Charl van Niekerk has an interesting posting on a topic that should have been be more obvious to me: that the xml:lang attribute (and HTML lang) are critical for making online information accessible to the visually-impaired. Voice synthesizers that read documents aloud need to know what language they’re reading, and it wouldn’t take much effort for us to tell them.
Obviously, this is a less critical issue for data-oriented XML, but even then, XML data often contains large chunks of prose (like product descriptions) that are, eventually, intended for human consumption. I won’t promise to rush and fix all of this today in my existing XML and HTML, but I’m certainly going to try harder in the future.
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