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RE: W3C I18N & Accessibility; ISO 639 language codes

From: Phillips, Addison <addison@lab126.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Sep 2019 18:26:13 +0000
To: "janina@rednote.net" <janina@rednote.net>, "ishida@w3.org" <ishida@w3.org>, "atsushi@w3.org" <atsushi@w3.org>, "xfq@w3.org" <xfq@w3.org>
CC: W3C WAI Accessible Platform Architectures <public-apa@w3.org>, "public-i18n-core@w3.org" <public-i18n-core@w3.org>, "Fourney, David" <david.fourney@usask.ca>, Christian Galinski <christian.galinski@chello.at>, 'klaus.miesenberger' <klaus.miesenberger@jku.at>, "hoeckner@hilfsgemeinschaft.at" <hoeckner@hilfsgemeinschaft.at>, "shadi@w3.org" <shadi@w3.org>, "alejandro.moledo@edf-feph.org" <alejandro.moledo@edf-feph.org>, "lisa.seeman@zoho.com" <lisa.seeman@zoho.com>, "'Kasinskaite, Irmgarda'" <I.Kasinskaite@unesco.org>, "drude@xs4all.nl" <drude@xs4all.nl>, "stevelee@w3.org" <stevelee@w3.org>, 'FERRES Mercè' <FERRES@iso.org>, Charles LaPierre <charlesl@benetech.org>, "p13n@rednote.net" <p13n@rednote.net>
Message-ID: <e3f3fb83a63a450b9b99898649a149c9@EX13D08UWB002.ant.amazon.com>
<chair hat on>
I would be happy to meet with our A11Y colleagues during a portion of the I18N meeting Monday/Tuesday. I would also be glad to meet with A11Y folks on Thursday or part of Friday (speaking personally) and I'm sure others in our group who are present would also attend.

<chair hat off>
This thread seems confused? BCP 47 includes support for ISO 639, parts 1, 2, and 3, including a large number of sign languages. Alpha2 subtags are used for languages that have alpha2 codes assigned by ISO 639-1. Languages that have no 639-1 code but which are assigned codes by 639-2/3 use the alpha3 subtag to form language tags. These subtags are widely and thoroughly supported in HTML, CSS and other Web standards. Some other standards (in the structured data space and notably related to DC) have not fully embraced BCP47, which is a source of woe for them. Some of the other considerations, such as length, are dealt with already by BCP47 and in actual fact the use and adoption of Unicode Locale Identifiers have placed truly huge language tags into production. 

I'd be glad to discuss the details here. A more thorough reading and/or in depth response is probably warranted on my part. Please let me know how best to meet.

Addison

Addison Phillips
Sr. Principal SDE – I18N (Amazon)
Chair (W3C I18N WG)
Editor (IETF BCP 47)

Internationalization is not a feature.
It is an architecture.



> -----Original Message-----
> From: janina@rednote.net [mailto:janina@rednote.net]
> Sent: Thursday, September 05, 2019 11:13 AM
> To: Phillips, Addison <addison@lab126.com>; ishida@w3.org; atsushi@w3.org;
> xfq@w3.org
> Cc: W3C WAI Accessible Platform Architectures <public-apa@w3.org>; public-
> i18n-core@w3.org; Fourney, David <david.fourney@usask.ca>; Christian
> Galinski <christian.galinski@chello.at>; 'klaus.miesenberger'
> <klaus.miesenberger@jku.at>; hoeckner@hilfsgemeinschaft.at; shadi@w3.org;
> alejandro.moledo@edf-feph.org; lisa.seeman@zoho.com; 'Kasinskaite,
> Irmgarda' <I.Kasinskaite@unesco.org>; drude@xs4all.nl; stevelee@w3.org;
> 'FERRES Mercè' <FERRES@iso.org>; Charles LaPierre <charlesl@benetech.org>;
> p13n@rednote.net
> Subject: W3C I18N & Accessibility; ISO 639 language codes
> 
> Dear W3C I18N Colleagues:
> 
> With a growing list of cc's accumulated from email exchanged in the past few
> days ...
> 
> APA would like an opportunity to explore what actions W3C can and should take
> toward more useful language specification in web content.
> 
> Unfortunately, we meet on different days at TPAC. Also, our TPAC calendar has
> become a little crowded. However, we still have some remaining open slots
> where we might have a preliminary conversation, should any I18N people still be
> in Fukuoka and available later in the week. APA will have dialin capability, should
> a conversation during TPAC prove possible:
> 
> https://www.w3.org/WAI/APA/wiki/Meetings/TPAC_2019

