XHTML, HTML Get International Flavor

An Internet standards task force is appealing to an international
audience with an update to the XHTML and HTML markup languages.

The GEO (Guidelines, Education and Outreach) Task Force of the
Internationalization Working Group published
their updated Working Draft of Specifying the Language of
Content, the group said Friday. The document is one of a series of
documents giving HTML authors techniques for developing
internationalized HTML using XHTML 1.0 or HTML 4.01, supported by CSS1,
CSS2 and some aspects of CSS3.

“Specifying the language of content is useful for a wide number of
applications, from linguistically sensitive searching to applying
language-specific display properties,” the group said in its draft. “In
some cases the full application is still awaiting full development,
whereas in others, such as detection of language by voice browsers, it
is a necessity today. Marking up language meta information is something
that can and should be done today. Without it, none of these
applications can be taken advantage of.”

The task force said it is now seeking feedback before converting
it to the next level, the Working Group Note status. The consortium did warn
that not all of the wrinkles may be smoothed out by the time
it gets published and that the document may not fully represent the
consensus of the group.

The Internationalization Working Group even went a step further
saying it will ignore any company that wants to get a jump on the
changes and go forward with early implementation before the final
release comes out.

Work on both XHTML and HTML was necessary, according to the W3C,
because both standards are key in the next step in the evolution of the
Internet. By migrating to XHTML today, the W3C has said content
developers can enter the XML world with all of its attendant benefits,
while still remaining confident in their content’s backward and future
compatibility.

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