RE: For review: Using <b> and <i> tags

Hi Gunnar,

 The key word in the paragraph you cited is 'easily'.  

The localizer could certainly go through the whole site looking for <i> markup containing things that look like document names and changing them by changing the HTML code, but that is problematic because it's very time consuming, because translators are often unable to change the markup itself, and because messing with the code that way risks introducing errors.  And replacing markup with characters in that way introduces other issues, since the source and target now differ, and making future stylistic changes to the Japanese continues to require editing of all pages on the site.

CSS offers the possibility of changing styling without changing the HTML at all, and that is very powerful. By modifying a single line in one CSS file you could make the needed changes across the whole site.  This is how most localizers would want and expect to be able to deal with the situation.

For such a simple approach to work, however, you need the CSS to be able to refer to the specific elements that need to be changed.  That means to differentiate between <i> used for document names and<i> used for foreign language idioms if their styling diverges or may diverge in the future.  The way to do that is to use class attributes.

Is that clearer?


Richard Ishida
Internationalization Lead
W3C (World Wide Web Consortium)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Gunnar Bittersmann []
> Sent: 19 July 2010 15:49
> To: Richard Ishida
> Cc:
> Subject: Re: For review: Using <b> and <i> tags
> Richard Ishida scripsit (2010-07-01 17:52+02:00):
> > Comments are being sought on the article Using <b> and <i> tags prior
> to final release.
> Richard,
> I know I should have come up with this prior to final release, but
> what’s a final release in the Web where nothing is set in stone? So I
> eventually come up with another comment post to first release. To quote
> my favorite character in Star Trek, Q: “The trial never ends.” ;-)
> In Japanese example, the article says:
> “The problem is that, if the English author has used i  tags everywhere
> (thinking about the presentational rendering he/she wants in English),
> the Japanese localizer will be unable to easily apply different styling
> to the different types of text.”
> Why ist that? What would make the Japanese localizer unable to change
> the English <i>document name</i> to 『document name』, and the English
> <i>foreign language idiom</i> to 《foreign language idiom》?
> My guess is: Because the localizer does not necessarily have to
> understand the phrases “document name” and “foreign language idiom“ (or
> English at all), and the translator does not necessarily have to
> understand <i> (or have to look at the markup at all). And localizer and
> translator does not necessarily have to be the same person.
> Am I right here?
> Anyway, IMHO the article should not leave that for the reader to guess.
> Maybe that could be clarified in a future update to the final release
> (be it in a sidenote).
> Just another .02€,
> Gunnar
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Received on Monday, 19 July 2010 15:47:33 UTC