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Re: Arabic or Hebrew languages (Right to Left Languages) and SKOS, XML,RDF,etc.

From: Christophe Dupriez <christophe.dupriez@destin.be>
Date: Thu, 26 May 2011 17:12:17 +0200
Message-ID: <4DDE6DD1.4050805@destin.be>
To: public-esw-thes@w3.org, ishida@w3.org
Hi again to all of you: thank you for the hints!

What exactly happens:
1) xml:lang attribute declares the user language targeted by a given XML 
literal (this in XML, RDF or SKOS)
2) Unicode characters are carrying by themselves (in their definition) 
the "script" and the direction they must be written with.
3) You can find latin words (written Left to Right) in Arabic texts (or 
Chinese texts or Hebrew texts or Thaï texts...) and vice-versa
4) It is a practical issue I have: the browsers (and the text editors 
like Notepad) are not taking the good direction if they are not told to 
change direction.

I consider (4) is a browser "bug": sooner or later, browsers will adapt 
the default direction and default alignment (left or right align) by 
themselves depending on the Unicode characters encountered in the text 
written inside a block.

The short term solution ("browser adaptation") may be to check all 
characters (first characters may have only "weak" directionality and 
Arabic words can be hidden in a latin text) to check if they is Arabic 
or Hebrew inside. Then to add a Unicode markup to signal RTL text within 
the literal.

Left or right alignment? I am wondering if this should not be decided 
based on the target user language rather than on the characters' script.

Do you agree with this approach (pure data, character sniffing before 
output to add RTL where necessary for current browsers, left/right 
alignment based on xml:lang) ?

Have a nice day!


Le 26/05/2011 16:05, Thad Guidry a écrit :
> Oops, forgot to include the good tutorial that I have used in the 
> past: http://www.w3.org/International/tutorials/bidi-xhtml/
> On Thu, May 26, 2011 at 9:01 AM, Thad Guidry <thadguidry@gmail.com 
> <mailto:thadguidry@gmail.com>> wrote:
>     Christophe,
>     I personally do not think SKOS or any other structured format
>     should concern itself with display and presentation, especially
>     adding control chars within the data itself [1].   Display and
>     presentation of data should be left to the browser application
>     itself, and the markup handling.
>     1. http://www.w3.org/TR/i18n-html-tech-bidi/
>     On Thu, May 26, 2011 at 4:38 AM, Christophe Dupriez
>     <christophe.dupriez@destin.be
>     <mailto:christophe.dupriez@destin.be>> wrote:
>         Hi!
>         I would like to know if some best practices has been set up to
>         support RTL (right to left) languages in XML, RDF or SKOS.
>         The problem: when displaying Arabic or Hebrew, the browsers
>         must be told to write from right to left and (ideally) the
>         text is better displayed aligned on the right rather than the
>         left.
>         One may wish that applications not be obliged to make explicit
>         tests like "if language is Arabic or Hebrew then
>         RTL+align:right else then LTR+align:left".
>         What have been done for this? What the community think that
>         should be done?
>         I made a test by hand to prepare addition of Arabic to JITA:
>         http://www.askosi.org/JITA-ar.htm
>         Other languages of the JITA thesaurus, as used to access E-LIS
>         (click on concepts in schemas):
>         http://www.askosi.org/jita
>         For now, my "feeling" is to add Unicode character x202B before
>         Arabic and Hebrew labels and Unicode character x202C at the
>         end (i.e. within the data).
>         Character x202C is Pop Direction Format: return to the
>         direction (LTR or RTL) in use when x202B (switch to RTL) was
>         encountered.
>         But what others do???
>         I will be happy to learn about your thought on this topic!
>         Christophe
>     -- 
>     -Thad
>     http://www.freebase.com/view/en/thad_guidry
> -- 
> -Thad
> http://www.freebase.com/view/en/thad_guidry
Received on Thursday, 26 May 2011 15:11:06 UTC

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