> 
> Or, it may be simpler to say we should take this topic up post TPAC, as a number
> of the principals with specific knowledge of the accessibility issues we want to
> discuss will NOT be in Japan.
> 
> I will defer to your judgement whether a brief introductory conversation in
> Fukuoka makes sense given limited availability.
> 
> However we calendar the conversation, I would request, on behalf of APA and
> particularly our Personalization Task Force that we look for an opportunity to
> address the issues detailed in the email thread forwarded here.Our TF is moving
> forward with technology that should significantly improve the web experience
> of many people living with various cognitive and learning disabilities. APA also
> continues to have an interest in uptake of the work we began during the
> development of HTML 5.0 on media accessibility, which brings in our interest in
> correctly identifying sign language videos.
> 
> The above is the simplest agenda description I can come up with at the moment.
> Below are some interesting details that should help better explain the concern
> and hope for improved content markup.
> 
> Looking forward to greeting many of you in person in Fukuoka,
> 
> Janina
> 
> Fourney, David writes:
> > Hi Janina,
> >
> > With respect to standardizing lang codes for AAC (i.e., Augmentative
> > and alternative communication), Chritian is better able to update you
> > on status and timelines.
> >
> > I am responding to your question because I wanted to point out that
> > this proposal (or at least answering the question of whether 3-letter
> > support is sufficiently in place) solves several issues relating to AAC.
> >
> > For example, the ability to use the ISO 639-3 language code for
> > Blissymbols (lang="zbl") would be possible / better supported on the
> > web if we can be certain that both HTML and user agents support such
> > 3-letter encoding. (There remains, of course, the issue of getting
> > Blissymbolic script into the ISO script code and/or Unicode so they
> > are properly displayed.)
> >
> > On the issue of scripts, as I said earlier, it would be useful for
> > users to be able to specify (either as the creator of the content or
> > its user) any preferred scripts. My example below is Russian presented
> > in a different script, but the issue also applies to specific AAC.
> > (e.g., This issue would aid the arguments supporting the development
> > of standards for Blissymbolic script and adding appropriate script
> > codes.)
> >
> > As for the signed modality (including sign languages, but also other
> > manual-visual systems), this proposal tries to capture this AAC
> > technique by using language codes for the natural sign languages
> > (e.g.,
> > lang="ase") and the more generic "sgn" for all others.
> >
> > As I mentioned to Christian, the current implementation of HTML5 may
> > already address some of these issues. As mentioned below, BCP47 may
> > need to to be expanded to support a longer length, which will impact HTML.
> > Further BCP47 (and HTML) could eventually specify a minimum 3
> > character length.
> >
> > Thus the need for user agent support for three-character codes (status
> > unknown) and the need for W3C to begin transitioning to the wider use
> > of the 3-character code (i.e., lang="eng" rather than lang="en") is
> > the main meat of the discussion/proposal. Updating W3C documentation
> > will impact all examples currently using lang="xx" (e.g., this will
> > impact the supporting documents of WCAG 2.1).
> >
> > I hope this further information helps. Please feel free to contact me
> > if you have any questions or concerns.
> >
> > Thanks,
> > David Fourney
> >
> >
> > On 2019-09-04 3:23 p.m., Christian Galinski wrote:
> > > Hi, Janina,
> > >
> > > Thank you for your positive reply. I am sorry that I cannot attend
> > > the TCAP meeting – unless there is the possibility to attend through
> > > teleconferencing.
> > >
> > > This would also be the ideal way to participate for David Fourney,
> > > who could represent ISO/IEC-JTC 1/SC 35 in this matter.
> > >
> > > Please be so kind as to put the issue of language identifiers/codes
> > > for sign languages explained below on the agenda of the upcoming
> > > TCAP meeting in Japan and discuss how it could be solved, duly
> > > taking into account that language codes increasingly (for a variety
> > > of purposes) have to be combined with other coding schemes.
> > >
> > > Below please find a summary of the discussion concerning (1) alpha-2 vs.
> > > alpha-3 language identifiers for sign languages in video programs
> > > and apps and (2) the combination of codes to further specify the
> > > language used, the regional and other language variety and the
> > > script in which a written file is rendered.
> > >
> > > Technically speaking there may be more complexity or deeper issues
> > > behind the questions raised. There may also be new needs for
> > > coordination. We are looking forward to your comments. If there
> > > would be a slot for the discussion of the issues at the TCAP
> > > meeting, David Fourney and me could join by calling in.
> > >
> > > Best regards
> > >
> > > Christian
> > >
> > > *1 Background:*
> > >
> > > The issue at hand is a technical problem that occurs when you want
> > > to assign language identifiers to sign languages, if the code length
> > > of the identifier is limited to alpha-2. However, ISO 639-1:2002
> > > “Codes for the representation of names of languages – Part 1:
> > > Alpha-2 code” does not provide identifiers for sign languages. There
> > > are estimates of the number of sign languages between more than 300
> > > and up to 500. About 150 are assigned 3-letter language identifiers
> > > in ISO 639-3 “Codes for the representation of names of languages –
> > > Part 3: Alpha-3 code for comprehensive coverage of languages”. In
