W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > February 2009

Re: Why "color"

From: Brad Kemper <brad.kemper@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2009 10:20:06 -0800
Cc: Philip TAYLOR <P.Taylor@rhul.ac.uk>, Daniel Glazman <daniel.glazman@disruptive-innovations.com>, Adam Twardoch <list.adam@twardoch.com>, Philip TAYLOR <Philip-and-LeKhanh@royal-tunbridge-wells.org>, www-style@w3.org
Message-Id: <C81F2646-6BB7-4B3D-9337-6FBC4A329A85@gmail.com>
To: marbux <marbux@gmail.com>
Let's just reverse the order of all the letters in all the tokens, and  
then they would no longer resemble any human language. Everyone that  
can read and type Latin characters would then be equally poorly served.

On Feb 19, 2009, at 10:09 AM, marbux wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 8:53 AM, Philip TAYLOR <P.Taylor@rhul.ac.uk>  
> wrote:
>> With respect, Daniel, "reality" requires recognising
>> the fact that most of the world does not speak English
>> (in any of its variants) as a first language, and that
>> we who are in the privileged position of being able
>> to discuss standards for future software specifications
>> have a duty not only to recognise this fact but to
>> build in this recognition into specifications currently
>> under discussion.
>
> I'm a retired lawyer and scholar of international law governing IT
> standards development. I think you have a fair point in regard to the
> duty you speak of. That does not clearly resolve the issue in my mind
> because there are arguments cutting the other way in context and the
> World Trade Organization Dispute Resolution Process has not yet spoken
> directly to the issue in the context of IT standards.
>
> But this is an issue that should be bumped over to W3C Legal for  
> some guidance.
>
> In the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade, Article 4 provides in
> relevant part:
>
> "Members [nations] shall ensure that their central government
> standardizing bodies accept and comply with the Code of Good Practice
> for the Preparation, Adoption and Application of Standards in Annex 3
> to this Agreement (referred to in this Agreement as the "Code of Good
> Practice"). They shall take such reasonable measures as may be
> available to them to ensure that local government and
> *non-governmental standardizing bodies within their territories,* as
> well as regional standardizing bodies of which they or one or more
> bodies within their territories are members, *accept and comply with
> this Code of Good Practice.* ... The obligations of Members with
> respect to compliance of standardizing bodies with the provisions of
> the Code of Good Practice shall apply irrespective of whether or not a
> standardizing body has accepted the Code of Good Practice."
>
> <http://www.wto.org/english/res_e/booksp_e/analytic_index_e/tbt_01_e.htm#article4 
> >
> (footnote omitted).
>
> In the referenced Code of Good Practice, the following relevant
> passages are found:
>
> "D.     In respect of standards, the standardizing body shall accord
> treatment to products originating in the territory of any other Member
> of the WTO no less favourable than that accorded to like products of
> national origin and to like products originating in any other country.
>
> "E.     The standardizing body shall ensure that standards are not
> prepared, adopted or applied with a view to, or with the effect of,
> creating unnecessary obstacles to international trade."
>
> Note that those two provisions echo language found in sections 2.1 and
> 2.2 of Article 2, governing the preparation adoption, and application
> of technical regulations.
> <http://www.wto.org/english/res_e/booksp_e/analytic_index_e/tbt_01_e.htm#article2 
> >.
> A fair reading of Article 2 section 2.2 suggests that whether an
> obstacle is "unnecessary" sets a very high legal threshold reserved
> for very serious situations such as "national security requirements;
> the prevention of deceptive practices; protection of human health or
> safety, animal or plant life or health, or the environment. In
> assessing such risks, relevant elements of consideration are, inter
> alia: available scientific and technical information, related
> processing technology or intended end-uses of products."
>
> I see a fair argument that sole reliance on a single human language
> for markup tokens raises issues under both sections D. and E. of the
> Code of Good Practice quoted above, although I think the issue more
> squarely poised by section E governing obstacles to international
> trade. The legal inquiry suggested by the sections cited above is: [i]
> whether the reliance on a single human language for markup tokens
> creates an obstacle to international trade; and [ii] if so, whether
> that obstacle is necessary.
>
> Even where obstacles to international trade are necessary, language in
> Article 2 section 2.2 suggest that a "least trade restrictive"
> solution is required. "technical regulations shall not be more
> trade-restrictive than necessary to fulfil a legitimate objective[.]"
>
> I think it likely that faced with a dispute that directly posed the
> issue, the WTO Appellate Body would read the "least trade restrictive"
> solution requirement into the Code of Good Practice. In effect, the
> "least trade restrictive" language is but another way of asking
> whether an obstacle to international trade is "unnecessary."
>
> That said, I also suspect that a dispute over usage of American or
> British spellings would not be viewed as a serious matter by the
> Appellate Body. A far more compelling issue would be a dispute
> involving English and a different language commonly used in a
> developing nation.
>
> But in sum, I think this an issue the W3C lawyers should speak to.
>
> Best regards,
>
> Paul E. Merrell, J.D.
>
> -- 
> Universal Interoperability Council
> <http:www.universal-interop-council.org>
>
Received on Thursday, 19 February 2009 18:20:45 GMT

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