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[XHTML2.0] xml:lang required on <html>

From: Yahia Chlyeh <cyahia@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2007 03:04:32 -0000
To: 3w-html <www-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.tq9phukfbhoi91@poste0>

I would like to express my disagreement where the XHTML2 spec says:
   The xml:lang attribute is required on [the html] element.

The problem is that xml:lang's value cannot contain more than one  
language-code, nor it can contain none (actually validating againt current  
XHTML documents, sends errors when encountering empty xml:lang= and lang=  

You might say it isn't a problem, because a document must have a primary  
language. But let's consider this case:
My XHTML2 homepage has links to my various websites in various languages,  
and this homepage itself do not contain prominent language-specific text.  
It may contain only the titles of the websites the links refer to. (It  
also may contain only images as links to those websites.)

So, what in that case should the value be used in 'xml:lang='?
I see three solutions: allow xml:lang=
1. with no value,
2. with a comma-separated list of value (or both 1. and 2.),
3. or unrequire xml:lang at all in the root element of XHTML2 documents.

PS: allowing xml:lang= to be empty is good when you want to cancel the  
inheritance of the document's language, and don't know in which language a  
part of your document is (it can happen, or more commonly do not know the  
code for the language, as it can be very unfrequent).

Yahia Chlyeh
Received on Tuesday, 24 April 2007 03:07:47 UTC

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