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RE: FPWD of Additional Requirements for Bidi in HTML

From: CE Whitehead <cewcathar@hotmail.com>
Date: Sun, 21 Mar 2010 23:00:43 -0400
Message-ID: <SNT142-w49CB5A60A62B8D2736FD9BB3270@phx.gbl>
To: <jackalmage@gmail.com>
CC: <public-i18n-bidi@w3.org>


From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com> 
Date: Fri, 19 Mar 2010 17:45:49 -0700

> On Wed, Mar 17, 2010 at 8:47 AM, Aharon (Vladimir) Lanin
> <aharon@google.com> wrote:
>> I would like to suggest another possibility. Perhaps it would be more
>> palatable to have just dir="auto", but to also introduce another attribute,
>> autodirtype (or perhaps autodirmethod). Its values would be either
>> "first-strong" or "word-count". It would have a default, and the value one
>> sets on an element would be inherited by its descendants. The advantages of
>> this over dir="ltr|rtl|word-count|first-strong" are:
>> - Most users would not be faced with making an uninformed choice. They would
>> just use dir="auto" (and would get the default method, whatever it is).
>> - The advanced users who don't like the default could set it just once on
>> <body> (without applying dir="auto" to <body> itself).

> If we have to expose the algorithm at all, I like this one.  I'm still
> dubious that it's useful to do this, but at least this hides the
> algorithm from people who don't care about it, and reduces the need to
> specify the algorithm multiple times.
I still think many algorithms are exposed, and I think that almost all should be exposed--

that is the surest way to get these improved on;
however, in any case, it's my understanding there is another proposal on the table
where x number of words -- or more likely characters -- 
are read to determine the directionality
x may vary according to needs:
so the attribute is dir=auto[x]
css dir: auto[x]

 but perhaps instead there could be two attributes

<dir=auto chartest="8"> or something -- 

where chartest is a number betwen 1 and ?64 or whatever 
which indicates how many strong characters
have been read and tested for directionality??
So long as there is a way to specify more about what dir=auto does for those that want it ... I will be happy,

as I have said. 

* * *
add >
>>> Section 2.1 and 2.3: I don't understand the reason why the attributes
>>> accept "yes" and "no" values.  They both appear to be fully binary,
>>> and so should use the standard idioms for binary attributes - lack of
>>> the attribute is false, presence is true, valid values are the empty
>>> string and the name of the attribute (though any value triggers 'true'
>>> behavior).
>> Well, the difference is that  sometimes bdi *is* turned on by default (when
>> dir="auto", and if 3.1 is adopted, on <br>), so explicitly turning it off
>> will be something that people will sometimes need to do. The problem is that
>> I think that few people who wind up writing HTML documents know how to
>> explicitly turn off the attributes using the standard approach (bdi=""). And
>> bdi="no" is a lot harder to misunderstand than bdi="".  But, in the end,
>> this is an issue for HTML syntax gurus - which I am not.

> I'd rather have bdi *never* be on by default, and maintain standard
> binary attribute processing.  As well, bdi="" does not turn off a
> binary attribute (in fact, it turns it on, since now the attribute
> exists).  It may turn off attributes using some alternate scheme, but
> there should be a good reason for doing that. I am not a bidi expert;
just so long as bdi='yes' by default for some cases, 
so that we have a bidi isolate for link text -- as Najib suggested (see below) 

(I personally still see a problem with directionality coming out right for mixed text;
in a span element
all of my problems however can be solved by setting the directionality of the element,
but I do personally wish browsers would be able to treat the neutral characters within a span element

as having the same directionality as the other characters if all the remaining characters are either strong ltr or strong rtl

-- that is not an issue for this discussion however)

From: Najib Tounsi <ntounsi@gmail.com> 
Date: Thu, 18 Mar 2010 15:58:23 +0000

>>In connection with this, I would consider a text link as SCE too. i.e. 
>> making <a ...> <a bdi="yes">.


>>>> I also feel like the values are somewhat
>>>> backwards.  With text you specify dir=ltr to indicate that the text
>>>> itself is ltr.  On the other hand, hflip=ltr indicates that the image
>>>> is rtl in nature (and thus should be flipped when embedded in ltr
>>>> text).  The meaning of the attribute should be inverted so that it
>>>> indicates the directionality of the image instead, with values of
>>>> 'none' (default), 'ltr', and 'rtl' (this likely requires a new name
>>> for the attribute, maybe @imgdir?).
>>> - Inverting the meaning indeed requires renaming the attribute. hflip="rtl"
>>> at least to me begs to be interpreted as "flip horizontally when in rtl".

> Yeah, agreed.  I don't like the name being procedural in this nature;
> it should be more declarative, like the dir attribute is.
Both hflip and imgdir can be confusing I suppose
I don't want to express a preference.
I do however believe that since content language and directionality can be switched depending on the user
that something tied to text directionality for images is not such a bad idea,
but as I have said above I am not a bidi expert.
I do agree that a neutral value (the default) for imgdir is a good idea,
rather than having the attribute simply unspecified.


--C. E. Whitehead

Received on Monday, 22 March 2010 03:01:16 UTC

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