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Re: Specifying the language of content

From: Martin Duerst <duerst@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 04 Aug 2004 08:31:50 +0900
Message-Id: <>
To: Norbert Lindenberg <Norbert.Lindenberg@Sun.COM>, www-i18n-comments@w3.org
Cc: Norbert Lindenberg <Norbert.Lindenberg@Sun.COM>

At 18:07 04/08/02 -0700, Norbert Lindenberg wrote:

>2) Item http://www.w3.org/TR/i18n-html-tech-lang/#ri20040429.094220724 
>says "Do not use the meta tag to declare the language of a document." The 
>justification is that "tag is not widely recognized by current user 
>agents." While I agree that using the meta tag alone is insufficient, I 
>don't see any problem with using it in addition to the lang attributes. 
>The meta tag makes the information available in the HTTP header, and in 
>some cases that's all a user agent gets to see (e.g., when making an HTTP 
>HEAD request). What's wrong with that?

I don't know any server that actually looks into the document and
extracts the <meta http-equiv> information and puts it into HTTP
headers. Do you?

>3) Item http://www.w3.org/TR/i18n-html-tech-lang/#ri20040429.113217290 
>says "Use the codes zh-Hans and zh-Hant to refer to Simplified and 
>Traditional Chinese, respectively." These attribute values don't seem to 
>have the desired effect on font selection. In my testing with several 
>browsers, running in English environments but with full CJK support 
>installed, I have not found a single browser that recognizes the script 
>codes. The behavior I see is:
>   - Internet Explorer 6.0 / Windows: ignore "zh-Hans" and "zh-Hant" 
> entirely (i.e., use Japanese font)
>   - Mozilla 1.5.1 Mac, Firefox 0.9 Mac: use simplified Chinese font for 
> both "zh-Hans" and "zh-Hant".
>   - Explorer 5.2.3 Mac: use traditional Chinese font for both "zh-Hans" 
> and "zh-Hant".
>   - Safari 1.2.2 / Mac: lang attribute doesn't affect font selection.
>I can see why zh-Hans and zh-Hant are better in theory, but if they don't 
>work, they shouldn't be recommended.

I think we may have to use a two-staged strategy: First push the
implementers to support these new codes, and then later recommend
it to content creators.

Regards,    Martin.
Received on Tuesday, 3 August 2004 19:54:36 UTC

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