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Re: hreflang

From: Laurens Holst <lholst@students.cs.uu.nl>
Date: Sun, 05 Feb 2006 15:56:33 +0100
Message-ID: <43E61221.1000804@students.cs.uu.nl>
To: W3C HTML List <www-html@w3.org>

Oskar Welzl schreef:
> Dear members of www-html,
> I was really afraid I'd be at least 2 years late to re-discuss @hreflang
> in XHTML 2 now. Browsing the lists' archives every now and then, though,
> I see there are others sharing my concerns. So sat down and tried one
> more effort on
> Why @hreflang Should Be Handled As In HTML 4.01 
> ===============================================
> (by me, written in a foreign language late at night. Please be
> indulgent.)
> In short, it shouldn't change to what the current public working draft
> proposes (multi-value, changing the accept-language request header)
> because
> - it's superfluous that way
> - it's difficult to handle with CSS
> - it's http only and denies XHTML's use as a general markup language
> - it leads to bad user experience
> - it's based on a questionable concept that is hardly used
> - browser behaviour isn't specified 
> As an alternative, I propose @hreflang to be used the same way it was
> meant in HTML 4.01 plus the introduction of an additional @acceptlang
> (or @getlang) to satisfy those who really, really want it the way the
> XHTML 2.0 draft reads now.

I agree with this proposal.

My main reasons for disagreeing with the re-specification of hreflang 
are that:
- Hreflang is already used in a sensible manner and we would loose that 
ability in the new specification.
- The author of a website can’t make a well-judged decision on which 
languages his visitors can and prefer to read. The user has indicated 
language preferences in his browser, and those should not be ignored.

Because of the sensible examples Oskar mentioned in his section B.), I 
do think it’s somewhat valueable to introduce an @acceptlang attribute, 
although I have doubts as to whether user agents will actually implement 
it, and whether I would really care when that doesn’t happen.


Ushiko-san! Kimi wa doushite, Ushiko-san!!
Laurens Holst, student, university of Utrecht, the Netherlands.
Website: www.grauw.nl. Backbase employee; www.backbase.com.
Received on Sunday, 5 February 2006 14:58:38 UTC

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