> > > this connection, David Fourney also referred to 2019 as UN's
> > > International Year of Indigenous Languages – in some indigenous
> > > language communities sign languages exist. ‘Sign languages’ differ
> > > from ‘signed languages’ insofar as they are the main language for
> > > Deaf and Hard of Hearing persons to express themselves and largely
> > > differ from the language spoken/written by the language community in
> > > which the respective Deaf and Hard of Hearing persons are living.
> > > Compared to ‘sign languages’, ‘signed language’ is a language
> > > modality largely representing the spoken or written form of a
> > > language (e.g. “Signed Exact English”) – thus any language can be
> > > signed in this way which can be identified by adding the identifier “sgn” to
> the respective language identifier.
> > >
> > > *2 Request to W3C/TCAP:*
> > >
> > > The issue was raised at the ISO/IEC-JTC 1/SC 35 meeting in 2018 in
> > > Okayama “User interfaces” where I reported on standardizing
> > > activities of ISO/TC 37 “Language and terminology” referring to language
> coding.
> > > David Fourney made TC 37 aware of the fact that there is a “deficiency”
> > > in the ISO 639 series when it comes to the coding of sign languages
> > > in video technology. The issue was taken up by two WGs in ISO/TC 37
> > > working on the fundamental terminology of language coding and
> > > language varieties in a coordinated way. Out of the discussions
> > > emerged the clarification of the above-mentioned distinction of
> > > ‘sign language and ‘signed language’. The WGs formulated a request
> > > to ISO/IEC-JTC 1/SC 35 to clarify the matter and formulate a
> > > recommendation to ISO/IEC-JTC 1/SC 35. At its last meeting
> > > ISO/IEC-JTC 1/SC 35 in Shanghai on 2 August unanimously approved
> > >
> > > *Resolution 2019-69: Requests that Alpha-3 codes be used and
> > > recommended *
> > >
> > > ISO/IEC JTC1/SC35
> > >
> > >   * recognizes that the application of the 2-letter (alpha-2) code today
> > >     is not sufficient for use in programs and apps related to user
> > >     interfaces which is particularly detrimental when needed for
> > >     identifying individual languages (including individual sign
> > >     languages) in user interfaces.
> > >   * resolves to recommend the use of 3-letter codes for language
> > >     identification, wherever they can be applied
> > >   * requests its chair to contact W3C to ask that they recommend the use
> > >     of 3-letter identifiers for the names of languages wherever used
> > >     according to:
> > >       o ISO 639-2 "Codes for the representation of names of languages
> > >         -Part 2: Alpha-3 code" and
> > >       o ISO 639-3 "Codes for the representation of names of languages -
> > >         Part 3: Alpha-3 code for comprehensive coverage of languages"
> > >         (which includes additional languages beyond those in ISO
> > > 639-2)
> > >
> > > These can be recommended either in addition to or in replacement for
> > > the 2-letter language identifiers as defined in ISO 639-1 "Codes for
> > > the representation of names of languages - Part 1: Alpha-2 code".
> > >
> > > Here the issue as explained by David Fourney:
> > >
> > > The technical issue lies primarily with the HTML5 <video> element
> > > and how it supports the HTML lang attribute.
> > >
> > > A <video> allows for one or more <source> files (which can be audio
> > > and or video tracks) as well as one or more <track> files (for
> > > subtitles, captions, transcripts, etc.).As a developer, I want to
> > > specify the language of the captions, audio, and video so I can meet WCAG's
> SCs.
> > > (WCAG SC 3.1.1 and SC 3.1.2 require the specification of the
> > > language of
> > > content.)
> > >
> > > HTML allows the specification of the language of content on pretty
> > > much any element using HTML5's lang attribute. This means that I can
> > > specify the language of a caption file, an audio track, or
> > > (presumably) a video track.
> > >
> > > As a user, if my media player supports it, I can select an audio
> > > track in one language (e.g., French) and a caption track in another
> > > (e.g., Norwegian). Theoretically, I can also select a video track in
> > > whatever language I want.
> > >
> > > *That's where the problem lies*. If the audio is embedded in the
> > > video file, then obviously the language of the video is the language
> > > of the audio. This can be any spoken language. Typically, this is
> > > indicated with a two-character code. (This is also true with audio
> > > sources and
> > > captioning.)
> > >
> > > Many languages do NOT have a two-character code. (Many many
> > > languages face this issue. The SIL code tables provides a list of
> > > languages that have one or both types of codes:
> > > https://iso639-3.sil.org/code_tables/639/data)
> > >
> > > But, what if there is no audio in the video? What if the language of
> > > the video is in fact a visual language? What if it is a sign language?
> > >
> > > I should be able to specify the language of the content (e.g.,
> > > lang="ase"). Since no sign languages have a two-character code, this
> > > must be a three-character code.
> > >
> > > *3 Combinations of codes:*
> > >
> > > Increasingly a higher degree of granularity is becoming necessary
> > > for identifying not only languages and their regional varieties, but
> > > also other dimensions of language variation, such as a speaker’s
> > > language register or communication anomaly. So far ISO 639 series
> > > deals with combinations of the language identifiers with the country
> > > (or major
> > > subdivision) code acc. to ISO 3166 series and script code acc. to
> > > ISO 15924.
> > >
> > > Here again David Fourney’s explanation:
> > >
> > > With respect to the size of the string used to fully specify
> > > languages, I recommend looking at IETF's BCP47
> https://tools.ietf.org/html/bcp47.

