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Re: CSS2.1 :lang

From: Tex Texin <tex@i18nguy.com>
Date: Thu, 16 Oct 2003 22:53:29 -0400
Message-ID: <3F8F59A9.5F0B455C@i18nguy.com>
To: Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>
Cc: "Jukka K. Korpela" <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>, Bert Bos <bert@w3.org>, www-style@w3.org, W3c I18n Group <w3c-i18n-ig@w3.org>

I'll just echo Chris's comments w/respect to :lang.
I use it and know others use it. Being able to make selections based on
language in css is also a requirement for multilingual documents.

It is clear that support in html browsers with respect to rendering based on
language is not very good. However, not specifying how languages should be
supported certainly won't improve it. (Or to say it in the affirmative, the
only way to improve it is to specify it.)

tex


Chris Lilley wrote:
> 
> On Thursday, October 16, 2003, 9:41:46 PM, Jukka wrote:
> 
> JKK> On Thu, 16 Oct 2003, Chris Lilley wrote:
> 
> >> It would match those that have no language set.
> >>
> >> BB> But making it match elements with no language seems the most useful,
> >> BB> especially since it parallels RFC 3066.
> >>
> >> I agree, and that is also the definition of xml:lang="".
> 
> JKK> I don't quite understand the crossposting, but I suppose there is a
> JKK> reason.
> 
> In a discussion of style and internationalization, crossposting to a
> style group and an internationalization groups seems entirely natural.
> 
> JKK> Anyway, what the XML specification says about the xml:lang attribute is
> JKK> that "The values of the attribute are language identifiers as defined by
> JKK> [IETF RFC 1766], Tags for the Identification of Languages, or its
> JKK> successor on the IETF Standards Track."
> 
> Please also look at the XML 1.0 eratta, and the XML 1.1 specification.
> 
> JKK> I see no way how an empty string
> JKK> could be interpreted as an accepted value for the attribute.
> 
> I do, but then I am reading later specs than you seem to be.
> 
> JKK> By the HTML 4.* specification,
> 
> (who cares!) its being phased out in favour of the one that the rest
> of xml uses.
> 
> JKK> the default value of the lang attribute is
> JKK> unknown. This is really mystical, but it seems to postulate that there
> JKK> _is_ a default value.
> 
> One which was not possible to put in the serialisation, so yes
> previously rather mystical. In particular, once it was set on some
> element, it could not be undet on any children. Thats what xml:lang=""
> does.
> 
> >> I agree that CSS should not be required to know whether language tags
> >> have been registered or not.
> 
> JKK> If something is defined as being, say, a language code, then _some_
> JKK> definition is needed for what those codes are. But CSS processors need not
> JKK> know much about such things. They effectively treat language codes as
> JKK> strings, without caring anything about their meaning; they need not know
> JKK> whether "en" means 'English'.
> 
> JKK> In practical terms, :lang is pointless until support to language markup
> JKK> in browsers becomes worth mentioning.
> 
> I don't follow your point, unless you think that xml:lang is solely something
> to do with styling. Its not; its also of use for searching, spell
> checking, speech synthesis, and so forth.
> 
> JKK>  Since the whole point in CSS 2.1
> JKK> is to define a practical subset of CSS 2.0, I don't see why :lang is kept
> JKK> there at all.
> 
> Possibly because, at least in theory, CSS2.1 is not restricted to
> buggy HTML browsers that have not changed much over the last 4 years.
> Instead, its all CSS implementations.
> 
> JKK> Besides, the actual meaning of language markup is still obscure.
> JKK> The whole thing is vaguely defined, little used, and little
> JKK> supported,
> 
> I invite you to back up those claims. I don't see much vagarity of
> definition. I see plenty of usage, though perhaps not much in HTML
> pages which are mainly presentational crap anyway; for actual XML and
> for the broader spectrum of XML usage, its pretty normal to use it
> when two or more languages are used in the same document and good
> practice when only one is used. As to support, what do you count as
> support?
> 
> JKK> so it's misleading to keep it in a specification that is supposed
> JKK> to describe CSS du jour.
> 
> Not really.
> 
> --
>  Chris                            mailto:chris@w3.org

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Received on Thursday, 16 October 2003 22:53:31 GMT

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