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Internationalization Comments on Techniques for WCAG 2.0

Version reviewed: http://www.w3.org/TR/2006/WD-WCAG20-TECHS-20060427/
Lead reviewer and date of initial review: Richard Ishida, June 2006
Subject lead: [WCAG2 TECHS]

These are comments on behalf of the Internationalization Core WG, unless otherwise stated. The "Owner" column indicates who has been assigned the responsibility of tracking discussions on a given comment.

We recommend that responses to the comments in this table use a separate email for each point. This makes it far easier to track threads. Click on the icons in the right-most column to see email discussions.

ID Location Subject Comment Owner Ed. /
1 H55, H56 Direction of text

It is not clear to us why correct support of the 'direction of the text' is an accessibility issue. We recommend that you remove all mention of text direction from this document.

This would include F5, H1, H34, H56, H55

(If you disagree with this recommendation, we will come back to you with a substantial number of additional comments based on the content of this document related to text direction, and probably recommend that i18n WG needs to be involved in drafting that text. For now we will hold all such comments until this one is addressed.)

2 H57 Primary natural language

The term 'primary' is used here in a different way than currently used in i18n documents. We use 'primary language' to mean the intended audience of the document - as specified in the HTTP header or the meta statment. Our equivalent for your term 'primary language' (based on the advice given in your techniques) would be 'default text-processing language'. This is what is expressed via the language attribute(s) on the html element. (Note that we are currently considering options for replacing our use of the term 'primary language' with something less ambiguous and more accurate.)

For a summary of our current usage see http://www.w3.org/TR/i18n-html-tech-lang/#ri20040808.100519373

i18n WG needs to discuss this section with WCAG WG to understand more clearly what the intent is with regard to 'primary' vs. 'text-processing' language, and to help formulate clearer guidelines.

3 H57 xml:lang missing in H57 title

This technique is titled:

Using the lang attribute of the html element

But it should make reference to the xml:lang attribute too. We suggest:

Using language attributes on the html element

4 H57, H58, Description XHTML 1.0

"(Note that HTML only offers the use of the lang attribute, while XHTML (transitionally) allows both attributes or only xml:lang , respectively, since lang was removed in XHTML 1.1.)"

This would be clearer if it said

(Note that HTML only offers the use of the lang attribute, while XHTML 1.0 (as a transitional measure) allows both attributes, and XHTML 1.1 allows only xml:lang.)

5 H57, example 1 head missing

This example, unlike the two following, omits the <head> element. It seems at best inconsistent. (Note, btw, that these examples are invalid, since the title element is required.)

6 H57, H58, Resources RFC 3066 links

There is a pointer to RFC 3066 'Tags for the Identification of Languages'. This specification has now been superceded by RFC 3066bis, although, unfortunately, there is no number for the new RFC just yet. We suggest that you add a new link as soon as possible.

In the meantime, you may wish to point to http://www.w3.org/International/core/langtags/rfc3066bis.html

7 H57, Resources Tutorial link

There is a link to

Using language information in XHTML, HTML and CSS

We suspect that what you meant to link to was

Declaring Language in XHTML and HTML

8 H57, Resources Bidi links

There is no mention of bidi in this technique, so we think the last two links in this section are irrelevant.

9 H57, Tests xml:lang missing in tests

Step 2 should say 'a lang and/or xml:lang attribute'.

10 H57, Tests RFC 3066 reference in tests

Step 3 should say 'conforms to RFC 3066 or its successor', since RFC 3066 is now, already out of date, and RFC 3066bis should be used. Note that hopefully it will be possible to point to its successor very soon - we are awaiting the assignment of an RFC number.

11 H58, title xml:lang missing in H58 title

This technique is titled:

Using the lang attribute to identify changes in the natural language

But it should make reference to the xml:lang attribute too. We suggest:

Using language attributes to identify changes in the natural language

12 H58 example 1 je ne sais quoi

Is je ne sais quoi really French still?

14 H58, Resources XML 1.01

This is a strange version number, and the link points to the First Edition, whereas we are up to the 3rd edition now, and soon 4th. Please point to the generic URI http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-xml/#sec-lang-tag

15 H58, Resources Language tagging link

This points to an obsolete document. Please update to point to http://www.w3.org/International/articles/language-tags/

16 H58, Tests Tests ignore xml:lang

Please add text referring to xml:lang to the procedure.

17 H58 Tests RFC 3066 in H58 tests

Please require conformance to RFC 3066 *or its successor*, since it has already been succeeded, and change this as soon as RFC 3066bis has an RFC number.

18 H62, Descn Description of ruby positions

Ruby text is said to be rendered "above or immediately before the base text'. The word 'before' here is a technical usage meaning above horizontal text or to the right of vertical text. This is not clear to the reader of this technique, and should be made so.

The sentence "A Ruby annotation that gives the meaning of the base text usually follows the base text" is also not clear. It should say that sometimes Japanese uses ruby related to the meaning of text on the other side of the base text (visually) from the phonetic annotation.

19 H62, Desc Commonness of ruby

"Ruby annotation is unnecessary in languages such as Hebrew, where Unicode fonts can include diacritical marks that convey pronunciation. It is also unnecessary in English and European languages."

Note that Ruby provides for annotations that can equally well be used in non-Asian text. We suggest "Ruby annotation is uncommon in languages such as ".

(Note that the term Ruby derives from *English* typesetting practise.) (Note also that you actually include an example of Ruby used with English a little further down the page.)

20 H62, Examples pr tags missing

Examples 1 and 2 should have rp tags. There is no good reason to leave them out. This will just set a bad example.

This comment, of course, affects Example 3 also.

21 H62, Examples H62 Ex4 descn

"rp is used to ensure that pronunciation information shown through Ruby text is displayed by user agents that do not support Ruby annotation."

This is misleading. The ruby text is always shown - adding rp doesn't do anything other than make it clearer, for non-ruby enabled user agents, that the ruby text is ruby text and not a typo.

22 H62, Resources Ruby resources

There are resources dedicated to Ruby on the i18n subsite. We are not sure why you don't link to them. eg. see links from http://www.w3.org/International/techniques/markup#ruby.

23 H62, Tests rp doesn't provide information

"the rp element is used to provide pronunciation information for user agents that do not support Ruby annotations"

This is misleading. It should say something like

"the rp element is used for user agents that do not support Ruby annotations to indicate that text in rt elements provides pronunciation information"


Contact: Richard Ishida (ishida@w3.org).