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RE: declaring language in html/xhtml

From: Alan Pierce <apierce411@hotmail.com>
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 2004 16:46:32 +0000
Message-ID: <BAY15-F23B10E21545E621900FE1692AC0@phx.gbl>
To: ishida@w3.org, jon@hackcraft.net, www-international@w3.org


I really thought I was asking a straightforward question. Though there 
doesn't seem to be any such thing in the i18n world.

Yes - the section at
http://www.w3.org/International/geo/html-tech/tech-lang.html#ri20030218.131140352
is quite clear.

If I understand correctly, the short answer to my original question:
> > > Does it make any practical difference to serve html with
> > the html tag
> > > marked-up as xhtml, like:
> > > <html lang="ja-JP" xml:lang="ja_JP"
> > > xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
> > >
> > > as opposed to simply
> > > <html lang="ja-JP"> ?
> >

is simply ''No, not really".

thank you for your time,

Alan P.

>RI
>
>============
>Richard Ishida
>W3C
>
>contact info:
>http://www.w3.org/People/Ishida/
>
>W3C Internationalization:
>http://www.w3.org/International/
>
>Publication blog:
>http://people.w3.org/rishida/blog/
>
>
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: www-international-request@w3.org
> > [mailto:www-international-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Jon Hanna
> > Sent: 11 December 2004 11:01
> > To: 'Alan Pierce'; www-international@w3.org
> > Subject: RE: declaring language in html/xhtml
> >
> >
> > > Does it make any practical difference to serve html with
> > the html tag
> > > marked-up as xhtml, like:
> > > <html lang="ja-JP" xml:lang="ja_JP"
> > > xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
> > >
> > > as opposed to simply
> > > <html lang="ja-JP"> ?
> >
> > There's a few things here.
> >
> > 1. ja-JP means the dialect of Japanese spoken in Japan as
> > opposed to the 1 or more dialects spoken elsewhere. I've been
> > told that there isn't any other country with a different form
> > of Japanese, so the correct language tag is just "ja" unlike,
> > for example British English "en-GB" which does benefit from
> > the second part of the tag as it differentiates it from
> > en-IE, en-US etc. (I don't know much about Japanese, but I've
> > seen ja-JP used as an example of just this sort of mistake by
> > those who do know more than I).
> >
> > 2. ja_JP is incorrect syntax, both lang and xml:lang take RFC
> > 3066 tags so there are no underscores (a typo?).
> >
> > 3. The lang attribute is only in XHTML for backwards
> > compatibility, so that when an old HTML tool that doesn't
> > grok XHTML sees the XHTML it will act as if it is HTML and be
> > able to determine the language. Contra this general-purpose
> > XML tools that don't know anything specific about XHTML (and
> > the ability to use such tools is the main practical advantage
> > in using XHTML rather than HTML) will understand the
> > xml:lang, but not the lang. As such xml:lang is the one that
> > you must use, lang is the one that you can use as well.
> >
> > <html lang="ja">
> > <!-- HTML 4.01 or earlier, Japanese -->
> >
> > <blah xml:lang="ja">
> > <!-- Some form of XML, Japanese -->
> >
> > <html xml:lang="ja">
> > <!-- Some form of XML, Japanese (Not XHTML, as there's no
> > namespace) -->
> >
> > <html xml:lang="ja" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
> > <!-- XHTML, Japanese -->
> >
> > <html lang="ja" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
> > <!-- XHTML, Japanese, but general XML tools won't realise this. -->
> >
> > <html xml:lang="ja" lang="ja" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
> > <!-- XHTML, Japanese, backwards compatible with old HTML
> > user-agents -->
> >
> > <html xml:lang="ja" lang="en" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
> > <!-- Obviously a bug, but the way it's interpreted is worth
> > looking at.
> > An XML tool will see it as Japanese.
> > An HTML tool will see it as English.
> > An XHTML tool will see xml:lang as over-riding lang, since
> > lang is just for backwards-compatibility, and hence see it as
> > being Japanese -->
> >
> > In all I'd recommend you keep using the fuller form until the
> > general level of tool support means you can drop lang and
> > just use xml:lang.
> >
> > Regards,
> > Jon Hanna
> > Work: <http://www.selkieweb.com/>
> > Play: <http://www.hackcraft.net/>
> > Chat: <irc://irc.freenode.net/selkie>
> >
> >
>

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Received on Tuesday, 14 December 2004 16:47:35 GMT

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