> > > BCP47 is the document HTML seems to rely upon as well.
> > >
> > > W3C could ask the authors of BCP47 to require a new minimum string
> > > size (if it is not already large enough) and recommend the expected
> > > use of separators. I suggest using a larger string than 12
> > > characters to future proof this decision.
> > >
> > > I recommend W3C provide examples in all of their discussions on the
> > > use of the lang attribute. These examples should all start with the
> > > 3-character code as its base. All examples using the 2-character
> > > code should be updated.
> > >
> > > With respect to scripts, as I recall, HTML relies entirely on the
> > > specification of the character set. Typically, this is now set to
> > > Unicode which is thought to provide the necessary characters to
> > > write in various languages. As I understand the situation (and I
> > > could be wrong), authors do not have the ability to specify the script of their
> content.
> > >
> > > You are correct that it would be exceedingly useful to be able to
> > > deliberately specify a script (rather than a character set). I
> > > envisioned this when I wrote ISO/IEC 24756:2009 and, to a lesser
> > > extent, ISO/IEC 20071-23. For example, in languages that have more
> > > than one script, it would be useful for users to be able to specify
> > > that they want captions in one preferred script (e.g., a user might
> > > want Russian captions to be presented in Roman script rather than Cyrillic).
> > >
> > > -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
> > >
> > > Von: Janina Sajka <janina@rednote.net>
> > >
> > > Gesendet: Donnerstag, 29. August 2019 18:17
> > >
> > > An: lisa.seeman <lisa.seeman@zoho.com>
> > >
> > > Cc: christian.galinski@chello.at; W3C WAI Accessible Platform
> > > Architectures <public-apa@w3.org>
> > >
> > > Betreff: Re: Language codes and iso639 series
> > >
> > > Hi, Lisa, Christian, All:
> > >
> > > It's unclear to me what kind of assistance you're seeking, and
> > > specifically what agendum we might propose for a joint meeting
> > > during TPAC. Christian, are you planning to attend TPAC? It would be
> > > helpful, as I don't see us effectively carrying your concerns second hand.
> > >
> > > I'm aware, at least to a degree, of ISO and IETF standardization on
> > > language coding to include support for specifying sign language
> > > usage,[1] but those are not activities directly in W3C's I18N
> > > remit,[2] though working in coordination with those groups clearly is.
> > >
> > > Is there a W3C i18n document Christian is looking to affect? Or
> > > perhaps you're proposing something W3C might publish? APA would
> > > clearly be interested, but the specifics just aren't in your email
> > > so I'm left guessing.
> > >
> > > We were certainly aware of the multiplicity of sign languages when
> > > we created our "Media Accessibility User Requirements (MAUR)"[3]
> > > document during the process of defining HTML 5.0, and I believe HTML
> > > 5 supports that well for alternative media. But, I don't think we've
> > > done anything specifically beyond that activity in this space.
> > >
> > > PS: Any news on standardizing lang codes for AAC?
> > >
> > > Please feel free to say more. I'd like to be helpful if I can.
> > >
> > > Best,
> > >
> > > Janina
> > >
> > > [1] https://www.evertype.com/standards/iso639/sgn.html

