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Re: Bidi and framesets

From: Matitiahu Allouche <matial@il.ibm.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2003 15:53:15 +0300
To: <ishida@w3.org>
Cc: <www-international@w3.org>, "'Tim Fallen-Bailey'" <Tim.Fallen-Bailey@Siebel.com>
Message-ID: <OF9E98E887.2022860F-ONC2256DAC.00459883-C2256DAC.0046DC11@telaviv.ibm.com>

1) Yes, a reader of Arabic or Hebrew pages expects to see framesets 
mirrored, as compared to what an English reader expects.  For instance, if 
a navigator bar is usually on the left side of an English HTML page, its 
natural location is on the right side of a Hebrew or Arabic HTML page.

2) No, there is no provision in HTML 4 to facilitate the mirroring of a 
page originally designed for an LTR script.  The <FRAMESET> tag is not 
supposed to honor the DIR attribute.  Putting a DIR="RTL" attribute at a 
higher level (e.g. <HTML> tag) has no effect on the frameset.

3) The only solution that I know is to manually reorder frames within 

4) It could be possible to write code to do that programmatically, but I 
have seen no examples of such code.  I once thought about writing 
something like that, but the more I thought about it, the trickier it 
appeared to be (taking in account multiple levels of imbedded framesets).

I think that adding support for DIR="RTL" to the HTML specs for <FRAMESET> 
would be very useful.  Any chance for success?

Shalom (Regards),  Mati
           Bidi Architect
           Globalization Center Of Competency - Bidirectional Scripts
           IBM Israel
           Phone: +972 2 5888802    Fax: +972 2 5870333    Mobile: +972 52 

Please respond to <ishida@w3.org> 
Sent by:        www-international-request@w3.org
To:        <www-international@w3.org>
cc:        "'Tim Fallen-Bailey'" <Tim.Fallen-Bailey@Siebel.com> 
Subject:        Bidi and framesets

Tim-Fallen Bailey sent me a query to which I don't know the answer.  Can
anyone on the list help?

From what I can see, you may have to mirror frames by hand or scripting.
I tried putting the dir="rtl" on the <html> element, but that gave no

Original question from Daniel Kim:
Just wondering what we need to do with framesets is RTL mode.  I believe
the initial expectation is to flip them (i.e. frames within framesets
would start from the right instead of the left).  Examples of this are
Explorer views and the Search Center.  But upon looking into the
supported attributes for the <FRAMESET> tag, DIR is not one of them.
Therefore, there is no simple way of doing this.

So the questions I have are as follows:

1) Is the BiDi standard to flip framesets in the first place?  I find it
hard to believe that HTML (or at least Microsoft) would support
automatic flipping via the DIR attribute everywhere else except for the
<FRAMESET> tag.  Maybe framesets weren't meant to be flipped?

2) If they do indeed need to be flipped, do you know of any other
attribute that can be used on <FRAMESET> to do this automatically?

As it stands right now, if we do need to flip and there is no attribute
on the <FRAMESET> tag to do this, SWE needs to write code to parse the
template and setup the frames in reverse order for framesets that
display frames horizontally.  Not the prettiest code.


Richard Ishida

contact info: http://www.w3.org/People/Ishida/ 


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Received on Thursday, 25 September 2003 08:53:21 UTC

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