RE: ISSUE-88 / Re: what's the language of a document ?


> Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2010 06:08:29 +0000
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> Subject: RE: ISSUE-88 / Re: what's the language of a document ?
> On Mon, 22 Feb 2010, Phillips, Addison wrote:
> > 
> > The problem that Mark (and Richard) are referring to (I think) is the 
> > <meta> pragma, which is not currently and should not be changed to be, 
> > IMHO, considered the "primary" language of the document. This pragma can 
> > contain a list of languages. One of these might be inferred to be the 
> > primary (outer) document processing language if the 'lang' attribute is 
> > missing. And that, in a nutshell, is what I think we're wrestling with 
> > here: whether the pragma should be wired up to 'lang' in that case, and, 
> > if it has more than one language, which language should be applied.
> The spec's definition of the Content-Language pragma is specified as it is 
> because that's what user agents do with that pragma. Making it do 
> something else would require changing user agent implementations.
> It would be helpful to know what practical problem having Content-Language 
> at all actually solves... having it specify multiple languages wouldn't 
> work well with CSS or speech synthesisers, for instance. Originally I was 
> going to just make it non-conforming outright, but we left it in based on 
> feedback that there were lots of pages that specify it and that removing 
> it was as much of a waste of time as adding it, so we didn't want people 
> to be told their pages were non-conforming just because they had this 
> vestigial <meta> element in their pages. Validators include a warning to 
> authors to this effect, to discourage new authors from using it.

Hi, thanks for this info.  I do have pages that specify multiple languages for the meta element Content-Language (though if that were the only reason my pages were invalid--you get an error list--I could ignore the invalid info).  However, while I oppose search engines' using information in other meta elements (keywords, description) -- as this might encourage something akin to 'spam' on the web -- I do not see why the search engines do not make some use of the Content-Language keywords when a user requests a page for a particular locale/in a particular language.






C. E. Whitehead




C. E. Wh
> -- 
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Received on Monday, 22 February 2010 16:16:42 UTC