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RE: [selectors-api] Selectors API I18N Review...

From: Martin Duerst <duerst@it.aoyama.ac.jp>
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 2009 18:11:15 +0900
Message-Id: <>
To: "Richard Ishida" <ishida@w3.org>, "'Phillips, Addison'" <addison@amazon.com>, <public-i18n-core@w3.org>
Cc: "'fantasai'" <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>, "'Lachlan Hunt'" <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>

At 03:32 09/01/30, Richard Ishida wrote:
>Following on from our discussion at yesterday's telecon, I did some 
>research into whether major browsers actually do normalise selector and 
>class names for matching.  The answer is that they don't.  

I could have told you. The visibility of this issue is extremely low.
It only applies to languages such as Vietnamese, where both
precomposed and (half-)decomposed forms are widely used,
and only if element or attribute names use these characters,
which by itself is very rare
(there is also the attribute value case, but that's still
not very widely supported in browsers as far as I understand).

>Tests: http://www.w3.org/International/tests/css/tests-selectors/
>(Thanks to Andrew for suggesting the use of Vietnamese.)
>I suggest we follow up on Elika's helpful note and request that the CSS WG 
>re-examine this for CSS 2.1 and the CSS3 modules.  I think it is quite an 
>important lapse, and I'm not sure how we missed it for so long.  Certainly 
>this can cause major headaches for people working in Vietnamese and the 
>many other languages that use combining characters, in that the cause of 
>the failure to match names is not at all obvious, and fixing it may not be 
>simple, especially if different people are working on the CSS and the markup.

I disagree that this is an important lapse. It is overkill to
require browsers to implement normalization here just for the
very rare case of element/attribute names (and attribute values)
containing Vietnamese characters.

The 'different people working on the CSS and the markup' may indeed
be a possible scenario, and things could go wrong in particular if
e.g. the CSS designers work on a Mac and the text is prepared on
Windows, but then developers in Vietnam should be aware of this
issue, they will bump into it much earlier, e.g. when doing text
searching in editors,... My guess is that information on this
is also available rather easily in Vietnamese, for English,
see e.g. http://vietunicode.sourceforge.net/main.html.

I think it's a good idea to make sure that normalization issues have
been thought through for CSS, but it is very important to do that in
a moderate and appropriate way.

Regards,   Martin.

>Richard Ishida
>Internationalization Lead
>W3C (World Wide Web Consortium)
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: public-i18n-core-request@w3.org [mailto:public-i18n-core-
>> request@w3.org] On Behalf Of fantasai
>> Sent: 29 January 2009 04:38
>> To: Phillips, Addison
>> Cc: public-webapps@w3.org; public-i18n-core@w3.org; www-style@w3.org
>> Subject: Re: [selectors-api] Selectors API I18N Review...
>> Phillips, Addison wrote:
>> > Dear Webapps WG,
>> >
>> > I am writing on behalf of the I18N Core WG who discussed the Selectors
>> > API WD in our call of 3 December [1].
>> >
>> > We reviewed the Selectors API working draft. In reviewing this draft,
>> > we did not find any internationalization issues in the text of the
>> > document. However, we would like to point out that the CSS3 Selectors
>> > themselves have outstanding internationalization comments not addressed
>> > in the current version of that document [4] and which would (we think)
>> > impact anyone who were to implement the Selectors API. Our comments on
>> > CSS3 Selectors are located at [2]. We also note that Unicode Normalization
>> > is not treated anywhere in this draft or in CSS3 Selectors.
>> > ...
>> > [1] http://www.w3.org/2008/12/03-core-minutes.html
>> > [2] http://www.w3.org/International/reviews/0601-css3-selectors/
>> > [3] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/member-i18n-
>> core/2008Dec/0006.html
>> > [4] http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-selectors/ aka
>> http://www.w3.org/TR/2005/WD-css3-selectors-20051215
>> I have reviewed all of your outstanding comments on Selectors, and with
>> the exception of a request for a bidi example [1], all of them have been
>> dealt with in the upcoming draft [2].
>> As far as I know (and perhaps my memory does not go back far enough, I
>> have only been in the WG since 2004), the CSS Working Group has no record
>> of the I18n Working Group raising an issue with regards to Unicode
>> Normalization in any of our specs. If the I18nWG would like us to address
>> this issue, please raise an issue against /our/ specs, preferably with a
>> recommended solution. Such an issue would potentially affect the following
>> specs at least:
>>    [CSS21]          CSS2.1
>>    [css3-namespace] CSS Namespaces
>>    [css3-selectors] Selectors Level 3
>>    [css3-content]   CSS Generated and Replaced Content Level 3
>>    [css3-page]      CSS Paged Media Level 3
>>    [css3-gcpm]      CSS Generated Content for Paged Media Level 3
>> I will note that a previous version of the Selectors module included a
>> paragraph on Unicode normalization in the Conformance Requirements
>> section:
>>    http://www.w3.org/TR/2001/CR-css3-selectors-20011113/#Conformance
>> which appears to have been removed in response to comments as described
>> here:
>>    http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-css-wg/2005OctDec/0158.html
>> [1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-i18n-core/2006JanMar/0049.html
>> [2] http://dev.w3.org/csswg/selectors3
>> ~fantasai

#-#-#  Martin J. Du"rst, Assoc. Professor, Aoyama Gakuin University
#-#-#  http://www.sw.it.aoyama.ac.jp       mailto:duerst@it.aoyama.ac.jp     
Received on Friday, 30 January 2009 09:15:05 UTC

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