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Re: Text that's not in any language

From: Jonathan Rosenne <rosenne@NetVision.net.il>
Date: Wed, 08 Jan 1997 21:29:22 +0200
Message-Id: <>
To: Bert Bos <bert@www10.w3.org>
Cc: www-international@www10.w3.org
At 18:51 08/01/97 +0100, Bert Bos wrote:
>RFC 2070 (html-i18n) says that the LANG attribute is only for natural
>languages, not for computer languages, but recently I've started
>wondering why.
>It may happen in a text that there is a word or phrase that is not in
>any human language, such as the name of somebody, or some code.
>HTML has some mark-up for the computer code: it can be put inside
><CODE>, but there is no element for the name of a person.
>Maybe LANG should be extended to cover
>  - computer languages (Pascal, C, HTML, CSS,...)
>  - proper names (language "none"?)
>  - "unknown" and "any" languages

The purpose of the attribute is to support language dependencies, for
example spell checking or the actual shape of quotes. It could be extended
to computer languages but I doubt it will be in much demand.

Proper names are always in some language. Sometimes the spelling is language
dependant, sometimes not. If you were to visit us in Israel, your name would
most likely become <bet><resh><tet> and it's language attribute Hebrew.

>The last two would be useful, resp., for a text that is in some
>language, but the author doesn't know which, and for a text that is the
>same in every language. An example would be the SI units mm, s, etc.

SI units are not language independent. They look different in Hebrew, and I
guess in Arabic too. I mean we commonly use our letters for mm etc.


Jonathan Rosenne
JR Consulting
P O Box 33641, Tel Aviv, Israel
Phone: +972 50 246 522 Fax: +972 9 956 7353
Received on Wednesday, 8 January 1997 14:29:16 UTC

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