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RE: what's the language of a document ?

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Fri, 5 Feb 2010 19:55:45 +0000 (UTC)
To: "www-international@w3.org" <www-international@w3.org>
Cc: "<public-html@w3.org>" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.64.1002050237260.27124@ps20323.dreamhostps.com>

I've tried to update the spec to what was discussed with I18N at TPAC, in 
particular regarding the way Content-Language is processed.

I ended up not making lang="" required or trigger a warning when it's 
omitted, because it's quite plausible that a document will not have a 
language at all, and because in many cases in practice language-detection 
heuristics are actually more reliable than the lang="" attribute anyway. 
However, if this isn't satisfactory, I would recommend bringing it up on 
the public-html list for further discussion.

In response to further comments:

On Thu, 29 Oct 2009, Richard Ishida wrote:
> Our proposal is as follows and is based on the text of the following 
> sections: 
> http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/multipage/semantics.html#d 
> ocument-wide-default-language 
> http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/multipage/elements.html#th 
> e-lang-and-xml:lang-attributes
> [1] Explain clearly that declarations in the http header and the meta 
> element refer to the document as an object, rather than the text in a 
> specific element (this is what makes the distinction between single and 
> multiple values sensible).

Does the renaming of the term "document-wide default language" to 
"pragma-set default language" address this sufficiently?

> [3] Establish the precedence between http vs meta.

I think this should now be clear.

> [4] Establish the rule that multiple values in the place that has 
> precedence equates to lang="".


On Sat, 31 Oct 2009, Tex Texin wrote:
> Re: [3] Establish the precedence between http vs meta.  
> I wish we could eliminate this nonsense altogether.
> The description of the content of a document should be self-contained within
> the document and not in the protocol.
> The protocol should only ever reflect what is in the document to enable
> routing and filters etc.
> But documents should be self-declared.

Content-Language is indeed unnecessary given lang="", but I would 
recommend bringing this up with the HTTP group if the proposal is to 
remove the header altogether.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Friday, 5 February 2010 19:56:18 UTC

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