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Re: Language label

From: Misha Wolf <misha.wolf@reuters.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 1997 20:01:25 +0000 (GMT)
To: www-international <www-international@w3.org>, Unicode <unicode@unicode.org>
Message-Id: <7025012026021997/A37112/REDMS1/11B2D5011900*@MHS>
Tomas wrote (to the www-international list):

>I have the feeling that there is consensus (please give a signal) for
>
> <HTML LANG=xx>
>
>The server should pick it up and put in the the transmission header, etc.
>I will write a short doc.
>
>All this is hot air if the parties concerned do not take note:
>
> - Server producers (Alis, Apache, Microsoft, Netscape, ...)
> - Page producers (Accent, Alis, Unicode, ...)
>
>Anybody for ?
>
> <META HTTP-EQUIV...>
>
>Regards
>Tomas

There are a number of quite separate requirements for language 
identification, such as:

1.  Language tagging of portions of text, so that:
    -  search engines can carry out appropriate stemming etc,
    -  browsers can:
       -  select the most appropriate fonts,
       -  do the most appropriate hyphenation,
       -  use the most appropriate voice synthesis,
       -  ...

2.  Language tagging of a Web object (eg an image or an HTML file), so that 
    HTTP can be used to negotiate between client and server, in order to 
    obtain the objects which best suit the user.

It is not obvious that the information for item 2 above should come from 
inside the object.  Indeed, in the case of an image, you might have serious 
difficulties if you tried to insert "<HTML LANG=xx>" or "<META HTTP-EQUIV 
...>" :-).  The best solution is, probably, to place this information 
outside the object, eg in the object's name within a filestore.

Misha
Received on Wednesday, 26 February 1997 15:00:57 GMT

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