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Re: Invalid relationship between bandwidth and spoken language

From: Simon Montagu <smontagu@smontagu.org>
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2007 19:14:12 +0200
Message-ID: <45F82D64.3060509@smontagu.org>
To: Mark Davis <mark.davis@icu-project.org>
Cc: Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>, www-international@w3.org, fantasai.bugs@inkedblade.net

A specific very common use case for text entry in the opposite direction 
from the website is webmail. The difficulty of reading and editing text 
in the "wrong" direction is all the more severe when entering an entire 
email, as opposed to a single-line search term in Google.  The fact that 
some webmail services provide localized UI for RTL languages with RTL UI 
doesn't solve the problem, because many users conduct correspondence in 
both LTR and RTL languages.

Another scenario which seems to be becoming increasingly common is 
websites whose content is dynamically collated from other websites or 
RSS feeds -- planets, aggregators, etc. etc. (Note that specifying 
direction in RSS breaks validation).

Thirdly, the titles of websites are often pulled in by browsers and 
become part of the UI, e.g. in tab titles or lists of 
bookmarks/favourites, and in this case the texts are frequently cut off 
with an ellipsis, which always looks bad when the base direction of Bidi 
ordering is inappropriate for the text.

See https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=224685#c9 for a 
detailed proposal of how this could work in practice.

