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Re: I18N-ISSUE-8: Direction attributes needed [WOFF]

From: Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2011 15:49:52 +0100
Message-ID: <1175021455.20110112154952@w3.org>
To: Internationalization Core Working Group Issue Tracker <sysbot+tracker@w3.org>
CC: www-font@w3.org, public-i18n-core@w3.org
On Wednesday, December 15, 2010, 8:14:23 PM, Internationalization wrote:

ICWGIT> I18N-ISSUE-8: Direction attributes needed [WOFF]

ICWGIT> http://www.w3.org/International/track/issues/8

ICWGIT> Raised by: Richard Ishida
ICWGIT> On product: WOFF

ICWGIT> 6.2.1 Extended Metadata Block
ICWGIT> http://www.w3.org/TR/WOFF/#Metadata

ICWGIT> WG Reviewed: Yes

Thanks for your comment, which is being tracked as

ICWGIT> It should be possible to use markup to set the base direction
ICWGIT> of any element in order to enable correct display of
ICWGIT> bidirectional text.  We suggest a dir attribute with the
ICWGIT> values rtl and ltr as a minimum. 

I suggest that we accept this comment. This would be consistent with other markup at W3C like HTML and SVG.

Richard, I assume that the attribute would be optional and that, if omitted, the text direction would be determined by the Unicode directionality of the first character?

Thus, there would be no impact on existing deployed content, which at this point is (as far as I have seen) mostly in English, with some German and Japanese.

Richard, if we accept this comment would the I18N Core WG be able to help us out with spec text (e.g pointers to descriptions of dir that you like in other W3C specs), and also with a couple of short examples to add to the spec?

ICWGIT>  (Additional rlo and lro
ICWGIT> values may also be useful if it is felt that such things as
ICWGIT> lists of characters are likely to appear in the text and
ICWGIT> control is needed to override the Unicode Bidi Algorithm).

For more complex text, and in particular for text where precise formatting and styling is important, a link to an HTML/CSS page is the preferred approach.

ICWGIT> The base direction should apply to text in contained elements
ICWGIT> (so you could have dir="rtl" on a text element that is
ICWGIT> inherited by paragraph elements without need for extra markup.


ICWGIT> In longer pieces of text, such as the description element, it
ICWGIT> is usually also useful to have a span element, to which a
ICWGIT> direction attribute can be attached if the base direction
ICWGIT> needs to be different from the surrounding context. (see our other comment about span)

Yes, this ties into the other comment about needing div-like and span-like elements, partly to hang the dir attribute onto.

 Chris Lilley   Technical Director, Interaction Domain                 
 W3C Graphics Activity Lead, Fonts Activity Lead
 Co-Chair, W3C Hypertext CG
 Member, CSS, WebFonts, SVG Working Groups
Received on Wednesday, 12 January 2011 14:51:23 UTC

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