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RE: Comment on working draft "Specifying Language in XHTML and HTML Content"

From: Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2007 15:12:47 -0000
To: "'Mark Davis'" <mark.davis@icu-project.org>, "'John Cowan'" <cowan@ccil.org>
Cc: <www-international@w3.org>
Message-ID: <00ec01c76714$64cb4b40$6401a8c0@rishida>


I think I understand what you are looking for in (a).  I had thought that Section 2 Why specify language? would fulfill that role, but it doesn't mention the difference between text-processing and metadata, which is fairly crucial to a good answer, but hasn't yet been introduced.  At the same time, people need to know at an early stage why they should read further. 

So I'm thinking to retitle section 2 as "Why read this document?"  and add a small section before the current 4.1 with the title "Why specify language" that echos some of section 2 wrt text-processing declarations, and uses the first para of section 4.2.2 for the metadata. 

We do already include the info about the current value of attribute declarations and metadata declarations in BP 1 and BP 9, respectively.

As for your question (b), the answer is that the attributes in html take precedence over the HTTP header information according to the spec and in practice, and the meta element declaration is a completely ineffective squib as far as I'm aware.

Although we have references that explicitly mention precedence, I was surprised to find no mention of it in the BPs.  I'll add a short para in a couple of places.


Richard Ishida
Internationalization Lead
W3C (World Wide Web Consortium)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-international-request@w3.org 
> [mailto:www-international-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Mark Davis
> Sent: 14 March 2007 21:25
> To: John Cowan
> Cc: www-international@w3.org
> Subject: Re: Comment on working draft "Specifying Language in 
> XHTML and HTML Content"
> You misunderstand. Nobody is trying to game the system. The 
> issue is to understand
> a) what actual, physical effects I should/may see out of 
> doing each one of these things, and
> b) if there is a mismatch (I made it a large difference just 
> for illustration), what should/may the effects be? 
> Unless we can understand what the effects will be, what is 
> the point of advice one direction or the other?
> Mark
> On 3/14/07, John Cowan < cowan@ccil.org> wrote: 
> 	Mark Davis scripsit:
> 	> Thanks. That looks better, but still doesn't address 
> my main concern. How
> 	> should my document be treated differently and by what 
> processes if I make
> 	> the html lang be "en" and the HTTP tag be "fr" and 
> the meta tag be "de"? 
> 	See the .sig below for what should happen.
> 	Seriously, the BP addresses which mechanism to use if 
> you are using
> 	just one, not when and how to game the system by using 
> contradictory
> 	metadata in different locations.  That's like asking what to do 
> 	with an attachment or download named "picture.gif" 
> which on inspection
> 	turns out to be an executable.
> 	--
> 	SAXParserFactory [is] a hideous, evil monstrosity of a 
> class that should
> 	be hung, shot, beheaded, drawn and quartered, burned at 
> the stake, 
> 	buried in unconsecrated ground, dug up, cremated, and 
> the ashes tossed
> 	in the Tiber while the complete cast of Wicked sings 
> "Ding dong, the
> 	witch is dead."  --Elliotte Rusty Harold on xml-dev
> --
> Mark 

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