Mark Davis wrote:
> The key issue is when users are keying in text in a text entry box. It 
> is quite common with websites in a RTL language for people to be 
> entering in basically LTR text; and also not uncommon for those users to 
> make use of LTR websites (like google.com <http://google.com>), and 
> enter in RTL text, say to search for. If the text entry box is in the 
> "wrong" direction for the text, it is very hard to read and edit. By 
> having an "auto" option that uses the Unicode BIDI algorithm's default 
> for setting the text direction (keying off the first strong direction 
> character of each paragraph), it makes it much easier for users to read 
> and edit the text that they are typing in.
> 
> Mark
> 
> On 3/14/07, *Richard Ishida* <ishida@w3.org <mailto:ishida@w3.org>> wrote:
> 
>     Mark, Simon,
> 
>     Could you put a few more words around this, explaining why it is
>     needed and how you think it could be addressed?  Then we can discuss
>     the proposal in the i18n core WG and, if agreed, forward to CSS and
>     any other WGs for consideration.
> 
>     Cheers,
>     RI
> 
>     PS: Note that w3c-i18n-ig@w3 is no longer in use.  If you are in the
>     Core WG, you can use public-i18n-core@w3.
> 
>     ============
>     Richard Ishida
>     Internationalization Lead
>     W3C (World Wide Web Consortium)
> 
>     http://www.w3.org/People/Ishida/
>     http://www.w3.org/International/
>     http://people.w3.org/rishida/blog/ <http://people.w3.org/rishida/blog/>
>     http://www.flickr.com/photos/ishida/
> 
> 
> 
> 
>     ________________________________
> 
>             From: www-international-request@w3.org
>     <mailto:www-international-request@w3.org>
>     [mailto:www-international-request@w3.org
>     <mailto:www-international-request@w3.org>] On Behalf Of Mark Davis
>             Sent: 11 March 2007 00:03
>             To: Simon Montagu
>             Cc: Jonathan Rosenne; www-international@w3.org
>     <mailto:www-international@w3.org>; w3c-i18n-ig
>             Subject: Re: Invalid relationship between bandwidth and
>     spoken language
> 
> 
>             that would be really good...
> 
> 
>             On 3/10/07, Simon Montagu <smontagu@smontagu.org
>     <mailto:smontagu@smontagu.org>> wrote:
> 
>                     I proposed some time ago adding a value "auto" to
>     the css "direction"
>                     property to achieve this result.
> 
>                     Mark Davis wrote:
>                     > Side issue: Interestingly, we've found that the
>     ltr/rtl options are
>                     > insufficient. What people want in many cases in
>     input fields is the
>                     > "default" algorithm, whereby even on a generally
>     rtl page, the field
>                     > becomes ltr if the first strong character is ltr.
>     Right now we are
>                     > simulating that with JavaScript (but it is a pain
>     to do so).
>                     >
>                     > Mark
>                     >
>                     > On 3/9/07, *Jonathan Rosenne* <rosennej@qsm.co.il
>     <mailto:rosennej@qsm.co.il>
>                     > <mailto: rosennej@qsm.co.il
>     <mailto:rosennej@qsm.co.il> <mailto:rosennej@qsm.co.il
>     <mailto:rosennej@qsm.co.il>> >> wrote:
>                     >
>                     >     This was a strange remark. For Arabic or
>     Hebrew texts, little if any
>                     >     bidi markup is needed. dir="rtl" on the HTML
>     will do the work. As
>                     >     the referenced article says, it is only needed
>     for mixed content.
>                     >     And then there is no difference between LTR
>     text contained in an RTL
>                     >     document and RTL text contained in an LTR
>     document.
>                     >
>                     >     Jony
>                     >
>                     >         -----Original Message-----
>                     >         *From:* www-international-request@w3.org
>     <mailto:www-international-request@w3.org>
>                     >         <mailto:www-international-request@w3.org
>     <mailto:www-international-request@w3.org>
>     <mailto:www-international-request@w3.org
>     <mailto:www-international-request@w3.org>> > [mailto:
>                     >         www-international-request@w3.org
>     <mailto:www-international-request@w3.org>
>                     >         <mailto:www-international-request@w3.org
>     <mailto:www-international-request@w3.org>
>     <mailto:www-international-request@w3.org
>     <mailto:www-international-request@w3.org>> >] *On Behalf Of
>                     >         *Richard Ishida
>                     >         *Sent:* Friday, March 09, 2007 4:11 PM
>                     >         *To:* 'Rotan Hanrahan'
>                     >         *Cc:* www-international@w3.org
>     <mailto:www-international@w3.org> <mailto:www-international@w3.org
>     <mailto:www-international@w3.org>>
>                     >         *Subject:* RE: Invalid relationship
>     between bandwidth and spoken
>                     >         language
>                     >
>                     >         Fixed.
>                     >
>                     >         RI
>                     >
>                     >         ============
>                     >         Richard Ishida
>                     >         Internationalization Lead
>                     >         W3C (World Wide Web Consortium)
>                     >
>                     >         http://www.w3.org/People/Ishida/
>                     >         http://www.w3.org/International/
>                     >         http://people.w3.org/rishida/blog/
>                     >         http://www.flickr.com/photos/ishida/
>                     >
>                     >
>                     >
>                     >            
>     ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>                     >             *From:*
>     www-international-request@w3.org
>     <mailto:www-international-request@w3.org>
>                     >            
>     <mailto:www-international-request@w3.org
>     <mailto:www-international-request@w3.org> <mailto:
>     www-international-request@w3.org
>     <mailto:www-international-request@w3.org>> >
>                     >            
>     [mailto:www-international-request@w3.org
>     <mailto:www-international-request@w3.org>
>                     >             <mailto:
>     www-international-request@w3.org
>     <mailto:www-international-request@w3.org>
>     <mailto:www-international-request@w3.org
>     <mailto:www-international-request@w3.org>> >] *On Behalf Of
>                     >             *Rotan Hanrahan
>                     >             *Sent:* 09 March 2007 12:59
>                     >             *To:* www-international@w3.org
>     <mailto:www-international@w3.org> <mailto: www-international@w3.org
>     <mailto:www-international@w3.org> <mailto:www-international@w3.org
>     <mailto:www-international@w3.org>> >
>                     >             *Subject:* Invalid relationship
>     between bandwidth and spoken
>                     >             language
>                     >
>                     >             A colleague of mine, working in an
>     Arabic speaking region of
>                     >             the world has pointed out a comment
>     [1] regarding the use of
>                     >             bidi markup, in which it is stated:
>                     >
>                     >             "Removing them will significantly
>     simplify the document, and
>                     >             reduce bandwidth - which may be an
>     important consideration
>                     >             in countries where Arabic is spoken."
>                     >
>                     >             This line seems to suggest that there
>     is an association
>                     >             between lack of adequate network
>     bandwidth and the speaking
>                     >             of Arabic, an implication I am sure
>     was not intended.
>                     >             Firstly, the effect of bidi markup on
>     bandwidth consumption
>                     >             is negligible compared to the
>     accompanying graphics.
>                     >             Secondly, any saving on payload size
>     should be seen as
>                     >             universally beneficial, not just for
>     countries characterised
>                     >             by the language they speak.
>                     >
>                     >             I suggest that the closing part of
>     that statement ("in
>                     >             countries where Arabic is spoken") be
>     removed from future
>                     >             revisions, as it is unnecessary and
>     open to misinterpretation.
>                     >
>                     >             ---Rotan.
>                     >
>                     >             [1]
>                     >            
>     _http://www.w3.org/International/geo/html-tech/tech-
>     bidi.html#ri20030726.132037950_
>                     >
>                     >
>                     >         --
>                     >         No virus found in this outgoing message.
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>                     >         08/03/2007 10:58
>                     >
>                     >
>                     >
>                     >
>                     > --
>                     > Mark
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
>             --
>             Mark
> 
> 
>     --
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>     13/03/2007 16:51
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> Mark
Received on Wednesday, 14 March 2007 17:14:37 GMT

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