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Re: bidi discussion list was: Bidi Markup vs Unicode control characters

From: Andrew Cunningham <andrewc@vicnet.net.au>
Date: Tue, 09 Aug 2005 11:32:12 +1000
Message-ID: <42F8079C.9000506@vicnet.net.au>
To: Tex Texin <tex@xencraft.com>
Cc: Addison Phillips <addison.phillips@quest.com>, www-international@w3.org, Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>, Bert Bos <bert@w3.org>

Hi Tex,

Tex Texin wrote:
> Well, for me it is a case of first things first- Are there bodies
> interested in collaborating on bidi best practices? If people are
> willing to do so, than we can determine the tactics, whether its email
> threads or FAQ or other.
> If GEO will host that is fine.

Considering some of the work we need to undertake here, wrt to state 
government standards relating to online delivery of translated 
documents, i'd be very interested in collaborating in developing 
exploring bi best practices.

> The documents are specific, but seem to be wrong-headed. Why recommend
> markup, if the future trend is XML doesn't have it, CSS has it and
> recommends not to use it, and btw in HTML you can use it in some places
> but not others (eg attributes)?
> I think we need to capture, as Bert began to do in his mail very nicely
> (thanks Bert) a survey of the recommendations, the rationale behind the
> recommendations, and then an assessment as to whether the rationales are
> in fact the right ones, and then solutions based on those. It could be
> we want to suggest alternative rationales. I would like to factor in the
> capabilities of the tools available today.

sounds reasonable

> What seems clear to me from this discussion is that very few people
> today really understand the context of the guidelines for bidi. 

not just the context.

> It is in css, but don't use it in html, but you have to use it in xml,
> but it might not be in the profile for print, but now it is supported in
> css for html...
> There is a joke in here somewhere about the standards being
> bidirectional...
> ;-)

or omni-directional?

or to use a phrase from Nishida tetsugaku, "contradictory self-identity".

> Addison Phillips wrote:
>>I will note that this is specifically the mission of W3C I18N GEO WG. Providing FAQ information on topics such as best practices with bidi, etc., are a great help to the community at large---much greater than having our comments fossilized in mail list archives. I would suggest that, instead of writing very long threads here (or anywhere else), the next step would be to work on specific text for a FAQ. A debate about that text would produce more concrete results (and be easier to gain an understanding of) than having to trace threads through the archive... and it would mark a more permanent reference.
>>There are some specific cases (this is one) in which the I18N Core WG needs to form a kind of coherent policy for W3C specifications and their implementation. Non-implementation of internationalization related features is a serious problem for global accessibility of the Web and the I18N WGs face the "lack of implementation" argument as a justification to include "less-and-less" more-and-more frequently.
>>In this particular case, I note that the W3C and Unicode have documented for some time the preference of markup over control codes, with reasons why, in Unicode Technical Report #20, Section 3.3:
>>As Tex notes, this may not be a comprehensive solution to every issue, since it is a general document, rather than a specific one. I feel that it is specific enough as a guideline to specification writers and implementers of specification. Making guidelines for specific cases will be easier if done in a FAQ-like way rather than trying to write a single comprehensive document, in my opinion. And a summary overview would also be useful in that context as well.
>>Best Regards,
>>Addison P. Phillips
>>Globalization Architect, Quest Software
>>Chair, W3C Internationalization Core Working Group
>>Internationalization is not a feature.
>>It is an architecture.
>>>-----Original Message-----
>>>From: www-international-request@w3.org [mailto:www-international-
>>>request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Tex Texin
>>>Sent: 2005?8?8? 13:14
>>>To: Sandra Bostian
>>>Cc: www-international@w3.org
>>>Subject: bidi discussion list was: Bidi Markup vs Unicode control
>>>Sandra, yes of course. I am not suggesting CSS be made a requirement for
>>>bidi. Only that it should be acceptable and considered best practice in
>>>the right context.
>>>At the time the standard was written, I took the warning that bidi css
>>>may be ignored by user agents to be a reflection of the state of the art
>>>at the time, since most browsers were not able to support bidi with or
>>>without css.
>>>It had not occurred to me that people were interpreting it to mean that
>>>css implementers would intentionally choose not to support it or that
>>>W3C was endorsing such a view. That would be counter to goals for
>>>internationalization and making the web accessible to all.
>>>(I will have to look around, but I am hard pressed to think of another
>>>instance where the fact that a feature is optional became a
>>>recommendation to not use it. Heck, there are many required features not
>>>implemented or incompletely implemented and we don't offer the same
>>>A few people have remarked about their interest in the subject. Would it
>>>make sense to create a discussion list, perhaps the I18n WG would
>>>host/moderate, specific to topics of best practices with bidi on the
>>>web. I would like to see the use cases identified (eg. your gov't
>>>requirements, needs of multilingual web sites, templating, css users,
>>>etc.) and develop solutions within the existing framework, and possibly
>>>make requests for enhancements of the standards.
>>>We could carry on here, but I am not sure the overall community wants
>>>that much commentary on the subject, and also posting to a large list
>>>might intimidate some from posting.
>>>Sandra Bostian wrote:
>>>>For US government agencies, though, this is a section 508 requirement.
>>>Your documents must be coherent without the css. And most browsers will
>>>let you turn off style sheets and use your own (often used by those with
>>>visual disabilities). This may be a case of know your requirements and who
>>>your audience is, but certain sectors either can't or should be highly
>>>wary of relying solely on css.
>>>>Thank you all for this discussion, by the way. We are looking at a new
>>>project using Arabic and this has been highly helpful in clarifying some
>>>of the issues.
>>>>Sandy Bostian
>>>>Digital Conversion Specialist
>>>>Library of Congress
>>>>Meeting of Frontiers: http://frontiers.loc.gov
>>>>>>>Tex Texin <tex@xencraft.com> 08/07/05 6:08 PM >>>
>>>>It is not clear to me that we need to insist on the document being
>>>>coherent without css.
>>>Tex Texin   cell: +1 781 789 1898   mailto:Tex@XenCraft.com
>>>Xen Master                          http://www.i18nGuy.com
>>>XenCraft                          http://www.XenCraft.com
>>>Making e-Business Work Around the World

Andrew Cunningham
e-Diversity and Content Infrastructure Solutions
Public Libraries Unit, Vicnet
State Library of Victoria
328 Swanston Street
Melbourne  VIC  3000


Ph. 3-8664-7430
Fax: 3-9639-2175

Received on Tuesday, 9 August 2005 01:32:25 UTC

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