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Re: ISSUE-88 / Re: what's the language of a document ?

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2010 07:39:08 +0000 (UTC)
To: "Martin J. Dürst" <duerst@it.aoyama.ac.jp>
Cc: Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>, www-international@w3.org, public-html@w3.org, 'Maciej Stachowiak' <mjs@apple.com>, "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@apache.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.64.1003110734230.21367@ps20323.dreamhostps.com>
On Thu, 11 Mar 2010, "Martin J. Dürst" wrote:
> 
> <meta http-equiv=... and in particular <meta 
> http-equiv="Content-Language" is for servers, not clients.

For solving what problem?


> The fact that some pages (indeed maybe a majority of pages) contain 
> incomplete (or wrong) information is a result of the fact that not all 
> servers (in fact probably only a minority of servers, although the 
> situation in well-controlled intranets may be somewhat different from 
> the visible Internet) make use of this information. That's unfortunate, 
> but it should not lead to a redefinition of this field that makes it 
> impossible for servers which followed the standard up to now to continue 
> to use it, even if that's only a minority of servers.

When a feature is for use on a server by a server, interoperability isn't 
needed and therefore the HTML5 spec is irrelevant. Servers are free to use 
whatever mechanisms and conventions they want to get whatever effects they 
want on their end.


> As a result, the HTML5 spec best should just say that <meta http-equiv 
> is used primarily as meta-information on the server side and is 
> therefore in general ignored on the client side.

It's not ignored on the client side in practice.

Servers that want to use <meta> for whatever purpose are welcome to do so, 
the HTML5 spec can't prevent it. If you want to redundantly send it over 
the wire as well, then use one of the HTML extension mechanisms like <meta 
name> or data-*="" or RDFa or microdata or any number of other mechanisms. 

<meta http-equiv=""> is not an extension mechanism; the reality of the 
situation in deployed software is that it is a pragma that controls 
client-side behaviour. It's not what it was intended for, it's not an 
especially good idea, but it is what it is.

-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Thursday, 11 March 2010 07:39:38 GMT

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