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[Bug 17835] The directionality of a textarea should be determined based on its parent if its value does not have any strong characters

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2013 12:16:38 +0000
To: public-i18n-bidi@w3.org
Message-ID: <bug-17835-3860-hKtNNhAdZE@http.www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/>

--- Comment #15 from Aharon Lanin <aharon.lists.lanin@gmail.com> ---
(In reply to comment #14)
> But I'm not sure it makes 100% sense.

I don't claim it does. Nor do I claim that the first-strong algorithm is the
best there could be. But it has the advantage of simplicity and - more
importantly - it is the only recognized standard (via Unicode). And thus it is
the only reasonable way to get a high percentage of cases where a reasonable
behavior results.

> Consider this:
>    <body dir=rtl><textarea dir=auto></textarea>
> If you focus the control, and press the space bar, surely you're not saying
> the cursor should jump from the right hand side to the left hand side? And
> then if you press a single Arabic character it should jump back to the right
> hand side?

I am, on both counts. I am not saying it is a case where it gives a good
result. But it is not a very common case. A better illustration for your
argument would be when one enters something like "1. " followed by an RTL
character - a common case indeed.

The counterbalance is cases like "(987) 654-3210" and "+19876543210" which are
simply incorrect when displayed RTL. Not inconvenient - incorrect. Telephone
numbers are important.

> I agree that <textarea dir=auto> and <pre dir=auto> should render the same,
> but why does it therefore follow that <textarea dir=auto>--></textarea>
> should render as a right-pointing arrow rather than a left-pointing arrow?

Because <pre dir=auto> should also be used to display plain text obtained from
external sources (not just entered via <textarea dir=auto>), and the only
reasonable assumption to make for such text is that it was written to come out
as intended under default Unicode rules. (Yes, I know that not all plain text
editors follow those rules, but it is the only standard we have. It's not like
the other editors follow some reasonable, consistent alternative.) And
directionality can matter even for all-neutral, non-numeric text. For example,
if the text is something like:

--- start of example ---

That's a good one.
--- end of example ---

then you don't want it coming out like:

--- start of example ---

That's a good one.
--- end of example ---

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