Multilingual site development: Part II the lang-attribute

A while back I started writing about this topic. Now reading throught the RDF-IG mailing list archives I came across some discussion on how to use the xml:lang-attribute in RDF-documents. HTML documents have a similar attribue, lang, that can be used.

In many cases, the language of an HTML document is set in the opening html-tag as generally the whole document will be in one language. There are some cases in which other languages are used in parts of documents in which the identification of different languages would be semantically correct. However, I seriously doubt that most authors do not use them. One of the problems that authors face when using the lang-attribute (in either or both forms) is deciding when to use it.

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Web professionals or craftsmen?

The interview of Andy Clarke has really started a buzz about web professionalism that sounded so good to me. While we need to take our education about web standards out of the collective herds of standards users (think preaching to the choir) and educate the coming generations better (as Rob Dickerson Holly Marie Koltz aptly points out), what we really need is to consider what web development really is about.

Both Molly and Roger are heading in the right direction by bringing up and emphasizing the word craft. This struck a nerve with me as I was talking with a friend of mine on how standards based web development is a form of craftmanship instead of just doing the work. Which then lead to a whole discussion of trying to translate craftmanship into Finnish which isn’t an easy task. But I think that Kevin Leitch is in the right direction when he points out that a professional can be defined as anyone who earns money from the work they do.

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Flat-Coats and cold resistance

Yes, it’s that time of the year now that the lakes, rivers, ponds, and the sea in Finland are getting colder and colder. Just waiting for a thick layer of ice to coat them for several months. A Finnish blog about flat-coats blogged (in Finnish) about the surprise her flat-coats gave some scouts (boy or girl, Finnish doesn’t differentiate) by swimming in a lake this last weekend. Naturally, it reminded me of some of our boys escapades with water.

Never mind that Jalo’s first contact with water was the cold sea last autumn or that Flippe can barely stay out of any body of water he can find, including puddles. Flippe did surprise us this spring by starting to swim as soon as a few metres of water was revealed by the melting ice (this was in early May). His best trick however was swimming to the ice and climbing on it, as pictured below.

Flippe on the ice

Flippe back in the water

These pictures can be used as an example of the cold-resistance that flat-coats exhibit. They are also a very good example of the work ethic that flat-coats have. Flippe’s only reason to climb on the ice was to look for a stick we had thrown for him to retrieve. The same day was Jalo’s first real experience with swimming. After that day he’s been just as enthusiastic as his brother when it comes to swimming and being in the water.

This may sound like too much praise of a breed by a very biased person, but in all honesty we can recommend flat-coats for anyone who needs working dogs in varying conditions. However, remember that with flat-coats you must have a very good sense of humour.