Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Why language identification

The #W3C updated their document "Why use the language attribute?" If there is ever a better explanation why there will be a WebFonts release 0.5 you find it in this article.
Applications exist that can use natural language information about content to deliver to users the most relevant information based on their language preferences. The more content is tagged and tagged correctly, the more useful and pervasive such applications will become.

Language declarations specify the 'natural language' of web page content. A declaration should always be used to indicate the language of a web page as a whole. If the language changes within the main page container element this should also be reflected in a sub-container element, eg. span, div, td, p, etc.

Information that indicates content language can be useful for many applications. Some of these work at the level of the document as a whole, some work on appropriately labelled document fragments. What follows is a list of a few possible applications for language information:
Please read the articles for the applications.. of those applications, the one on accessibility has quite profound implications for achieving our goal:
Language information assists speech synthesizers and Braille translators; it is required by the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) and enforced by governmental policies in some countries, eg. UK - Disability Discrimination Act (UK).

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