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RE: Regarding update of language declaration tests (I81NWG)

From: Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2010 07:17:36 +0100
To: "'Leif Halvard Silli'" <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>, <www-international@w3.org>
Message-ID: <015401cae051$2bd8ed10$838ac730$@org>
> From: www-international-request@w3.org [mailto:www-international-
> request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Leif Halvard Silli
> Sent: 19 April 2010 18:01
> > Btw, the article states that
> >
> > ]]
> > On the very rare occasion when the whole document is in an undefined
> > language it is better to just not declare the default language of the
> > document.
> > [[
> >
> > However, this advice does not help the slightest, if the user agent is
> > inheriting a language from the Content-Language HTTP header or the
> > HTTP-EQUIV meta element.
> Clarification: In response to bugs I filed because of my change
> proposal, [1] the HTML5 editor Ian Hickson told me that user agents
> only need to update. And then, if they update, they will be able to
> handle e.g. <html lang=""> correctly. However, the QA note from the
> I18N WG says that it is (usually) not correct to apply the empty
> lang="" on the root element in such cases. It is eventually better to
> not declare any language than to explicitly un-declare the language.
> And this also happens to be my own understanding.

It's hard for me to see why, in those rare circumstances, you'd have conflicting language information in the http header or meta element, but it you did, there'd be no reason not to use lang="" to override their effect.  (The basic rule is actually stated as " you should only tag text as undetermined if you can't just leave it as is.")

So I think that if browsers just implement support for lang="" we have no issue here. 


PS: Note that the article referred to at http://www.w3.org/International/questions/qa-no-language needs updating to take into account the latest developments in this area.
Received on Tuesday, 20 April 2010 06:18:06 UTC

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