> > >
> > > [2] https://www.w3.org/i18n

> > >
> > > [3] http://www.w3.org/TR/media-accessibility-reqs/

> > >
> > > Lisa Seeman writes:
> > >
> > >> Hi Janina
> > >
> > >> Christian, who is cc'd is working on improving language code support so
> that it works for sign langage and the combinations. For example English sign
> language with Canadian dialect.
> > >
> > >>
> > >
> > >> Can we bring this up at TPAC with internationalisation?
> > >
> > >>
> > >
> > >> All the best
> > >
> > >>
> > >
> > >> Lisa Seeman
> > >
> > >>
> > >
> > >  > LinkedIn, Twitter
> > >
> > >  >
> > >
> > >  >
> > >
> > > -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
> > > Von: Fourney, David <david.fourney@usask.ca>
> > > Gesendet: Montag, 19. August 2019 13:20
> > > An: christian.galinski@chello.at christian.galinski@chello.at
> > > <christian.galinski@chello.at>
> > > Cc: klaus.miesenberger <klaus.miesenberger@jku.at>
> > > Betreff: Re: Re: HTML etc. and ISO 639-1 2-letter code
> > >
> > > Hi Christian,
> > >
> > > With respect to the size of the string used to fully specify
> > > languages, I recommend looking at IETF's BCP47
> > >
> > > https://tools.ietf.org/html/bcp47

