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Re: question about TAG Finding: Internet Media Type registration, consistency of use

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: 06 May 2002 16:16:51 -1000
To: "C. M. Sperberg-McQueen" <cmsmcq@acm.org>
Cc: www-tag@w3.org
Message-Id: <1020737813.5765.12.camel@jammer>
On Mon, 2002-05-06 at 14:27, C. M. Sperberg-McQueen wrote:
> In http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/2002/0129-mime, section "Registration
> of Media Types by W3C Working Groups" says "W3C Working Groups
> engaged in defining a language SHOULD arrange for the registration
> of an Internet Media Type for that language."
> 
> In order to take useful guidance from this finding, I find
> myself compelled to ask: What is a language?  If there is a
> definition in the document, I cannot find it.

Hmm... interesting... I have spent quite a bit of attention on the
problem of terminology across specs; e.g. there are several
distinct meanings of the term 'document' used in Web specs:

" document

       1. aka resource; aka Node; See also: visit
       2. aka page, frame, card
       3. a bit of data
              * in [SGML86]
        * in [HTML95], 3.2, 4.0"
	-- http://www.w3.org/Architecture/Terms#document

Now I don't do this for all words; things like 'byte', 'program',
etc. seem to have meanings that are sufficiently widely understood
so as not to need explicit definition or refinement. "language" has
been in that bucket, for me.

I note that the term is used without explanation in the XML
Schema primer:

 "... is oriented towards quickly understanding how to create schemas
 using the XML Schema language."
  -- http://www.w3.org/TR/2001/REC-xmlschema-0-20010502/


Likewise SVG:

  "This specification defines the features and syntax for
  Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), a language for
  describing two-dimensional vector and mixed vector/raster
  graphics in XML."

	-- http://www.w3.org/TR/SVG/

In SMIL, the word is part of the title.

So... I think the self-evident answer is: anything that calls itself
a language is a language.

If that doesn't suffice, I guess I need help in understanding how.

I suppose somebody could say "this is a data format..." in an attempt
to get around this finding, but the rules is just a SHOULD anyway,
so that seems silly.

-- 
Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Monday, 6 May 2002 22:16:53 UTC

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