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Re: How to provide titles and descriptions in a second language?

From: Dr. Olaf Hoffmann <Dr.O.Hoffmann@gmx.de>
Date: Tue, 1 Jul 2008 10:19:09 +0200
To: Robin Berjon <robin@berjon.com>, www-svg@w3.org
Message-Id: <200807011019.09801.Dr.O.Hoffmann@gmx.de>

Robin Berjon:
> On Jun 30, 2008, at 19:44 , Dr. Olaf Hoffmann wrote:
> > as I discoverd now, the elements title and desc do not have
> > the attribute systemLanguage in SVG 1.1 and SVGT1.2.
> >
> > How to provide (or to switch to) a second language for
> > title and description without repeating the parent element
> > of those elements. How to switch the document title and
> > description?
> >
> > Maybe it is useful to add this attribute to title and desc
> > in SVG 1.2, because often those elements contain the
> > major part of text in SVG documents and it might be
> > useful for accessibility reasons to provide those information
> > in more than one language.
> Nothing keeps you from providing title and desc in more than one
> language: simply use the xml:lang attribute to indicate which language
> they're in. 

xml:lang provides a different information - it just indicates in which
language the content is, this is no indication of an alternative or
for whom this information is relevant, obviously authors may
use it independently from other purposes to avoid plurivalence
and confusion within the content. In the world today there are
many loanwords/'xenocism', sometimes even with different 
meanings as in the original language (for example anglicisms 
and pseudo-anglicisms).


> Since they do not have any effect on rendering there is no 
> need to switch them, 

'For reasons of accessibility, user agents should always make the content of 
the 'title' child element to the outermost 'svg' element available to users. 
The mechanism for doing so depends on the user agent (e.g., as a caption, 


Typically it will not have much use to present titles in any available
language, if the user already indicates, which languages are only
understandable for him.

And I think, it would be a much better user agent, if any title and
desc is somehow accessible in an alternative presentation of the
document. Typically especially document title and desc provide
important information about the content of the document, at least
in almost any of my SVG documents ;o)

> just include several, each with their own 
> language. It's up to the UA what happens with them (e.g. showing up as
> a tooltip or being read out) so it ought to figure out which one it
> wants to use.

'It is strongly recommended that at most one 'desc' and at most one 'title' 
element appear as a child of any particular element'


A who we are to do it differently as 'strongly recommended'? ;o)

This can be avoided for example with a switch with systemLanguage.
Otherwise the document will get very abstract, having all elements with
a need for title and desc inside the defs element and referencing all of 
them with use elements having a switch around to chose the proper 
And I think, it is much more difficult to interprete such an abstract
document for an accessibility tool extracting text information only
or to provide an alternative text view of such a document in general.
And it does not solve the problem with the document title and desc
in two or more languages to switch.
Received on Tuesday, 1 July 2008 08:28:48 UTC

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