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RE: Problem with LANG keyword

From: Reuven Nisser <rnisser@ofek-liyladenu.org.il>
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2003 11:27:59 +0300
To: "Yuval Rabinovich" <yuval@lab.co.il>, "ibi-l" <ibi-l@topica.com>, <www-html@w3.org>
Cc: "'shaula haitner'" <shaula@shaula.co.il>, "'Gertel Hasson'" <gilagh@netvision.net.il>, "BIGELOW,JIM (HP-Boise,ex1)" <jim.bigelow@hp.com>
Message-ID: <EOEHIKCGOKGNIEEKJHEKMELCDGAA.rnisser@ofek-liyladenu.org.il>

Hello Yuval,
What you are saying is that the character set implies the language. I have
several arguments about that:

If W3C says you need to use language code then you need to use language
code. Your argument should be with W3C standard and don't make short cuts
for Hebrew. You should try and convince W3C committee about that. The main
reason I insist about that is because I am thinking about future generic
tools that work all over the world and I will want to activate them in
Israel. Unless I will stick to the W3C standard these programs might not

Default usage is not good. You might decide that Windows-1255 is Hebrew but
other users from other places will decide that it is Yiddish. Unless you
convince the W3C to add a comment regarding the default in the character set
tables I disagree with you. Again see previous reason.

Reuven Nisser
Ofek Liyladenu

-----Original Message-----
From: Yuval Rabinovich [mailto:yuval@lab.co.il]
Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2003 7:50 PM
To: Reuven Nisser; ibi-l; www-html@w3.org
Cc: 'shaula haitner'; 'Gertel Hasson'; BIGELOW,JIM (HP-Boise,ex1)
Subject: Re: Problem with LANG keyword

Hello, Reuven.

Most of the documents in the Internet are written in English. However, in
the future there will be many more English documents. Do you suggest the
LANG=EN-US to be mandatory for such documents?

I think not. There is nothing wrong with defaults, and a document can
default to English. The same applies for other languages. The user agent
should be able to apply English/Hebrew to the Windows-1255 code page,
English/Arabic to Windows-1256 and all three to UTF-8.

If a document is written in French and Yiddish, however, there is a reason
to override the defaults, because both Windows-1255 and UTF-8 can be used,
and the character set is the same as English/Hebrew.

This discussion reminds me of the DOCTYPE DTD attribute. I never understood
it completely, and there is probably no browser that needs it or even uses
it for anything. The insisting of the W3C validator that it must be present
in all documents may have prevented some website builders to write proper
HTML documents.

Planning for the future is a virtue, but using unnecessary limits because we
estimate it will be needed in the future puts a burden on present Internet
developers, that may not prove useful.

I still think we may omit declarations for defaults. Unless you do it, you
really should go over all web HTML documents and make sure they start with
<HTML DIR="LTR"> statement.

Received on Thursday, 25 September 2003 04:28:06 UTC

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