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RE: CSS Techs: 5.1 Specifying the direction of text

From: John M Slatin <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 2004 16:42:42 -0600
Message-ID: <6EED8F7006A883459D4818686BCE3B3B29061A@MAIL01.austin.utexas.edu>
To: "Richard Ishida" <ishida@w3.org>, "Gez Lemon" <gl@juicystudio.com>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

Richard Ishita wrote:
Hmm...  Chaps, a number of worries/questions sprang into my mind when I
noticed this note.  I haven't followed any WAI threads on this subject,
just noticed it now.

[1] Why is this here?  What are the WAI issues involved?
John replies: It's here because I hit the wrong key-- meant to send it
to WCAG, not WAI.  Sorry!

[2] The I18N group provides advice relating to use of CSS for bidi which

[2a] Do not use CSS with documents served as text/html

[2b] Use bidi specific markup to hang the CSS on, rather than something
like .arabicsection

[2c] Only use this when the Unicode bidi algorithm is unable to do what
you want

[2d] &rlm; and &lrm; can sometimes be more effective than markup

Please take a look at the i18n stuff at the following locations before


In particular the article and techniques docs listed, plus the FAQ "CSS
vs. markup for bidi support".

Hope that helps,

Richard Ishida

contact info:

W3C Internationalization:

Publication blog:

> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org
> [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Gez Lemon
> Sent: 08 December 2004 21:42
> To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
> Subject: Re: CSS Techs: 5.1 Specifying the direction of text
> Hi John,
> > I'm having trouble understanding the technique-- the example isn't
> > clearly identified nor explained.
> I agree; that particular technique would benefit from an
> example. I'm not sure if you're asking for someone to provide 
> an explanation and example, or just flagging it as an issue 
> that needs addressing. Just in case you're asking for an 
> explanation, in a nutshell...
> The reading direction of some writing systems (for example, Arabic and
> Hebrew) is from right to left as opposed to left to right.
> The CSS direction property allows content authors to 
> determine the direction of the text. The possible values for 
> the direction property are, ltr (left to right), rtl (right 
> to left), and inherit.
> The unicode-bidi property allows the direction of the text to
> be overridden, which is useful for documents that support 
> multiple languages. The possible values for the unicode-bidi 
> property are normal (doesn't change the level of embedding 
> with regard to the current Unicode direction), embed (opens a 
> new level of embedding, maintaining the implicit Unicode 
> direction), and bidi-override (opens a new level of 
> embedding, overriding the Unicode direction).
> Example:
> .arabicsection
> {
>     direction: rtl;
>     unicode-bidi: bidi-override;
> }
> Best regards,
> Gez
> _____________________________
> Supplement your vitamins
> http://juicystudio.com
> Keeping developers informed!
> IWA/HWG Member
Received on Wednesday, 8 December 2004 22:42:45 UTC

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