W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > February 2000

Bidi - HTML vs. CSS

From: Matthew Brealey <thelawnet@yahoo.com>
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000 14:29:53 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <20000222192949.9946.qmail@web902.mail.yahoo.com>
To: www-style@w3.org, www-html@w3.org
Section 8.2.6 of HTML seems to me to be illogical, and doesn't seem to
work with CSS' cascading rules.

It says (note that I have reordered it):
8.2.6 The effect of style sheets on bidirectionality
When a block element that does not have a dir attribute is transformed to
the style of an inline element by a style sheet, the resulting
presentation should be equivalent, in terms of bidirectional formatting,
to the formatting obtained by explicitly adding a dir attribute (assigned
the inherited value) to the transformed element.

| This is fine because block elements (should) have unicode-bidi: embed in
the UA style sheet - UA style sheet: BLOCKELEMENT {display: block;
unicode-bidi: embed} with author style sheet: BLOCKELEMENT {display:
inline} is still unicode-bidi: embed.

When an inline element that does not have a dir attribute is transformed
to the style of a block-level element by a style sheet, it inherits the
dir attribute from its closest parent block element to define the base
direction of the block.

| This is not fine, because an inline element has [implied - these are the
initial values] INLINE ELEMENT {display: inline; unicode-bidi: normal}.
Specifying display: block according to the above results in inheritance of
the dir attribute, which is equivalent to setting unicode-bidi: embed, so
display: block also sets unicode-bidi: embed.

This totally screws up the cascade. It appears to me that this section is
a a hangover from the time when CSS didn't support bidi; but now it does
it seems that this section is totally unnecessary and should be excised
from HTML.

In the mean time however, what effect does this bizarre 'display: block
implies unicode-bidi: embed' (it's as absurd saying color: black implies
background: white) have? For example, is this 'inheritance' forced or can
it be overridden; e.g., does unicode-bidi: normal suppress it or not.

Or perhaps I've got hold of the wrong end of the stick? Do they instead
live in parallel universes - was I mistaken in my assumption that the HTML
should map to CSS (e.g., for specificity of formatting attributes)?

>From Matthew Brealey (http://members.tripod.co.uk/lawnet (for law)or http://members.tripod.co.uk/lawnet/WEBFRAME.HTM (for CSS))
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Received on Tuesday, 22 February 2000 17:34:13 UTC

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