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Re: Armenian numbering: findings, recommendations and request to CSS

From: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2009 19:26:18 +0100
Message-ID: <4995BB4A.7080107@malform.no>
To: Aryeh Gregor <Simetrical+w3c@gmail.com>
CC: Daniel Glazman <daniel.glazman@disruptive-innovations.com>, Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>, fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>, www-style@w3.org, www-international@w3.org

Aryeh Gregor 2009-02-13 18.47:
> On Fri, Feb 13, 2009 at 12:34 PM, Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no> wrote:
>> To your question: The "upper-alpha" format can be used to keep an
>> alphabetized list of English names. Likewise, "upper-norwegian" can be use
>> used to keep a list of Norwegian names.
>>
>> The list item for the letter "Z" might contain an alphabetized list of names
>> on Z.
> 
> I don't think that CSS should be used for that.  CSS is for styling --
> list-style-type probably shouldn't be used if the type is essential to
> the semantics.  It will fall back very poorly in non-CSS UAs or those
> that don't support the particular list-style-type.  CSS list styling
> is for when you want it to display a different way so it looks nice,
> not for when you want to say "this is the glyph that logically begins
> all entries in this section".  In the latter case, you should just
> write the glyph out explicitly (typically in a header, not at the
> beginning of a list item).

I understand what you say. In HTML 4 you can use the type 
attribute to set what kind of list you want. Does that make it 
better? If not, why not?

> Also, pragmatically, it would be very cumbersome to add enumeration of
> all an alphabet's letters for every language people can think up.

I don't understand why you say "think up". There are very few 
artificial languages.

> You'd have to have a different list-style-type for most languages --
> even Latin-based alphabets differ on what they think the exact set of
> letters is, and what their order is.  It seems like this would greatly
> bloat the spec.

This is why I suggested that we need systematic naming conventions.

> However, if you could give an explicit use-case for this, maybe I
> would understand better.  I don't think I've ever seen list-style-type
> used for this purpose in English, even though CSS (and HTML before it)
> has fully supported it in English for a very long time.

I don't understand what you don't understand. From what you said 
above, it seems like you understood everything perfectly. It is 
just that you think it would be much work - and so on.

It is of course extremely logical to use "upper-alpha" if you want 
to keep a list of English names. It is logical to be wanting to, 
in your words, make the list "look nice" by using "R" as name of 
the list-item that contains names on "R".

Also, one can use e.g. "upper-alpha" to control that one only 
filled names on the letter "Z" in the list-item "Z".

The reality is that one will make lists "look nice" using effects 
that are not "native" to one's own script if one do not have this 
option.

OTOH, your question is interesting. There is of course a
diffence between, on the one side, applying a number to 10 items,
in that order they happened to land. And on the other side, to set
up 10 cathegories in a defined order and fill them with content. 
(Even if we can also say that numeric systems are created based on 
cathegory conventions.)

If I want to create a list of all the ways I can write the
numerical valus from 1 to 3, using different scripts and
conventions - use Unordered HTML list:

	<ul style="list-style-type:decimal">
		<li>1, one, ein, Uno, A, I.</li>
		<li>2, two, to, Два, B, II.</li>
		<li>3, three, ein, Uno, C, III.</li>
	</ul>

If I want to list the 3 first in a cross-country ski run:

	<ol style="list-style-type:decimal">
		<li>Winner</li>
		<li>Second best</li>
		<li>Third</li>
	</ol>

-- 
leif halvard silli
Received on Friday, 13 February 2009 18:27:03 GMT

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