W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-international@w3.org > January to March 1997

Language labelling

From: M.T. Carrasco Benitez <carrasco@innet.lu>
Date: Fri, 21 Feb 1997 10:10:22 +0100 (MET)
To: Francois Yergeau <yergeau@alis.com>
cc: (wrong string) çois Yergeau <yergeau@alis.ca>, Martin Dürst <mduerst@ifi.unizh.ch>, Charles Wicksteed <charles.wicksteed@reuters.com>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.91.970221085837.10640B-100000@winter>
There should be *one place* to indicate the language of the whole 
document.  This must fulfill the two functions:

 - Doc sent by server (the language must be in Content-Language)
 - Doc read directly by clients (browser and probably translation aid 
                                 based on the web technology)

There are two general approaches:

 - External to the doc, e.g., filename, meta-data file
 - Internal to the doc, e.g., <html>, <meta http-equiv= ...>

If the same "filename" is always kept it could consider a internal 
approach, but it could dangerous.

I will go for *internal* approach to make the doc "autonomous" of other 
information around (the doc would have to in "sets" for other functions).

If we want to server to transmit the Content-Language, it to pick it up 
from inside the doc.  As the server "may" (HTML 3.2) pick up *all* the
<meta http-equiv= ...>, the general facilities should be already in the 
server and it is explicit that it would be put in the "RFC 822 style 
header".  It should not be more wasteful than <html> and in both cases 
the server could create meta-data file from for optimization.

Obviously, the general facilities should be there to pick it up from 
<html>, but probably be in another module from the one to construct the "RFC 
822 style header".

If I remember properly, the docs in the Alis server use the meta approach 
for the language.

In brief,

 - Indicate the language in only *one place*
 - Internal approach (<html> or <meta http-equiv= ...>)
 - <html> or <meta http-equiv= ...> are functionally similar

Hence my vote goes for

 <meta http-equiv="Content-Language" Content=xx>

Regards
Tomas
Received on Friday, 21 February 1997 03:51:24 GMT

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