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

From: Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 22 Sep 2005 21:04:04 +0200
Message-ID: <209480944.20050922210404@w3.org>
To: "Rotan Hanrahan" <Rotan.Hanrahan@MobileAware.com>
Cc: www-international@w3.org, www-di@w3.org, bidi@unicode.org

On Thursday, September 22, 2005, 12:39:02 PM, Rotan wrote:

RH> Thanks to everyone who has replied to the DIWG request for
RH> information on Web page layouts in different cultures.

I strongly recommend taking a look at the XSL specification were many of
the questions you pose are already addressed and in some cases well
explained and illustrated.

RH> There appears to be a general feeling that the main layouts are OK,
RH> accepting that mirror images will be used in situations where the reading direction is different.

RH> The issue for DIWG is to represent (broadly) the layout of a page,
RH> and subsequently to adapt this layout to fit different devices,
RH> especially small mobile devices. It is possible that such
RH> re-organisation of layouts could be achieved via an enhancement to
RH> CSS, which DIWG will be giving some thought to over the coming months.

RH> Meanwhile, there appears to be an opinion that within the broad
RH> components of a Web page layout one encounters more subtle issues
RH> relating to the way that text is represented. Here are some
RH> questions that are layout-related, but are influenced by text representation:

RH> * Western text (e.g. english) uses bullet lists that have the
RH> bullets on the left, the text running horizontally and the list
RH> growing downward (vertically). What is the case for languages that
RH> write text vertically? Or Right-to-Left (RTL)?

RH> * Western text requires several characters per word. So the
RH> information is dense vertically, but not so dense horizontally. What
RH> is the information density for other languages? Idiographics etc?
RH> For example, in english, the phrase "Home Page" fits into a few
RH> pixels high, and many more pixels wide, but how does the sample phrase in Chinese compare?

It would need more pixels in height to display a single character but
the whole phrase would be far fewer characters.

RH> * Are there any special considerations for word-wrapping of vertical text?

RH> * Are there special text layout considerations for ruby annotations?

RH> * Western text often uses coloured underlining to indicate a
RH> hyperlink. What is the norm for languages where such lines might not
RH> be easy to notice? Are there such languages?

RH> * If users could choose, would they prefer portrait or landscape
RH> layouts? How would the rules of their written text influence their preference?

RH> These are just some of the kinds of issues that DIWG participants
RH> are considering while we work on the layout concepts. These issues
RH> may or may not have an impact on the general layout technology we
RH> eventually propose. Nevertheless, we want to be sure that we have as
RH> much information as possible while we do this work.

RH> Thank you for your input to date.

RH> ---Rotan.

RH> ____________________________
RH> Dr Rotan Hanrahan
RH> Chief Innovations Architect
RH> Mobileaware Ltd
RH> 3094 Lake Drive
RH> Citywest
RH> Dublin 24, Ireland
RH> E: rotan.hanrahan@mobileaware.com
RH> W: www.MobileAware.com

 Chris Lilley                    mailto:chris@w3.org
 Chair, W3C SVG Working Group
 W3C Graphics Activity Lead
 Co-Chair, W3C Hypertext CG
Received on Thursday, 22 September 2005 19:04:24 UTC

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