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Re: Bidi Markup vs Unicode control characters

From: Martin Duerst <duerst@it.aoyama.ac.jp>
Date: Mon, 15 Aug 2005 19:09:19 +0900
Message-Id: <>
To: fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>, 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.

Do you mean WYSIWYG editing of source code containing RTL characters?
For that, please read my paper (and attend my talk) at the upcomming
IUC28. Just using Unicode formatting characters rather than HTML markup
does not at all solve the problem of source code editing containing RTL

If you mean WYSIWYG editing of HTML as it may appear in a browser,
I don't see the point. A good WYSIWYG editor for HTML should deal
correctly with the markup, that's what it is there for.

 >> 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! ;-) )

If you are doing this for an XML document type that you have carefully
designed to work that way, and you know all the languages you will be
using in advance, that may be fine. Otherwise ((X)HTML, open list of
languages, or ad-hoc use of language info), it's a bad idea.

At 00:57 05/08/08, fantasai wrote:

 >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.

Yes indeed. There is probably a progression, starting with bidi stuff
and content:, continuing with display:,... and so on. But it may depend
on the usage in a particular case, rather than just on the property
(except maybe for bidi).

 >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.

In theory, yes, and definitely for (X)HTML.

However, for generic XML, it's really only "in theory". Even for well-defined
XML vocabularies (i.e. vocabularies that correctly use markup to coherently
associate bidi embeddings to documents), you need something that tells the
viewing software how to interpret the bidi markup designed for this XML
document type and convert it to the appropriate rendering constructs
(embeddings, overrides). CSS works very well for this purpose, and there
is nothing else.

Regards,    Martin. 
Received on Monday, 15 August 2005 10:10:44 UTC

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