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Re: [XHTML2] CITELANG, TITLELANG attributes

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2004 01:36:04 +0300 (EEST)
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.58.0407280125410.25765@korppi.cs.tut.fi>

On Tue, 27 Jul 2004, Ian Hickson wrote:

> On Wed, 28 Jul 2004, Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
> >
> > If the TITLE attributes were replaced by TITLE elements, for example,
> > making each TITLE element specify, by definition, an informative title
> > for its parent element, the problem would vanish in a puff of logic: the
> > TITLE element could and should be allowed to have normal inline content,
> > including elements with their own LANG (oops, sorry, xml:lang)
> > attributes.
>
> IMHO the resulting increase in complexity in implementations, error
> handling, and DOM access, far outweighs the extremely rare and highly
> theoretical benefit of being able to make different parts of the text as
> being in different languages.

The whole issue of language markup is currently theoretical only, for
almost all purposes - user agents that make use of it tend to make _wrong_
use of it (say, arbitrarily changing fonts, instead of doing something
really language-dependent).

What complexity are you referring to? What complexity would follow from
the simple idea of nesting an element inside another instead of using an
attribute? To take an analogous case, we currently have the CAPTION
element which may be used (only) inside a TABLE element and the SUMMARY
attribute that may be used for a TABLE element. Many people have
difficulties in seeing the fundamental semantic difference. But that
aside, is the CAPTION element inherently more complex to implement than
the SUMMARY attribute?

I don't see the possibility as extremely rare. Consider a link - a typical
element to which we might wish to assign a TITLE. If the document where
the link appears is in French and the linked document is in German, for
example, it would be very natural to make the "advisory title" contain the
name of the linked document in both French and in German, in many cases.
If you think about the potential benefits of language markup (which are,
after all, the only reason for considering language markup at all), then
surely they apply to "advisory titles" as well. For example, we would like
to have a speech browser read the title using adequate algorithms for
speech generation for each language. And "advisory titles" are typical
examples of _short_ texts where heuristics so often fail - if you just try
to guess whether the language changes within such a text, from the
characteristics of the short string itself, you can't be very successful.

-- 
Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Received on Tuesday, 27 July 2004 18:36:08 GMT

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