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Re: Internationalized CLASS attributes

From: Jonathan Rosenne <rosenne@NetVision.net.il>
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 1996 09:21:58 +0300
Message-ID: <3265D086.515A@NetVision.net.il>
To: WWW-International List <www-international@w3.org>
Bert Bos wrote:
> 
> The next version of HTML will have a CLASS attribute on (nearly) all
> elements, as described in several documents ([1], [2], [3], [4]). The
> intention is to allow authors to attach semantic information to
> elements, in the form of keywords:
> 
>     <p class=abstract>...
>       <em class=surname>...
> 
> The keywords can also be picked up by a style sheet to display the
> element in a special way.
> 
> However, there is a problem: a conflict between case-insensitivity and
> allowing non-ASCII characters. We'd like to be able to say that the
> above example is exactly the same as
> 
>     <P CLASS=ABSTRACT>...
>       <EM CLASS=SURNAME>...

I used to write COBOL, but then I began to C...

I don't believe there is added value in case-insensitivity this day and
age. Are there any of those terminals that always display upper case
still around? Those with the a->A switch?

I suggest that the class names should be defined as case sensitive.

A friendly browser could, of course, do a case insensitive search if the
case sensitive search fails.

ASCII only names are too limiting. People should be able to name things
in their own language.

But there is another problem with internationalized names: UCS defines a
non-unique coding. Some composite characters have at least two valid
representations, the composed character and the base character followed
by diacritics. If there is more than one diacritics, their order is not
defined. The user often has no control over the coding. So before using
a name, it must be brought to a canonical representation.

-- 
Jonathan Rosenne
Received on Thursday, 17 October 1996 03:23:03 GMT

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