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Re: How to test for lang / xml:lang recognition?

From: Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 1 May 2004 00:26:20 +0200
Message-ID: <876690040.20040501002620@w3.org>
To: "Richard Ishida" <ishida@w3.org>
Cc: www-international@w3.org, "'Deborah Cawkwell'" <deborah.cawkwell@bbc.co.uk>

On Friday, April 30, 2004, 8:06:18 PM, Richard wrote:

RI> Can anyone think of a general way of testing whether the
RI> language declared in an html tag is recognized by a user agent -
RI> that we can use in a test suite?

There are various ways it can be used, is the trouble. Its sort of

An editor can use xml:lang to assist with spell checking, for example,
and I believe Amaya does this (try a mixed French and English
document. But a user agent is not required to support that.

I recall François demonstrating lang for selection of appropriate
glyphs on a mixed Chinese and Japanese Unicode document. But a user
agent is not required to support that, either. Actually the definition
of an HTML user agent doesn't really exist.

RI> This would be particularly useful to test, for example,
RI> whether the langauge declaration in a meta statement has any
RI> impact on the document - my assumption is not, but I'd like to be
RI> sure.

RI> The difficulty is finding a test that doesn't rely on some other thing working.

I agree.

RI> We could use a :lang selector to test for recognition, except
RI> that the test would fail on IE because :lang doesn't work.

Last I looked, if something doesn't work in a particular
implementation that didn't mean that the spec was broken.

RI> We could maybe check whether fonts are applied in CJK (see
RI> for example [1]), but we can't guarrantee that that behaviour is
RI> widespread either.


RI> Maybe a JavaScript routine could look at the DOM?

Well it could.

RI> Any ideas?

SVG has a notion of language-specific glyphs in SVG fonts. But that,
as you say, depends on a whole set of other things working.

 Chris Lilley                    mailto:chris@w3.org
 Chair, W3C SVG Working Group
 Member, W3C Technical Architecture Group
Received on Friday, 30 April 2004 18:33:22 UTC

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