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Re: Preliminary Localization of XHTML into Chinese

From: Steve Zilles <szilles@adobe.com>
Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2007 09:59:56 -0800
Message-Id: <>
To: fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>, "'WWW International'" <www-international@w3.org>
At 01:15 AM 3/6/2007, fantasai wrote:

>Brett Zamir wrote:
>>Greetings all,
>>I am not sure whether this may have been done before (I'd be surprised if 
>>it hadn't), but since I haven't heard of it, here it goes...
>>I wrote a preliminary XML language using Chinese characters to represent 
>>the elements, attributes, and specified attribute values of XHTML--no DTD 
>>or XML Schema yet--to be transformed by a XSLT sheet that I devised (with 
>>translation help from my wife) into XHTML (or a modular variety thereof). 
>>It manages to work fine (with a few nuances depending on whether viewing 
>>in Explorer or Firefox), at least for the relatively small files I've 
>>tested it on.
>This might be useful for authoring on the server side, but you should not
>encourage anyone to send it over the wire as a web page. The translation
>to XHTML should be done on the server. The advantage of XHTML is that it
>is a standardized language with known semantics. A translation of its tags
>would just be arbitrary XML, which although it can be styled for graphical
>browsers, isn't otherwise accessible because the semantics are unknown.
>   http://ln.hixie.ch/?start=1064828134&count=1
>   http://annevankesteren.nl/2005/05/generic-xml
>   http://tantek.com/log/2005/07.html#d24t1935

This actually raises an interesting discussion point. XML and XSLT are W3C 
Recommendations that are supported in some if not all Browsers. Therefore, 
translation on the Client side is feasible and "Standard" in the cases 
where the author does not have control over what the server side does. 
Furthermore, using tags denoted in the local language of the author may me 
much more meaningful to she or he especially if he or she is not an English 
speaker. If the XSLT produces XHTML, there is no doubt about the HTML 
semantics of the result of translation.

I would not disagree that doing server-side translation is a more robust 
solution, but to discourage the use of local tag languages seems like an 
anti-internationalization approach.

Is the point that using XSLT to do the tranlation would make it more 
difficult to use CSS? Clearly the translated result can still have embedded 
CSS and/or references to CSS stylesheets.

Why is using XML in a way that was intended such a bad idea?


Steve Zilles
115 Lansberry Court,
Los Gatos, CA 95032-4710
Received on Tuesday, 6 March 2007 18:00:52 UTC

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