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(phrase extensions and bidirectional text orverride <span> and <bdo>) part of my review of 3.12 Phrase elements

From: Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2007 09:42:03 -0500
Message-Id: <99FFA3A0-CCFC-48DC-BEF8-96EB6948D94C@robburns.com>
To: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>

  phrase extensions and bidirectional text orverride <span> and  
<bdo>) part of my review of 3.12 Phrase elements

Span SPAN:

The <span> element makes mention of special meaning to @title when  
used with <dfn> but nothing else is said about that here. An example  
and explanation would be helpful.

Consider requiring at least one of the global attributes to ensure  
<span> has some specified semantics associated with it.

Proposed wording/
HTML provides the span element as an extension mechanism so authors  
may add other strictly-inline semantics not provided by other HTML  
elements. By itself, <span> simply marks the boundaries of a phrase  
or word. Authors add meaning to a <span> element through adding  
attributes. The meaning appended to <span> elements through  
attributes can be used with CSS or another styling mechanism to  
provide specialized visual, aural and tactile presentation to those  
attributes. When using <span>, authors must include at lest one of  
the global attributes: @id, @class, @style, @role, @irrelevant,  
@lang  (@xml:lang for XML serialization), @contentEditable,  
@contextMenu, @dir, @draggable, @irrelevant, @tabindex, or @title.  
Authors should include at least one of: @class, @role, @lang  
(@xml:lang for XML serialization), @title or @id to any <span> element.

The span element can also beuseful when used in conjunction with the  
dfn element. By setting the @title attribute on a <span> element to  
the same string value of a <dfn> element in the same scope of a  
document, authors may associate the term contained in the <span>  
element with the definition that is the contents of the parent  
element of the associated <dfn> element.

Interactive UAs must provide a mechanism to display the associated  
definition through user interaction with the term contained within  
the <span> element.
/proposed wording


Bidirectional text BDO:

Consider adding some further explanation of bidirectional text as an  
introduction to the subsection.

proposed wording/
"Bidirectional text refers to text in documents that mix right-to- 
left scripts such as Arabic or Hebrew with left-to-right scripts  
within the same paragraph. In UAs supporting right-to-left scripts  
this must be handled in most cases without author intervention using  
a text processing algorithm. Authors may need to use the <bdo>   
element only in the exceptional circumstances when the natural  
direction of text in a script is not what the author requires. Only  
authors needing to  override the normal direction of text within the  
Unicode bidirectional algorithm need use the <bdo> element."

All UAs that support right-to-left text must process text according  
to the Unicode bidirectional algorithm.
/proposed wording

Perhaps provide an example of the remote conditions when it might be  
needed. I know i've read some use-cases, but at the moment they  
escape me.
Received on Friday, 20 July 2007 14:43:00 GMT

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