[Taxacom] Language tags for scientific names

Andy Mabbett andy at pigsonthewing.org.uk
Fri Jun 27 11:18:49 CDT 2008

In message <a9f8e03f0806270713t5dc6f13du8180f6fea12bbcb at mail.gmail.com>, 
Jim Croft <jim.croft at gmail.com> writes

>> It's not the job of language markup to resolve such ambiguities (though
>> the species microformat does).
>> Does <span lang="en">feet</span> refer to measurement or the things at
>> the end of legs? We don't use en-measurement and en-anatomy.
>Well perhaps you should.

Feel free to prose that to the W3C, then, if you think it practical.

>What is the point of a non resolving markup?

HTML is intended to resolve the differences between a limited number of 
types of content (paragraphs, lists, headings, links, etc.). It is not 
intended to resolve to the level required to parse natural language 
(nor, indeed, to the level required to parse the arbitrary distinctions 
made by taxonomists).

You might feel that there is no point to the level of resolution in 
HTML, but I think you would then find that several million publishers 
and consumers disagree with you.

>  Isn't the whole business of the semantic web about resolving 

Perhaps. It is not the business of language attributes to do so. Other 
tools exists, such as RDF, RDFa, and HTML class attributes (as used by 
the Species microformat).

Andy Mabbett

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