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Re: meta content-language

From: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2008 20:10:41 +0200
Message-ID: <48AF0121.3070306@malform.no>
To: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
CC: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, 'HTML WG' <public-html@w3.org>, "www-international@w3.org" <www-international@w3.org>

Julian Reschke 2008-08-22 16.58:

> Leif Halvard Silli wrote:
>>>> Thus, the current draft opens up the possibility that the document 
>>>> actually isn't aimed at a Russian audience at all. It could be that 
>>>> the person who created the Web page only wanted to specify the 
>>>> language of those comments he placed outside <html />.
>>> I don't believe this is a change from HTML4.
>> There is a change here. The current draft has removed the http-equiv 
>> functionality from the META element. This means that the author now is 
>> "free" to use it to specify the comments outside <html/>, because he 
>> isn't actually specifying the language preferences of his intended 
>> audience anymore.
> I do agree that the current spec language that suggest that it is 
> different from HTTP needs to be backed out (for instance, wrt multiple 
> languages).
> That being said, *this* specific case seems to be in line with what 
> previous specs said.

I agree that when we read HTML 4, then the only place an HTML 
comment outside <html/> can inherit its language from, is  the 
"content-language", whether "content-language" comes from the 
server or from the META element.

>> To use "content-language" for that purpose in HTML 4, would be a misuse.
> How so?

If the document is intended for an English speaking audience, and 
I - whether via the server or via the META element - announce 
"Content-Language: ru" because I want to specify the language of 
the comments outside <html />, then I have changed the 
"Content-Language" for the wrong reason.

Allthough, strictly speaking, perhaps I only do a very stupid 
thing. And perhaps I only misuse HTTP, and not HTML.

> Is this about the difference between meta/@http-equiv='content-language' 
> and the Content-Language HTTP header?

There you have another point. I could use META to say 
"content-language:ru" - in order to specify the language of those 
comments, and use the HTTP header to say "content-language:en".

In a way, this could be seen as merely a way of outsmarting the 
system. The HTTP header would of course be the authorative source 
anyhow, for those things which the "Content-Language" is designed for.
leif halvard silli
Received on Friday, 22 August 2008 18:11:32 UTC

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