> > >
> > > BCP47 is the document HTML seems to rely upon as well.
> > >
> > > W3C could ask the authors of BCP47 to require a new minimum string
> > > size (if it is not already large enough) and recommend the expected
> > > use of separators. I suggest using a larger string than 12
> > > characters to future proof this decision.
> > >
> > > I recommend W3C provide examples in all of their discussions on the
> > > use of the lang attribute. These examples should all start with the
> > > 3-character code as its base. All examples using the 2-character
> > > code should be updated.
> > >
> > > With respect to scripts, as I recall, HTML relies entirely on the
> > > specification of the character set. Typically, this is now set to
> > > Unicode which is thought to provide the necessary characters to
> > > write in various languages. As I understand the situation (and I
> > > could be wrong), authors do not have the ability to specify the script of their
> content.
> > >
> > > You are correct that it would be exceedingly useful to be able to
> > > deliberately specify a script (rather than a character set). I
> > > envisioned this when I wrote ISO/IEC 24756:2009 and, to a lesser
> > > extent, ISO/IEC 20071-23. For example, in languages that have more
> > > than one script, it would be useful for users to be able to specify
> > > that they want captions in one preferred script (e.g., a user might
> > > want Russian captions to be presented in Roman script rather than Cyrillic).
> > >
> > > Finally, on the choice of codes. I strongly recommend that ISO and
> > > W3C set an explicit recommendation on exactly which code set to use.
> > > The existence of multiple 3-character sets will add to the problem
> > > rather than solve anything. ISO will need to unify this work to help
> > > ease the confusion.
> > >
> > > David.
> > >
> > > ________________________________________
> > >
> > > From: christian.galinski@chello.at
> > > <mailto:christian.galinski@chello.at>
> > > christian.galinski@chello.at <mailto:christian.galinski@chello.at>
> > > <christian.galinski@chello.at <mailto:christian.galinski@chello.at>>
> > >
> > > Sent: Monday, August 19, 2019 3:06 AM
> > >
> > > To: Fourney, David
> > >
> > > Cc: klaus.miesenberger
> > >
> > > Subject: Fwd: Re: HTML etc. and ISO 639-1 2-letter code
> > >
> > > Hi David,
> > >
> > > Great thanks to you for this excellent clarification!
> > >
> > > The recommendation to use only the 3-letter code for languages
> > > obviously is only one step in the direction of handling language
> > > codes in various combinations with other codes and thus indicating
> > > language varieties to some extent. At present language varieties can
> > > only be indicated in a rudimentary form. ISO/TR 21636 "Indication
> > > and description of language varieties" will pave the way for a
> > > future much more detailed coding of varieties.
> > >
> > > At present we have at our disposal for coding languages
> > > (disregarding the 2-letter code according to ISO 639-1):
> > >
> > > - 3-letter language codes (all small caps) according to ISO 639-2
> > > and 639-3
> > >
> > > - 3-letter codes for countries and their subdivisions (all
> > > capitalized) according to ISO 3166-1 and 3166-2
> > >
> > >    (I think we should recommend also here the use of the 3-letter
> > > code)
> > >
> > > - 4-letter code for scripts /and script variants/ (first letter
> > > capitalized) With 10 digits (12 - if separators are added) we can
> > > thus cope with a lot of variation, under given limitations.
> > >
> > > In the case of sign languages (being true sign languages - i.e.
> > > mother tongues for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing) we have at our disposal:
> > >
> > > - 3-letter language code (all small caps) according to ISO 639-3
> > >
> > >    (to be extended towards including further sign languages)
> > >
> > > - 3-letter codes for countries and their subdivisions (all
> > > capitalized) according to ISO 3166-1 and 3166-2 With 6 digits (7 -
> > > if separators are
> > > added) we can thus cope with some variation, under given limitations.
> > >
> > > In the case of the language variety "signed language" (e.g. Signed
> > > Exact
> > > English) we have at our disposal:
> > >
> > > - "sgn" as indicator for "signed language"
> > >
> > > - 3-letter language codes (all small caps) according to ISO 639-2
> > > and 639-3
> > >
> > > - 3-letter codes for countries and their subdivisions (all
> > > capitalized) according to ISO 3166-1 and 3166-2 With 9 digits (11 -
> > > if separators are
> > > added) we can cope with a lot of variation, under given limitations.
> > > sgn-eng-AUS would refer to the Australian variety of Signed Exact English.
> > >
> > > Would this mean that we should recommend - under given circumstances
