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[Bug 12417] HTML5 is missing attribute for specifying translatability of content

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Tue, 02 Aug 2011 22:46:51 +0000
To: public-i18n-core@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1QoNjf-0004QR-N6@jessica.w3.org>

Chris Wendt <christw@microsoft.com> changed:

           What    |Removed                     |Added
                 CC|                            |christw@microsoft.com

--- Comment #38 from Chris Wendt <christw@microsoft.com> 2011-08-02 22:46:47 UTC ---
I want to add my support for Richard’s post, and underscore the necessity of a
single, simple mechanism to control translation of an element, with an override
for inheritance. It is relevant to include the standardization into HTML5
itself, so that authoring tools can reliably support a single mechanism.
Automatic translators as well as human translators depend on it. 

An attribute on the element looks like a good solution to me. In addition, it
makes sense to allow a style to carry the translatability attribute, so that
author can designate a style to be not translated, for instance to replicate
the effect of <code>. You could consider the words to represent the element
content as being just a “style”. 

Two ugly wrinkles to be considered:

1) There are certain elements that are assumed to be untranslatable: code,
address, samp, script, var, kbd, textarea. All others are by default
translatable. Best if we had clarity in the standard that translate is ON by
default, except for [this list] of elements, for which it is OFF by default.

2) The element attribute, or any style magic, do not solve the translatability
of attributes. The ALT attribute is normally translatable, most other
attributes aren’t. 

To solve the attributes issues, we can consider a predefined list of attributes
that are translatable, mainly to grandfather in existing HTML4 assumptions, and
postulate that the rest aren’t. Define a new attribute like
attrib_translate=”list of attributes to translate”, with inheritance, so we can
control translation of attributes on all child elements. Plus the reverse
setting for overriding inheritance.

Chris Wendt
Microsoft Translator

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