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Re: Language label

From: Gary Adams - Sun Microsystems Labs BOS <gra@zeppo.East.Sun.COM>
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 1997 08:03:26 -0500
Message-Id: <199702281303.IAA00852@zeppo.East.Sun.COM>
To: carrasco@innet.lu
Cc: misha.wolf@reuters.com, www-international@w3.org
# From carrasco@innet.lu  Thu Feb 27 19:34:45 1997
# Date: Fri, 28 Feb 1997 01:40:26 +0100 (MET)
# From: "M.T. Carrasco Benitez" <carrasco@innet.lu>
# X-Sender: carrasco@localhost
# To: Gary Adams - Sun Microsystems Labs BOS <gra@zeppo.East.Sun.COM>
# cc: www-international@w3.org, misha.wolf@reuters.com
# Subject: Re: Language label
# > The best argument for 
# > 
# >     <HTML LANG=xx>
# >     
# > is that the document is self describing and can be transported via http, ftp, 
# > mail, gopher, webnfs, imap, etc. and still have proper identification in the 
# > web client application (could be a browser, could be indexing engine, could
# > be a translation service, etc.)
# I second this.  More, or read directly.
# > The best argument for 
# > 
# >     <META HTTP-EQUIV...>
# >     
# > is that document authors can add information to the http headers without 
# > special actions taken by a site administrator.
# Even the language is in <HTML LANG=xx>, the server must pick-up the
# language and transmit it with the header.
# Tomas
I'm not sure I agree that the server should always be configured to
parse a document when it is transmitted. On the other hand it would be 
easy for a site administrator to preprocess the documents so a "foo.html"
becomes a "foo.html.asis" in the case of the Apache server, this document
would then have a preconfigured set of HTTP headers.

Since very few clients have been updated for RFC2070 HTML constructs,
I imagine even fewer servers are ready to support "<HTML LANG=xx>".
On the other hand most servers do support the "<META HTTP-EQUIV...>"

So if you want to deploy documents today that are portable across
most current HTTP servers the META workaround is probably the most
widely deployed solution. If you want exact control over the 
HTTP headers, then you might be better off with a specific vendor's
HTTP solution, like the Apache "asis" mechanism.

In the long run if you want to be RFC2070 (should I say HTML 4.x)
compliant and you want to be able to transmit the documents over
something other than HTTP, then you want to use the HTML LANG 
attribute. (And lobby the client and server vendors to support the
full I18N spec as soon as possible!)
Received on Friday, 28 February 1997 08:07:48 UTC

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