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Re: meta content-language

From: Mark Davis <mark.davis@icu-project.org>
Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2008 11:30:12 -0700
Message-ID: <30b660a20808221130w3edd45fay755713a5cea5e99f@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Julian Reschke" <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Cc: "Leif Halvard Silli" <lhs@malform.no>, "Ian Hickson" <ian@hixie.ch>, "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>, "www-international@w3.org" <www-international@w3.org>

On Fri, Aug 22, 2008 at 7:04 AM, Mark Davis <mark.davis@icu-project.org>wrote:

> I'm kinda lost in this thread so far. It seems to me the questions at had
> are:
> 1. Distinction in Language. Should there be a distinction in interpretation
> between the language set via lang attribute and meta content?
> <html lang="foo">
> and
> <meta http-equiv="Content-Language" content="foo"/>
> My take is that any such distinction would be a departure from current
> practice, and too fine a distinction for the vast majority of people to be
> able to follow.
> 2. Language Inheritance. If there are conflicting languages, what should
> win? (or in other words, what's the inheritance?)
> (HTTP) Content-Language: lang1
> <meta http-equiv="Content-Language" content="lang2"/>
> <html lang="lang4" xml:lang="lang3">
> <p lang="lang5">
> My take is that HTML5 has it right, that the winner/inheritance should be
> in the above order: lang5 wins over lang4 over lang3 over lang2 over lang1.
> 3. Language Values. Should the value of any of these fields be a single
> language tag or also allow a priority list (both as defined by BCP47)?
> Note that it can be zero (""), which is equivalent to "und" (Unknown
> language) in BCP 47.
> Here I think we'd be somewhat better off if the value could be a priority
> list, eg "de, fr, en". For example, if the html lang value were "de, fr,
> en", that would mean that there wasn't any substantial amount of linguistic
> content other than these three, and that the relationship was de >= fr >=
> en. Due to the ordering, if you had software that could only handle a single
> language, then de would be that value.
> Documents may contain a mixture of languages, and allowing them to be
> tagged at a high level with a priority list would allow people to reflect
> that reality without having to tag each and every element with the right
> language. Software can make use of that information, for example, in ranking
> the document with respect to the language of search queries. With a search
> query in "fr", a document with html lang of "de, fr" could be treated
> differently than if it just had "de".

A clarification: the first two items already take a priority list:

(HTTP) Content-Language: lang1
<meta http-equiv="Content-Language" content="lang2"/>

It is the lang="..." and xml:lang="..." that currently lack the ability
(according to the spec) to have multiple languages.

> However, that may be too big a departure from current practice.
> Mark
Received on Friday, 22 August 2008 18:30:49 UTC

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