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RE: Authoring Techniques Document

From: Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 6 May 2004 22:08:46 +0100
To: "'Charles McCathieNevile'" <charles@w3.org>
Cc: <www-i18n-comments@w3.org>
Message-ID: <E1BLq6o-0008W8-Bd@dr-nick.w3.org>

Hello Charles,

Thankyou for your comments on the first WD of  Authoring Techniques for XHTML & HTML Internationalization.  Please find responses below.

The version you commented on is http://www.w3.org/TR/2003/WD-i18n-html-tech-20031009/

Note also that we intend to release new working drafts before the AC meeting.  We have, in the meantime, split the original document up into 3 topic-focussed documents.  We aim to produce more such documents as we develop the material.  The in-edit versions of the new documents are:
		Characters and Encodings 1.0 
		Specifying the language of content 1.0 
		Handling Bidirectional Text 1.0 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-i18n-comments-request@w3.org 
> [mailto:www-i18n-comments-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Charles 
> McCathieNevile
> Sent: 11 October 2003 18:11
> To: www-i18n-comments@w3.org
> Subject: Authoring Techniques Document
> A handful of comments on the first draft...
> 0. Congratulations!! This is a great thing, and lots of us are 
> discovering that we would really like this kind of information from a 
> reasonably authorative group.

Thanks !

> 1. Where are the archives for the comments list? They don't seem to be 
> linked in the start of the document, just mentioned in text.

We will fix this in the next version. Thanks.

> 2. The section on language tagging -
> <http://www.w3.org/TR/2003/WD-i18n-html-tech-20031009/
> #ri20030218.131124329> - doesn't clarify something that the HTML 
> specification doesn't make clear. If a document contains
> 2 languages, can you use
>     <html lang="it en">
> or is this wrong?

Multiple languages in the <html> tag are not allowed.  RFC3066 provides the rules for these values.

It may be possible to do this in the HTTP header - we will look into it - but it is not clear to us that user agents would know what to do in such a situation.

> 3. One use of hreflang is to allow for user-side addition of graphic 
> markers. A stylesheet rule such as
>     a[hreflang = en]:before { content: url('engflag.gif') } or
>     a[hreflang = en]:before { content: url('OzFlag.gif') }
> or its XSLT equivalent
> allows people to select the way languages are represented - avoiding a 
> cultural insensitivity that causes many people to otherwise avoid 
> providing any graphic idenitfier - something that would be helpful for 
> low-literacy users in particular, and provide rapid recognition for 
> many people.

Thanks for bringing the use of hreflang to our attention.  We agree that we should mention this type of usage in the document, although clearly signpost that it doesn't work for IE and possibly other browsers (which makes its application limited, unfortunately, at present, though we would like to see it become more widespread).  

Where we disagree is the use of flags.  These are associated with countries, rather than languages. We also feel that text would be better than graphics on most user agents for people who need to view at larger sizes.  Karl outlines a method whereby the value of the hreflang attribute is used in square brackets.  This seems better, as it reduces complexity and bandwidth (albeit slightly).

> 4. No mention is made of the technique of using <link rel="alternate"
> hreflang="xx" ...
> The link element is now widely implemented in browsers (Internet 
> Explorer and Safari are the only two reasonably well-known browsers 
> that don't implement it), and as a backup for language negotitation 
> (analagous to including charset
> metadata) it seems worthwhile. It would also enable easier searching 
> for language variants rather than simply offering auto-translated 
> versions. Many large organisations make extensive use of Dublin Core 
> metadata, which would allow them to generate this relatively simply...

Thanks for bringing this up.  We will look into it.  

We know that the link element is recognised in some user agents, but we are not clear whether user agents do anything with the language related information specifically.  Do you have more details of how this works? We plan to write some tests for this.

> 5. Is there a way to provide examples without participating in the 
> task force? I work in several groups who are interested in this work, 
> but where many participants don't speak english, which makes 
> attempting to participate in an english-speaking group a waste of 
> time. Some of them have ready-to-hand examples available, but it isn't 
> clear if there is a good way to submit those without finding a 
> friendly bislama-speaking (or whatever language is relevant) member of 
> the task force.

We're not really clear about what you are asking for here, or who you have in mind and specifically what they would want to contribute.  Could you clarify?  

Note also that we are concerned about IPR issues.  WG members have agreed to the IPR policy on signup.  We are not clear about how to handle general contributions.

Thanks again for your comments,
Best regards,

Richard Ishida
For the GEO task force

> --
> Charles McCathieNevile                          FundaciĆ³n Sidar
> charles@sidar.org                                http://www.sidar.org
Received on Thursday, 6 May 2004 17:09:15 UTC

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