> > > and as a step in the direction of further necessary varieties in the
> > > future
> > > - a minimum of 12 digits (incl. separators) for coding languages (incl.
> > > sign languages and signed language)? Is this realistic, and if so,
> > > is it sufficient?
> > >
> > > Best regards
> > >
> > > Christian
> > >
> > >  > ---------- Ursprüngliche Nachricht ----------
> > >
> > >  > Von: "Fourney, David" <david.fourney@usask.ca
> > > <mailto:david.fourney@usask.ca>>
> > >
> > >  > An: "christian.galinski@chello.at christian.galinski@chello.at
> > > <mailto:christian.galinski@chello.at%20christian.galinski@chello.at>"
> > >
> > >  > <christian.galinski@chello.at
> > > <mailto:christian.galinski@chello.at>>
> > >
> > >  > Cc: "klaus.miesenberger" <klaus.miesenberger@jku.at
> > > <mailto:klaus.miesenberger@jku.at>>, hoeckner
> > >
> > >  > <hoeckner@hilfsgemeinschaft.at
> > > <mailto:hoeckner@hilfsgemeinschaft.at>>
> > >
> > >  > Datum: 17. August 2019 um 02:00
> > >
> > >  > Betreff: Re: HTML etc. and ISO 639-1 2-letter code
> > >
> > >  >
> > >
> > >  > Hi Christian,
> > >
> > >  >
> > >
> > >  > To answer your specific question: There is no connection to CSS.
> > >
> > >  > Cascading Style Sheets are used only for the styling and
> > > presentation
> > >
> > >  > of content. For example, I would use CSS to indicate the font I
> > > want,
> > >
> > >  > whether to make the text bold, and where to put it on the screen.
> > > CSS
> > >
> > >  > is not for specifying languages, this is the role of HTML.
> > >
> > >  >
> > >
> > >  > The technical issue lies primarily with the HTML5 <video> element
> > > and
> > >
> > >  > how it supports the HTML lang attribute.
> > >
> > >  >
> > >
> > >  > A <video> allows for one or more <source> files (which can be
> > > audio
> > >
> > >  > and or video tracks) as well as one or more <track> files (for
> > >
> > >  > subtitles, captions, transcripts, etc.).
> > >
> > >  >
> > >
> > >  > As a developer, I want to specify the language of the captions,
> > > audio,
> > >
> > >  > and video so I can meet meet WCAG's SCs. (WCAG SC 3.1.1 and SC
> > > 3.1.2
> > >
> > >  > require the specification of the language of content.)
> > >
> > >  >
> > >
> > >  > HTML allows the specification of the language of content on
> > > pretty
> > >
> > >  > much any element using HTML5's lang attribute. This means that I
> > > can
> > >
> > >  > specify the language of a caption file, an audio track, or
> > >
> > >  > (presumably) a video track.
> > >
> > >  >
> > >
> > >  > As a user, if my media player supports it, I can select an audio
> > > track
> > >
> > >  > in one language (e.g., French) and a caption track in another
> > > (e.g.,
> > >
> > >  > Norwegian). Theoretically, I can also select a video track in
> > > whatever
> > >
> > >  > language I want.
> > >
> > >  >
> > >
> > >  > That's where the problem lies. If the audio is embedded in the
> > > video
> > >
> > >  > file, then obviously the language of the video is the language of
> > > the
> > >
> > >  > audio. This can be any spoken language. Typically, this is
> > > indicated
> > >
> > >  > with a two-character code. (This is also true with audio sources
> > > and
> > >
> > >  > captioning.)
> > >
> > >  >
> > >
> > >  > Many languages do NOT have a two-character code. (Many many
> > > languages
> > >
> > >  > face this issue. The SIL code tables provides a list of languages
> > > that
> > >
> > >  > have one or both types of codes:
> > >
> > >  > https://iso639-3.sil.org/code_tables/639/data)
> > >
> > >  >
> > >
> > >> (A reminder that 2019 is the UN's International Year of Indigenous
> > >
> > >  > Languages.)
> > >
> > >  >
> > >
> > >  > But, what if there is no audio in the video? What if the language
> > > of
> > >
> > >  > the video is in fact a visual language? What if it is a sign language?
> > >
> > >  > I should be able to specify the language of the content (e.g.,
> > >
> > >  > lang="ase"). Since no sign languages have a two-character code,
> > > this
> > >
> > >  > must be a three-character code.
> > >
> > >  >
> > >
> > >  > So the first issue is: "Can I do this?"
> > >
> > >  >
> > >
> > >  >  From reading the HTML 5.2 and some IETF specifications, I MIGHT
> > > be
> > >
> > >  > able to use a three-character code, but its not very clear IF I CAN.
> > >
> > >  > The specification appears to allow a code of 6 to 8 characters in length.
> > >
> > >  > This suggests a combination of language and region codes,
> > > including
> > >
> > >  > hyphens, might fit a three-character language code plus a
> > >
> > >  > two-character region code, but not much else.
> > >
> > >  >
> > >
> > >  > Resources on this include IETF's BCP47
> > >
> > >  > https://tools.ietf.org/html/bcp47

