Re: Cougar DTD - bidi

Jonathan Rosenne (
Tue, 06 May 1997 23:52:42 +0200

Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 06 May 1997 23:52:42 +0200
To: Dave Raggett <>
From: Jonathan Rosenne <>
Subject: Re: Cougar DTD - bidi
Cc:, (Martin J. Duerst)
In-Reply-To: <>

At 20:10 02/05/97 -0400, Dave Raggett wrote:
>> Also, the DIR and LANG attributes were deleted for the ADDRESS,
>This is still under discussion. Some of these elements are
>deprecated e.g. LISTING, PLAINTEXT and XMP, along with DIR and MENU.
>The document language is set by the HTTP Content-Language header or
>the corresponding META/HTTP-EQUIV element. Avoiding LANG on HEAD and
>HTML avoids the need for a conflict resolution procedure. As for
>the other elements, its still to early to say what the consensus
>will be in the HTML working group.

Let me try to explain why some of them are needed.

ADDRESS: DIR and LANG seem natural on ADDRESS, on international pages it
will often be in a different language. ADDRESS is a block type element, and
SPAN cannot provide the DIR for it because SPAN provides in-line DIR.

Note: DIR has two separate meanings: for block-type elements it specifies
base directionality, for in-line elements it specifies embedding.

IMG: DIR is needed for the ALT text. Other solutions, such as allowing SPAN
inside or enclosing the <IMG> ... </IMG> with a SPAN are more complicated.

FORM, HTML: I look at the DIR on these elements as providing the overall
geometry of the document/page or form. It is the most convenient and
natural place to specify, for example, that this is an RTL page or an LTR
form within an LTR page. The geometry of the output was not considered by
RFC 2070 as it was felt this is a UA matter and out of scope, but there was
no need to go into that then because DIR was provided.

Jonathan                                  =E9=E5=F0=FA=EF           =20