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[Bug 18340] The root element's directionality should be a UA-specific value

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2013 11:53:13 +0000
To: public-i18n-bidi@w3.org
Message-ID: <bug-18340-3860-3RexM8v9lg@http.www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/>
https://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=18340

Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org> changed:

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--- Comment #16 from Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org> ---
(In reply to comment #14)
> I see pages almost every day that don't
> use the dir attribute properly and I need to switch the document direction
> to read them comfortably, for example http://www.soulandgone.com/

Either I'm missing something here, or that's not a good example at all.  

The soulandgone page is clearly a page that is designed to be LTR by default,
with some embedded Hebrew text. It's true that the author has omitted to use
dir on the Hebrew text, so things like punctuation are incorrectly aligned, but
changing the default direction of the page to RTL will break all the Latin text
(which is by far the majority of the text on the page) as well as probably
messing up the page layout. 

If a browser automatically switches the default direction of the root of a page
to RTL any time it contains some embedded Hebrew text, then it would create
chaos.

At most, what might be useful for this page is a feature that detects RTL
elements based on content and applies a dir to them - but I'm not sure how easy
or reliable such a feature could be.

This author must surely know that the Hebrew looks wierd, but apparently hasn't
bothered to do anything about it (the fix isn't rocket science) - I'm not sure
we should force that upon them.

I think the best solution for this bug is to make it easier for people to find
educational stuff that tells them how to do bidi text correctly (such as
http://www.w3.org/International/tutorials/new-bidi-xhtml/Overview-inline.en.php).

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