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Re: Notes on the draft polyglot document Polyglot document

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 2010 11:54:52 -0500
Cc: Daniel Glazman <daniel.glazman@disruptive-innovations.com>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>, TAG List <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-Id: <E6721E2C-34D1-4ACB-823D-C4BCDDD9F9A5@ihmc.us>
To: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>

On Jun 10, 2010, at 7:14 AM, Lachlan Hunt wrote:

> On 2010-06-10 08:57, Daniel Glazman wrote:
>> Le 10/06/10 02:20, Nathan a écrit :
>>
>>> Personally I don't see what's wrong with the term 'Polyglot', but
>>
>> Because my first reaction - with my light linguistics background -
>> when I saw the title was "oh a spec for multilingual documents" ?
>
> For computing purposes,

Indeed, but the audience for HTML and XML is not the narrow CS  
technical audience, but is orders of magnitude wider. Already, W3C's  
(mis)use of common words with an established meaning has produced  
acres of terminological confusion. Notable examples include XML's use  
of the philosophical word "entity" and the widespread use of  
"resource" to mean "anything".

> the term is already recognised as meaning "... written in a valid  
> form of multiple programming languages" [1]. Although the words has  
> its roots in linguistics, using its existing meaning as a computer  
> term is quite reasonable.

I disagree. HTML and XML specs might be written by geeks, but they  
will be being used by an audience about 10|3 times as large. The  
meaning of the word "polyglot" in its normal (not 'linguistic') usage  
has been stable since the 17th century; the computing term is at most  
a decade old, and is fairly marginal even in that narrow community.  
And in any case, in this application, "poly" is an egregious  
exaggeration.

Pat Hayes

>
> FWIW, we had a brief discussion about this a while ago regarding my  
> HTML5 authoring guide, when I wanted to find a more reader friendly  
> term, and I ended up settling for polyglot anyway, as it was the  
> most appropriate term I found.
>
> [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyglot_%28computing%29
>
> -- 
> Lachlan Hunt - Opera Software
> http://lachy.id.au/
> http://www.opera.com/
>
>

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Received on Sunday, 20 June 2010 16:55:59 UTC

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