W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > August 2007

Re: authoring @lang and @dir (was 3.6. The root element)

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2007 03:34:58 -0700
Cc: Sander Tekelenburg <st@isoc.nl>, public-html@w3.org
Message-Id: <63057B54-AC55-41A6-9BBE-CFD5493D04B3@apple.com>
To: Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>

On Aug 2, 2007, at 12:56 AM, Robert Burns wrote:

> BTW, can you provide a use-case for setting @dir to the opposite  
> value to what a particular script would usually have (i.e., setting  
> @dir to 'ltr' for Arabic or Hebrew or 'rtl' for Latin or Cyrillic or  
> the like). I cannot think of any use-case myself.

I can't personally read any RTL scripts, so I can't tell you all the  
details offhand. But things can get complicated when mixing multiple  
scripts, and I imagine it is often useful to control neutral text  
directionality separately.

Here is a quick survey I did of a tiny handful of sites in Hebrew,  
Arabic and Farsi:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/arabic/news/ - does not use the dir attribute  
at all, so it currently gets the default of ltr
http://persianblog.com/home.php - does not use the dir attribute at  
all, so it currently gets the default of ltr
http://www.google.co.il/ - explicitly sets dir=ltr around a div that  
contains hebrew text
http://www.walla.co.il/ - does not use dir attribute at all, but sets  
both "direction: ltr" and "direction: rtl" via CSS for different  

These are some of the top sites in their respective languages, so it's  
pretty clear to me that for compatibility with web content, lang and  
dir must remain independent.

Received on Tuesday, 7 August 2007 10:35:10 UTC

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