W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-international@w3.org > April to June 2008

Re: Language tag education and negotiation

From: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2008 03:21:23 +0200
Message-ID: <48152693.6050408@malform.no>
To: Andrew Cunningham <andrewc@vicnet.net.au>
CC: www-international@w3.org

Andrew Cunningham 2008-04-26 08.45:
> i assume its a rhetorical question?

Then why the quesionmark? ;-)

> but my take on the question below is:
> * web developers [...]
> and anyone else you can think of

So all must learn. Yes. But it is most important that server and user 
agent software gets it right. Authors must also learn. The issue with 
Nynorsk/Bokmål that I have taken up shows how diffucult it is to get the 
to learn because the standards are so unintuitive.

> just getting the user agent developers to correct things at there end, doesn't help in the long
> run.  Although is is a useful interim step.

I my view it is a critical step. The interface for doing these choices 
must be logical and simple. And there should be some sensible defaults 
to choose from, so that most users won't need to fiddle with those 
things unless they have very spesific demands.

> The focus on education should be web developers and developers creating authoring
> agents.

They too needs focus.

> For instance as indicated already in this thread, some users might want to give a higher
> priority to Swedish, and web browsers automatically making assumptions on
> how to treat Norwegian issues may negatively impact on such users.

I must disagree strongly. The spesific example I mentioned was an edge 
case of grownups who are so in disagreement with the Bokmål predominance 
of Norway that they choose to live in a partly Swedish mileu instead. (A 
few years on, and I guess they are back to a Norwegian mileu, in some 
form.) The example could be best be compared to the Italian Albanians 
which  John mentioned. Imagine that one such speaker of the Albanian 
form used in Italia decided to be "Great-Albaninan" - at least in the 
linguistic terms - and thus decided to prefer Albanian Albanian over 
Italian, even though his own tongue was Arbëreshë Albanian and he was 
fluent in Italian. That is what my edge example can be compared to.

If you take the stance that the most important thing is that everone can 
do as they wish, then there is nothing much to educate anyone about.

Then you should set out on teaching everyone about maximum freedom instead.

> basically no one size fits all, there needs ot be flexibility.

The english tag 'en' also doesn't fit all. But in case you want to offer 
flexibility, then it is simple to do so, adding en-GB etc, and great 
support for it. And it is very simple to teach how it works.

Why don't you want that other languages shall have the same simplicity?
leif halvard silli
Received on Monday, 28 April 2008 01:22:05 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Wednesday, 21 September 2016 22:37:29 UTC