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RE: ISSUE-88 / Re: what's the language of a document ?

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 2010 23:10:46 +0000 (UTC)
To: "Phillips, Addison" <addison@lab126.com>
Cc: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>, "www-international@w3.org" <www-international@w3.org>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.64.1004012300140.18493@ps20323.dreamhostps.com>
On Thu, 1 Apr 2010, Phillips, Addison wrote:
> > 
> > It was not an oversight.
> The Internationalization working group maintains that, for compatibility 
> with existing documents, authoring practice, and non-browser tools and 
> user-agents, the existing syntax of HTML <meta> Content-Language really 
> MUST be preserved.

The existing syntax of HTML <meta> Content-Language as defined by HTML4 
doesn't match what you are proposing. HTML4 says that this feature is for 
use by servers, not user agents.

The existing syntax of HTML <meta> Content-Language as defined by legacy 
implementations doesn't match what you are proposing. User agents only 
look at the first language, and do not support multiple languages.

The existing syntax of HTML <meta> Content-Language as defined by existing 
documents doesn't match what you are proposing. The only effect the pragma 
has in legacy documents is the effect exposed by user agents, which only 
look at the first language.

Non-browser tools and user agents are not affected by the changes you are 
suggesting, since those changes do not affect the user agent requirements.

Changing conformance requirements for authors has no effect on existing 
documents and non-browser tools and user-agents. This leaves authoring 
practices, but I strongly disagree with your assertion that we want to 
preserve those authoring practices, since those authoring practices are 
effectively wasting author time: there's no point authors providing 
multiple languages if user agents then ignore all but the first.

Therefore IMHO the argument you are making above does not make sense given 
the change proposal you are suggesting.

I would be interested to know which non-browser tools and user agents you 
specifically had in mind, by the way. If there really are tools that are 
affected by this, then we should change the user agent requirements to 
match what they do. What tools are these?

> We do thank you for the other changes, but herewith request that the 
> remainder of our Change Proposal be accepted by the HTML WG.

I believe the next step in the HTML WG process for ISSUE-88 is for the 
chairs to review the change proposals, and see if a discussion results 
in consensus:


Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Thursday, 1 April 2010 23:11:15 UTC

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