> > >
> > >  > and the HTML5.2 specification
> > >
> > >  >
> > > https://www.w3.org/TR/html52/dom.html#the-lang-and-xmllang-attribute

> > > s
> > >
> > >  >
> > >
> > >  > The living specification discusses this at
> > >
> > >  > https://html.spec.whatwg.org/#the-lang-and-xml:lang-attributes

> > >
> > >  >
> > >
> > >  > The second issue is: "Will it work?"
> > >
> > >  >
> > >
> > >  > If a browser sees a three-character language code, will it know
> > > what
> > >
> > >  > to do with it? What about a media player? What about a screen reader?
> > >
> > >  >
> > >
> > >  > Its all well and good that I can specify my language, but not if
> > > it is
> > >
> > >  > not supported (i.e., my user agent won't be able to handle it).
> > >
> > >  >
> > >
> > >  > Setting aside <video>, I would also point out that this second
> > > issue
> > >
> > >  > applies to the browser in general. Is there full support for
> > >
> > >  > specifying the language of a document using a three-character
> > > code
> > >
> > >  > (e.g., <html lang="eng"> vs. <html lang="en">).
> > >
> > >  >
> > >
> > >  >
> > >
> > >  > As I mentioned in Ottawa, what we need the W3C to do is:
> > >
> > >  > 1. Confirm how large a language code can be used within the HTML
> > > lang
> > >
> > >  > attribute and determine if this length is large enough given the
> > >
> > >  > three-character codes of ISO 639-2 and the various region and
> > > script
> > >
> > >  > codes that can be appended to it.
> > >
> > >  >
> > >
> > >  > 2. Confirm that user agents are required to support long language
> > >
> > >  > codes (via the lang attribute), not just the two-character codes
> > > that
> > >
> > >  > are specified in ISO 639-1. This is important because, if the
> > > HTML
> > >
> > >  > specifications allow for rather long codes but the user agents do
> > > not,
> > >
> > >  > then using a long code will not work.
> > >
> > >  >
> > >
> > >  > To my mind, there should be no issue because it is just a
> > > language
> > >
> > >  > indication code. Most of the time user agents should just accept
> > > any
> > >
> > >  > code and do nothing further with it.
> > >
> > >  >
> > >
> > >  > This issue was the source of my concern only because you
> > > mentioned the
> > >
> > >  > demand to freeze ISO 639-1 from 20+ years ago. The freeze request
> > >
> > >  > suggests to me that user agents only support a small number of
> > > codes
> > >
> > >  > and intend to act in some way on these codes.
> > >
> > >  >
> > >
> > >  > 3. Confirm that the lang attribute (of any length) can be used on
> > > any
> > >
> > >  > HTML element in a meaningful way, including the specification of
> > > the
> > >
> > >  > language of a video track (e.g., <source src="movie.mp4"
> > >
> > >  > type='video/mp4' lang='ase'>).
> > >
> > >  >
> > >
> > >> Ultimately, the need is to determine if user agents support
> > >
> > >  > three-character codes so that the specification of a video or a
> > >
> > >  > document in a language that only has a three-character code will
> > >
> > >  > actually work. I would expect someone at W3C will know what
> > > support is (or is not) available.
> > >
> > >  >
> > >
> > >  >
> > >
> > >  > I hope that this explanation helps you. Please let me know if you
> > > have
> > >
> > >  > any questions.
> > >
> > >  >
> > >
> > >  > Thanks,
> > >
> > >  > David.
> > >
> > >  >
> > >
> > >  >
> > >
> > >  > On 2019-08-15 12:21 p.m., christian.galinski@chello.at
> > > <mailto:christian.galinski@chello.at>
> > >
> > >  > christian.galinski@chello.at <mailto:christian.galinski@chello.at> wrote:
> > >
> > >  > > Hi, David,
> > >
> > >  > >
> > >
> > >  > > How are you doing?
> > >
> > >  > >
> > >
> > >  > > Further to our recent discussions I would like to ask you to
> > > clarify
> > >
> > >  > > one more technical question: concerning the use of the alpha-2
> > > code
> > >
> > >  > > (acc. to ISO 639-1?) in HTML and/or XHTML and/or HTML5 which
> > > you
> > >
> > >  > > mentioned is hindering certain functions/features necessary for
> > > the
> > >
> > >  > > Deaf and hard of hearing. Is there a connection to CSS?
> > >
> > >  > >
> > >
> > >  > > Could you please elaborate a bit on this technical question?
> > >
> > >  > >
> > >
> > >  > > If there is an issue, how should it be presented to W3C/TCAP?
> > >
> > >  > >
> > >
> > >  > > Best regards
> > >
> > >  > >
> > >
> > >  > > Christian
> > >
> > >  > >
> > >
> > >  > > p.s.
> > >
> > >  > >
> > >
> 
> --
> 
> Janina Sajka
> 
> Linux Foundation Fellow
> Executive Chair, Accessibility Workgroup:	http://a11y.org

> 
> The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
> Chair, Accessible Platform Architectures	http://www.w3.org/wai/apa


Received on Thursday, 5 September 2019 18:26:51 UTC

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