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Re: [html-bidi] Feedback on Additional Requirements for Bidi in HTML

From: Ehsan Akhgari <ehsan@mozilla.com>
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2010 17:43:17 -0400
Message-ID: <dbd3aaef1003171443k6eec9777n14f4cf6a414c50b@mail.gmail.com>
To: CE Whitehead <cewcathar@hotmail.com>
Cc: public-i18n-bidi@w3.org
It's not about secrets!  If HTML specifies a default algorithm, all
browsers will be using that (and at the worst case, authors can just
test how the browser handles things, and infer the algorithm used.)
It's just that AFAIK, nowhere else in the HTML spec do we see
algorithms being requested in source code, so the mere notion of that
will be new to web developers.


On Tue, Mar 16, 2010 at 8:56 PM, CE Whitehead <cewcathar@hotmail.com> wrote:
> Hi.  Again, I really think it's fine to have dir rtl auto-first-strong or
> similar in source code (I think I understand the issues correctly too).
> More comments are below!
> From: Ehsan Akhgari <ehsan@mozilla.com>
> Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2010 19:55:21 -0500
>>Also, I'm not a huge fan of specifying different algorithms as values
>> for the dir attribute.  I think relying on web authors to figure out
>> what algorithm to use can be very fragile, and it would be safe to
>> assume that if they understand the issue well enough to determine
>> which algorithm to use, they can probably come up with their own
>> implementation anyway.  I think in practice having a single attribute
>> value of dir=auto is much more useful, especially given the fact that
>> a large portion of web developers have very little understanding of
> ? the issues existing with supporting bidi text.
> I think web developers can understand these two (though of course there are
> a wide range of web developers, but those developing applications for bdi
> already understand some of these issues it seems).
> The issue is when someone else ends up processing input text; for example
> when I input text, it's displayed with "dir-auto-first-strong" or some such,
> and then some other application picks up the displayed text; it might be of
> interest to have as input which algorithm was used.
> And it's interesting to know why your text displays as it does too.
> (For most applications implementation details are transparent enough; in
> Word for example, it's obvious that setting the font-color to auto displays
> default color choices to text and links; no further details are needed;
> similarly, for html, I know right away that the style codes set as css
> properties are going to be displayed on elements with the appropriate names
> and need no more information to interpret the code;
> however this algorithm, since there are two choices, would be an exception
> to this rule.)
> In addition, I personally like being able to view as much source code as
> possible -- that -- with tutorials -- is how dummies like me learn.
> I suppose we are forcing browser makers to give away secrets, but when there
> are only two choices, how much of a secret is there?  If it is needed so
> other applications can process text, then it's useful.
> What we are really doing by making these two algorithms transparent, is
> encouraging improvement -- and the users can say either "first strong
> worked" or "first strong did not work" -- and that's helpful.
> Best,
> C. E. Whitehead
> cewcathar@hotmail.com
Received on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 21:44:14 UTC

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