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Re: How do I say 'this is not in any language' in XHTML/HTML

From: Stephen Deach <sdeach@adobe.com>
Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2007 08:19:42 -0700
Message-Id: <>
To: Jon Hanna <jon@hackcraft.net>, Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>
Cc: www-international@w3.org

What is the processing-side difference between "zxx" (no linguistic 
content) and "art" (artificial)?

At 2007.03.22-14:38(+0000), Jon Hanna wrote:

>Richard Ishida wrote:
>>I'm still not clear about the distinction between xml:lang="" and 
>>xml:lang="und".  Any suggestions?
>If xml:lang is spec'd in a particular schema to allow an empty string then 
>xml:lang="und" is a bug and xml:lang="" is not.
>If it is not spec'd to allow an empty string then xml:lang="und" is not a 
>bug and xml:lang="" is!
>RFC 4646, like RFC 3066 before it expliclty states that und SHOULD not be 
>used unless a protocol forces one to state a language tag. Since xml:lang 
>does not force any use and is specified as stating that the empty string 
>is allowed unless another specification (e.g. XHTML1.0) says otherwise.
>RFC 4646, again lke RFC 3066 before it, states that the lack of a language 
>code means Undetermined (just as und does in a protocol that doesn't allow 
>an empty language code).
>I agree with those who consider XHTML1.0 not allowing an empty xml:lang 
>attribute value as obsolete (or an error? Did the first edition of the 
>XML1.0 spec prohibit empty xml:lang?).
>Both of these cover cases where the language is not known. If it is 
>*known* that content does not contain any linguistic data then 
>xml:lang="zxx" should be used.

---Steve Deach
Received on Thursday, 22 March 2007 15:21:08 UTC

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