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titledir

From: Aharon (Vladimir) Lanin <aharon@google.com>
Date: Sun, 29 Aug 2010 13:14:56 +0300
Message-ID: <AANLkTimDO3yhayxc9wg=t3iegpTJsgkjb3JHTfxxgMz1@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-i18n-bidi@w3.org
Section 3.6 of Additional Requirements for Bidi in
HTML<http://www.w3.org/TR/html-bidi/#title-and-alt>proposes that "The
HTML specification should explicitly state that title and
alt attribute text will be displayed in the element's computed direction."
On the other hand, the section also points out that at times, the direction
of an element and the text of its tooltip do not naturally coincide, and
brings as an example an RTL web page that displays an LTR address (e.g. for
a location in Europe), with a tooltip on the address element saying
"ADDRESS" in the page's language. The tooltip thus needs to be RTL while the
element needs to be LTR. Although a workaround can be found for this example
(wrapping the address element with a span or a div containing the tooltip,
while leaving the dir=ltr for the address element inside, and thus not
affecting the tooltip), workarounds are not ideal.

Past discussion has therefore proposed adding an explicit titledir attribute
to the HTML specification, allowed on all elements that allow the title
attribute, and allowing the same values as the dir attribute. When not
specified, element's computed direction would be used (as already proposed).
It is my intention to add this to the next draft of the proposal.

The question has been raised whether titledir would / should also apply to
the alt and longdesc attributes (which go together). My feelings are that it
should not, for the following reasons:

- It is not something that is easily guessed from the proposed "titledir"
name.

- While the title attribute is used to give additional information about its
element, and additional information can indeed be in a different language
than the element or the rest of the page, the alt attribute is used to give
an alternate description, i.e. the text that will be displayed *instead of *the
element when the element can not be displayed. It should therefore be in the
same language as the element, and its direction should not differ from the
element's computed direction.

Thus titledir should apply to title only, while the element's computed
direction should apply to title (when titledir is not specified), as well as
alt and longdesc.

To round out the definition of titledir, I think that it should:
- not be inherited.
- not have any CSS counterpart.

Aharon
Received on Sunday, 29 August 2010 10:15:52 GMT

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