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

From: Alexander Christiaan Jacob <ego@acjs.net>
Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2007 15:44:03 +0200
Message-ID: <462E09A3.7040606@acjs.net>
CC: 3w-html <www-html@w3.org>

Yahia Chlyeh wrote:
> I would like to express my disagreement where the XHTML2 spec says:
>   The xml:lang attribute is required on [the html] element.
>  <http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml2/mod-document.html#edef_document_html>
> 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= attributes)
> 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
> <http://yahia.ma/antiblog/>
You could consider using one of the following language codes on the root 

* mis (miscellaneous languages);
* mul (multiple languages);
* und (undetermined);
* zxx (no linguistic content).

(Depending on the exact use case, of course.)


Received on Tuesday, 24 April 2007 13:44:16 UTC

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