeli sites you will see a lot of text in English.

This is because English is an official language in Israel, many people do
not like to translate expressions from English to Hebrew because everyone
knows the English words and not the Hebrew translation.

Another reason is that most sites are trying to be bi-lingual so that both
English and Hebrew readers will find their way.

So, if W3C recommendations will include the need to add LANG attribute
whenever you use English instead of Hebrew, we will get a very strong
negative response. People will say (and they are right) that the Latin text
inside a Hebrew HTML script is obviously in English. So, if it's obvious and
technically possible to distinguish between Hebrew and English in automatic
means without the need to add LANG attribute then this is the correct way to
do so.

What is your opinion?
Reuven Nisser
Ofek Liyladenu

-----Original Message-----
From: www-html-request@w3.org [mailto:www-html-request@w3.org]On Behalf
Of Chris Moschini
Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2003 3:32 PM
To: www-html@w3.org
Subject: Re: Problem with LANG keyword

That is your solution. <html lang="lang1,lang2,lang3"> violates the purpose
of the lang attribute, which is to say what one language is inside that tag.
If you change languages, you simply add another tag - as Christoph has done
with the samp tag above.

It is clear to both computer and human, and adds little extra to the markup.
Why is this solution a problem for you?
Received on Wednesday, 24 September 2003 11:29:14 UTC

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