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Re: Bidi Markup vs Unicode control characters

From: fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>
Date: Sun, 07 Aug 2005 11:57:04 -0400
Message-ID: <42F62F50.8000603@inkedblade.net>
To: Tex Texin <tex@xencraft.com>
CC: Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>, 'WWW International' <www-international@w3.org>, Jony Rosenne <rosennej@qsm.co.il>

Tex Texin wrote:
> I would like to comment also, that for HTML, TABLE and other elements of
> HTML, I do see the need for the DIR attribute. I am not trying to have
> the bidi markup deprecated. I am more concerned with straight runs of
> text embedded in markup and I don't see why I should give up on WYSIWYG
> editing of that to satisfy the recommendation.
> We should rope into this a discussion the use of the CSS bidi
> facilities. Last I looked bidi css were out of favor, but they work very
> well for me, and I think its fine to tie markup to language (when I am
> not using control codes! ;-) )

Indeed. CSS2.1 and CSS3 will be continuing in that line line of thinking.
BIDI embeddings are much more essential to a document's coherence than
other things that can be controlled with CSS. In theory, you should be
able to turn all CSS off and still be able to read the page. If you're
relying on CSS to do BIDI, that no longer holds true.

This W3C I18N QA sums up the situation pretty well:

The only paragraph I disagree with is

   | XHTML served as application/xhtml+xml, application/xml or text/xml
   | is XML and so needs CSS to map the markup to the appropriate display
   | behaviour, as described in 'General XML-based markup languages' above.

which isn't really true: if you follow that line of thinking, you'd also
need to provide the default styling for every other element and attribute
as well as some way of noting the interactive behavior of links and form
elements. As long as the XHTML elements are namespaced correctly, browsers
should map the document's elements and attributes, including 'dir' and
<bdo>, to the correct behavior by themselves.

Received on Sunday, 7 August 2005 15:58:19 UTC

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