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

From: CE Whitehead <cewcathar@hotmail.com>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 2010 15:57:22 -0500
Message-ID: <SNT142-w55CBFFE3B444F99ED49401B3410@phx.gbl>
To: <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>, <ian@hixie.ch>, <www-international@w3.org>, <ishida@w3.org>, <fielding@gbiv.com>
CC: <public-html@w3.org>


It was suggested that the user's settings be used to determine a page language I think--however I tend not to change my language preferences when I want to view content in another language (it takes time to change settings)--so don't think these should ever be used to determine the language of a page I receive except where no other  information is available or else where no other information is valid.  I just cannot stress this enough.

From: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no
Date: Tue, 23 Feb 2010 06:50:48 +0100

> Also, when it comes to CSS - it seems as if is typical to expect that 
> <meta> element wins over server's header. Again, a example of this can 
> be seen in  Richard/I18Nwg's tests [3]. 
> I think part of the solution to ISSUE-88 is to realize that 
> (A) User (agents) should have the option override the language tags 
>     - this option should not be reserved to search engines ...
> (B) overriding also applies to CSS (unless we spec that it don't)
> {My preferences may be set for English but I may have searched for text in another language and may want to read a particular > page in that language so how is this a solution?
> These should only be able to override language tagging when it is obviously wrong.  I don't go off resetting all my preferences 
> every second because that would mess up my typing since I am used to certain keys equating with certain symbols
> when I type notes about a page}
> - and specify more detailed 
> rules for how user agents should interact with the user and with the 
> document, when @lang is lacking.
Then perhaps the user agents should search through the document text to determine the language and give that precedence over other methods-- 
because I never set my language preferences for a particular page--but only set them to make my keyboard work [I'm not as fast on a European keyboard so set my keyboard to English] --
although I read pages in multiple languages.  Is that feasible?
If not then I think we are stuck with meta Content-Language (and for the pages I create, it's the only setting I have access to since I don't have access to my web host's server settings)

* * *
From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@gbiv.com> 
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2010 22:35:29 -0800
>> 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.
> Sorry, that simply isn't true.  Most of what is written in the section
> on "Pragma directives", aside from the behavioral algorithms that only
> apply during browser rendering, is just made up constraints that don't
> actually exist in practice and don't make any sense regardless.  The
> Content-Language value, for example, has only recently been used as a
> default for primary language by a few user agents; the fact that a
> default only makes sense when one language is given does not in any way
> change the definition or purpose of Content-Language.  It should only
> affect the language choice algorithm, which doesn't even belong in
> that section.
I agree completely with Roy here. 
> the most common examples of that are found in
> language-learning exercises and poetry/lyric translations.
Regarding on line language-learning content:  I still think that it is often best to specify both the native language of the learners, where there is a single one, and the target language--the one they are trying to learn; since instructions, etc. are in both and since presumablythese people must speak/read/write to some degree however small both.
> Likewise, content-language metadata in HTML is often used to
> populate content negotiation data on the server, and to influence
> workflow decisions for multilingual websites when an author updates
> the content on one page (e.g., triggering language-specific alerts to
> the people responsible for translating the page to other languages).
C. E. Whitehead

Received on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 20:57:55 UTC

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