Re: Fwd: Re: Israeli HTML Standard

Doron Shikmoni (P85025@VM.BIU.AC.IL)
Sun, 15 Jun 1997 20:04:10 IST

Message-Id: <>
Date:         Sun, 15 Jun 1997 20:04:10 IST
From: Doron Shikmoni <P85025@VM.BIU.AC.IL>
Subject:      Re: Fwd: Re: Israeli HTML Standard
To: "Martin J. Duerst" <>,
In-Reply-To:  Message of Sun, 15 Jun 1997 17:39:42 +0200 (MET DST)

Martin J. Duerst writes:

>I see. So there is indeed considerable effort going into making
>some visually coded text appear correctly on old browsers.
>And texts marked up this way won't display nicely, or even readably,
>on browsers conforming to RFC 2070 or Cougar (which included RFC 2070).
>So there always have to be two document versions, one visual for
>old browsers, and one with real BIDI for new browsers. The distinction
>between iso-8859-8 and iso-8859-8-X would then only have the effect
>to help negotiating these versions; i.e. old browsers would send
>Accept-Charset: iso-8859-8, and new browsers would send
>Accept-Charset: iso-8859-8-X.
>Is this a workable model? It implies that servers store two versions.
>Servers that don't want to store two versions can use visual order
>and also use <BDO> in order to tell newer browsers to treat things
>the way it is intended. If everything is tagged with <BDO>, the
>difference between iso-8859-8 and iso-8859-8-X disappears.

This (extremely well put) summation of the issue demonstrates
the problematics of maintaining a "double standard" (excuse the pun).
Current "install base" don't have BDO tags, and will probably not
carry two versions for each page. Instead, we will see a split world

>> When you specify in the charset for Visual order, you command the browser
>> to parse the text as English Text. this is an exception.
>This is not what RFC 2070 nor Cougar is doing. Overloading BIDI
>semantics with "charset" parameter may have been necessary for
>email, but we want to move away from it. And having to tell
>developpers: Implement the full BIDI algorithm, but then please
>also have a method for switching it off, depending on the "charset"
>is not what will get a lot of work done in this area.

Exactly. Actually, it was not even "necessary" for E-Mail; it was
needed to get Hebrew E-Mail support out the door *quickly* (registration
of another charset proved to be much faster than defining new MIME
tags & values, at the time).

Doron Shikmoni