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:lang() vs. no language information

From: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2003 01:17:06 +0100
To: www-style@w3.org
Message-ID: <3e87cdd5.308014521@smtp.bjoern.hoehrmann.de>


  The XML 1.0 Second Edition errata now allows empty xml:lang attribute
specification, see <http://www.w3.org/XML/xml-V10-2e-errata#E41>.
<foo xml:lang=''>...</foo> means, that there is no language information
available for that element. The CSS pseudo-class :lang() is currently
unable to select element foo depending on the language. You could style
all elements with a known language differently like

  *                 { color: red  }
  *:lang(de)        { color: blue }
  *:lang(en)        { color: blue }
  *:lang(x-klingon) { color: blue }

but this is rather theoretic. I asked on xml-editor@w3.org whether
xml:lang='' and xml:lang='und' (`und` is the ISO-639-2 language code for
an Undetermined language) are equivalent and one could thus use
foo:lang(und) to select the element above, but this is rather unlikely,
since if they were, there'd be no need to allow xml:lang='' at all. So I
think the definition of :lang() should be changed to allow selection of
xml:lang='' elements.

I am uncertain about the syntax, things like foo:lang(), foo:lang(""),
foo:lang(-), foo:lang(none()), etc. aren't that intuitive. Maybe the
asterik could be allowed to select "any language" and :not be used to
invert the selection, i.e. foo:not(:lang(*)), but that's not much

Received on Wednesday, 12 March 2003 19:16:13 UTC

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