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RE: individual submission Last Call -- default yes/no.

From: JFC (Jefsey) Morfin <jefsey@jefsey.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2005 15:02:26 +0000
Message-Id: <>
To: Misha Wolf <Misha.Wolf@reuters.com>, ietf@ietf.org
Cc: public-ietf-w3c@w3.org
At 14:37 12/01/2005, Misha Wolf wrote:
>A first step could be to compare the two standards bodies'
>requirements for language tagging, to establish whether they are
>compatible.  Further steps could follow, depending on the outcome.
>Note that while HTTP, for example, is an IETF standard, the Web
>relies on it.  Currently, the same language tagging standard is used
>by HTTP, HTML's "meta" element, HTML's "lang" attribute and XML's
>"xml:lang" attribute.

Sorry to come back on the particulars of the langtags debate. I do this 
only to illustrate the real source of the problem (described in RFC 2418 
part 2.3.

Misha documents very well the source of the problem: the HTML lang 
attribute is acceptable for the Web (IMHO not for Semantic Web) and the 
xml:lang attribute is not scalable. One first reason (lack of scripting) 
has been identified. But this is not the only one. Another problem is 
obviously the declaration "MUST" which cannot scale and creates a problem.

If I am correct the W3C documentation concerning xmls:lang is 
http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/REC-xml-20040204/ paragraph 2.12 language 
definition. This document says: "A special 
<http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/REC-xml-20040204/#dt-attr>attribute named 
xml:lang MAY be inserted in documents to specify the language used in the 
contents and attribute values of any element in an XML document. In valid 
documents, this attribute, like any other, MUST be 
<http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/REC-xml-20040204/#dt-attdecl>declared if it is 
used. The values of the attribute are language identifiers as defined by 
<http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/REC-xml-20040204/#RFC1766>[IETF RFC 3066], Tags 
for the Identification of Languages, or its successor; in addition, the 
empty string MAY be specified."

This definition does not permit end to end interinteligibility (hence 
interoperability for web services, content filtering, etc.) except in 
closed customer groups sharing the same language dictionary, grammar, 
semantic, etc. for an ISO 639 language. If the intent is a universal unique 
multilanguage, by one single provider, this works. Otherwise it does not. 
This is why in addition to adding the scripting one needs at list a type of 
usage/function and an authoritative source information.


Received on Wednesday, 12 January 2005 23:19:23 UTC

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