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Re: Web page layouts in different cultures - question from DIWG

From: Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2005 18:42:07 +0200
Message-ID: <376001721.20050919184207@w3.org>
To: "Bruno Girin" <Bruno.Girin@cambista.com>
Cc: www-international-request@w3.org, www-di@w3.org, www-international@w3.org

On Monday, September 19, 2005, 2:43:58 PM, Bruno wrote:

BG> This is particularly obvious on multi-lingual sites where for instance
BG> the English version might have a menu column on the left and the Arabic
BG> version the same menu on the right. This can potentially cause headaches
BG> in terms of code because a lot of CSS properties are absolute rather
BG> than relative to the layout direction (e.g. float:left/right,
BG> margin-left, padding-right, etc.)

This is exactly why XSL, and then SVG, use the better-internationalized
terms start and end instead of left and right; and before and after
rather then top and bottom.

BG> Although I have never worked with languages that traditionally display
BG> vertically (i.e. you read columns top to bottom rather than lines), I
BG> suspect you'd want horizontal scrolling. Unfortunately neither HTML nor
BG> CSS support vertical layout.

However, both XSL and SVG do. CSS3 may end up supporting verticallayout
as well.

BG> And that's only for languages still widely used today. Hieroglyphic
BG> scripts such as ancient Maya are even more complex.

Mayan is best modeled as text on a path.

BG> -----Original Message-----
BG> From: www-international-request@w3.org
BG> [mailto:www-international-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Rotan Hanrahan
BG> Sent: 19 September 2005 11:49
BG> To: www-international@w3.org
BG> Cc: www-di@w3.org
BG> Subject: Web page layouts in different cultures - question from DIWG

BG> At a recent meeting of the Device Independence Working Group (W3C-DIWG)
BG> we discussed the issue of page layouts, and how to represent/process
BG> them when adapting content for different devices. Our perception of page
BG> layouts is based mostly on our Western experience of such pages, as such
BG> people are in the majority in our group. Typically: logo and ads on the
BG> top, navigation down the left, copyright at the bottom, scrolling the
BG> page is vertical etc...

BG> However, we were concerned that such layouts may not be representative
BG> of the non-Western world. I am seeking references to information about
BG> this topic. If it turns out that the Western ideas of page layouts are
BG> broadly compatible with the ideas of page layout around the world, then
BG> there is no issue for us to worry about.

BG> (For immediate response from DI to any relevant ideas on this issue,
BG> please email the www-di public mailing list.)

BG> Thank you.

BG> ---Rotan Hanrahan (member DI, chair DD, ACRep MobileAware)

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 Chris Lilley                    mailto:chris@w3.org
 Chair, W3C SVG Working Group
 W3C Graphics Activity Lead
 Co-Chair, W3C Hypertext CG
Received on Monday, 19 September 2005 16:47:22 UTC

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