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Re: Unicode language character

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2000 16:07:04 -0400 (EDT)
To: Karl Ove Hufthammer <huftis@bigfoot.com>
cc: Masayasu Ishikawa <mimasa@w3.org>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.20.0006091604010.9224-100000@tux.w3.org>
I imagine that when it comes time for the HTML group to redesign object (and
other parts of XHTML perhaps, by and by) they will be more inclined to use
full elements insterad of attributes. This is certainly the apparent trend
among similar groups like SVG and SMIL.

I agree that it is a problem not being able to internationalise
attributes. The two approaches are to redesign the elements so they have
content (like object does in general, although not for title) that can be
real XML, and therefore can be internationalised, or to add attributes that
describe the properties of other attributes. Either case means buidling new
tools, but in teh second one it gets messy much more quickly.


Charles McCN

On Thu, 8 Jun 2000, Karl Ove Hufthammer wrote:

  "Masayasu Ishikawa" <mimasa@w3.org> wrote:
  | "Karl Ove Hufthammer" <huftis@bigfoot.com> wrote:
  | > I remember having read somewhere that there is a proposed Unicode
  | > character for specifying the language of a block of text. Does
  | > know anything about this? (I may be misinformed ...)
  | I think that's the Unicode Technical Report #7 "Plane 14 Characters
  | Language Tags".  It's available from:
  |     http://www.unicode.org/unicode/reports/tr7/
  | Note that although this TR has already been approved by the Unicode
  | Technical Committee (UTC), those "language tags" are NOT part of
  | the Unicode Standard Version 3.0 nor ISO/IEC 10646 yet, so they
  | cannot be used in HTML nor XML yet.
  Thank you for the information.
  | > If it *is* true, then I think it's interesting from an accessibility
  | > perspective. We'll finally be able to change language in the middle
  | > of attributes (e.g. in the 'alt' attribute). Any thoughts on this?
  | There is a joint W3C-Unicode Technical Report #20, "Unicode in XML
  | and other Markup Languages", at:
  |     http://www.unicode.org/unicode/reports/tr20/
  | "3.8 Language Tag Characters" deals with those characters, and this TR
  | doesn't recommend to use those language tags in markup languages.
  | I do understand your motivation, but whenever possible, you'd better
  | avoid using attributes to include important information and use
  | elements with proper attributes (e.g. "lang" in HTML or "xml:lang"
  | in XML).
  Well, I think making it *impossible* to specify the language of parts of
  an attribute value is vary bad idea, especially in a źnew╗ technology
  like XML is.
  This is of course not just a problem with (X)HTML; it makes it
  impossible to specifiy language information in attribute values in *all*
  XML applications. This is very unfortunate.
  | As for the "alt" attribute, the HTML Working Group is planning to
  | improve the syntax of the "img" element so that alt text can be
  | specified as an element's content rather than an attribute value
  | in the next generation of XHTML.  In this case you may change
  | language in the middle of alt text using the "xml:lang" attribute
  | via "span" or whatever appropriate element.
  Well, I can do this already by using the 'object' element, but there's
  still problems. You can't use 'lang' or 'xml:lang' inside the 'title' or
  'summary' attribute. It's often unavoidable to use words from several
  languages as attribute values (e.g. proper names).
  Karl Ove Hufthammer

Charles McCathieNevile    mailto:charles@w3.org    phone: +61 (0) 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative                      http://www.w3.org/WAI
Location: I-cubed, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton VIC 3053
Postal: GPO Box 2476V, Melbourne 3001,  Australia 
Received on Friday, 9 June 2000 16:07:08 UTC

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