FW: VOA- utf-8, lang="en" (Re: BBC.co.uk languages ...)

From: Don Osborn (dzo@bisharat.net)
Date: Thu Apr 16 2009 - 05:01:31 CDT

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    [fwd from the A12n lists]

    On Tue, 2009-04-14 at 22:23 +0800, Donald Z. Osborn wrote:
    > Thanks to all for the feedback on this topic. It sounds like the
    > choice of utf-8 or not is mainly one of policy (or lack of same) and
    > not technical restraints?

    I would argue that the choice of UTF-8 has more to do with the tools
    used to push the content rather then anything specific about policy.

    There is generally large confusion about encodings and language on the
    web. My guess would be that that is caused mostly by content developers
    and sysadmins who don't know the subject. When a tool just works in
    UTF-8 the problem disappears without them needing to think about it.

    I gave input to the South African governments MIOS (Minimal
    Interoperability Standard). I'd consider that a policy document. I
    haven't got it in front of me but I'm pretty sure we agreed that all
    content must be in Unicode with UTF-8 encoding preferred. Its important
    for South Africa as Venda works only in Unicode. It also eliminates a
    huge amount of problems when people need to translate content.

    Now how long this takes to filter in is unknown. Suppliers must conform
    to MIOS. So while they must conform the change will probably have more
    to do with upgrading of software to versions that uses UTF-8 by default
    more then it has to do with the policy document itself.

    Dwayne Bailey
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