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Re: Lang attribute and "old" latin

From: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2008 09:24:27 +0800
To: "John Foliot - Stanford Online Accessibility Program" <jfoliot@stanford.edu>, gawds_discuss@yahoogroups.com, webaim-forum@list.webaim.org, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <op.t947i1q9wxe0ny@widsith.local>

On Fri, 25 Apr 2008 08:04:13 +0800, John Foliot - Stanford Online  
Accessibility Program <jfoliot@stanford.edu> wrote:

> As far as I know, current screen reading technology only supports a  
> limited number of languages.
> I am in the process of reviewing a number of web documents that feature,  
> in part, a fair bit of "old Latin" (circa 13th century - it's a cool  
> academic project).
> The document often uses &thorn; throughout this old Latin text - is this  
> going to be an issue?)
> The question is, is there any real advantage gained by adding this
> information (lang="lat") to the content?

Depends on a lot of things. If nothing has special handling for latin,  
then no. So what might have special handling?

1. Screenreaders - pronunciation has changed (whereas I would be a little  
surprised to learn of any particular peculiarities in braille for latin -  
anyone actually know?).
2. Dictionary lookup - if this is an academic project then it might be  
more important for other reasons than for accessibility reasons. (It is  
possible to machine-process words or even phrases in various useful ways,  
e.g. for machine translation. It is significantly more successful if you  
know for sure what language you are dealing with).
3. Typesetting

If you think none of these apply for the life of the data in the form you  
mark it, and that people will be able to mark it post-factum if something  
does come up, then no, there is no real benefit I can see. It depends on  
*how* much of an undertaking it is - hand-coding language tags would be an  
idiotic way to do it, but it may be easy to create a simple method for  
doing it in a WYSIWYG style, which may make it worthwhile. Or it may be  
totally infeasible, which means you take the "we didn't do this" until  
someone comes along with the ability to make the use case justify the  
effort (by changing one or both of those).



Charles McCathieNevile  Opera Software, Standards Group
     je parle français -- hablo español -- jeg lærer norsk
http://my.opera.com/chaals   Try Opera 9.5: http://snapshot.opera.com
Received on Friday, 25 April 2008 01:25:18 UTC

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