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@lang => @dir (was 3.6. The root element)

From: Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2007 23:02:19 -0500
Message-Id: <8649D84C-3370-4C3C-8227-41F9F43EC416@robburns.com>
To: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>

`On Aug 1, 2007, at 10:53 PM, Robert Burns wrote:

> On Aug 1, 2007, at 10:20 PM, Sander Tekelenburg wrote:
>> Doesn't that merely mean that a script's directionality can be  
>> expressed
>> through the language code? I'm not sure how that makes it possible  
>> for an
>> authoring tool to deduce the scripts directon from the user  
>> providing the
>> content's language. (Or perhaps that's not what you meant.)
> I'm not really sure what you're asking. But what I'm trying to say  
> is that fully expressing a language using @lang or @xml:lang  
> provides all of the information required to deduce the  
> directionality. So to take just one of the examples I gave above:
>  lang='iw-LATN'=> dir='LTR'
> In that case the @dir attribute is technically redundant. I'm not  
> saying that UAs work that way now. Rather I'm saying that by  
> specifying language (including the specification of unconventional  
> scripts), all the information is there to determine directionality.  
> For some languages what demarcates the unconventional script may be  
> up for debate and can even be a political football. If the web was  
> around a century ago or so when Turkey was imposing a change from  
> Arabic to Latin script, it would be difficult to say which was the  
> conventional script. It would probably require specifying precisely  
> which one was in use either way (if the government permits it).
> Again, though having @dir as a separate attribute saves UAs from  
> the need to process language codes to determine directionality. It  
> also is more flexible in the sense that an author can specify only  
> @dir and leave @lang unspecified. Or specify @dir and @lang but  
> provide only the primary language code with no script code. Doe  
> that answer your question?

Just to add one more point. As far as I know there are no scripts  
that have more than one directionality. Once the language is  
specified (and I would say a romanized Hebrew is not specified  
without a script code), the directionality is also specified.

Take care,
Received on Thursday, 2 August 2007 04:02:26 UTC

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