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Re: Authoring HTML: Handling Right-to-left Scripts, additional changes

From: Matitiahu Allouche <matial@il.ibm.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 2009 03:56:52 +0300
To: "Richard Ishida" <ishida@w3.org>
Cc: www-international@w3.org
Message-ID: <OFFCA1F5CD.758DFAF9-ONC225761B.004DA399-C225761E.000533F0@il.ibm.com>
I have some comments about the ISO Encoding HowTo (at 
http://www.w3.org/International/docs/bp-html-bidi/#iso_encoding )

1) We find the sentence:
'Visual' refers to the practice of typing in the Hebrew characters in 
reverse order and preventing automatic line breaks.

This is not a good definition of 'Visual', since there are input methods 
which allow to type Hebrew in natural order while storing it in visual 
order. Also, preventing automatic line breaks is recommended when the text 
is in visual order (to avoid text corruption when text is reflowed 
automatically), but it is in no way an essential attribute of visual text. 
 I suggest to stick to a more classic definition of 'Visual', such as:
'Visual' refers to the practice of storing Hebrew characters in 
presentation order, so that there is no reliance on reordering performed 
by the operating system or the display subsystem.

2) "all characters in memory in the order" => "all characters are stored 
in memory in the order"

3) We find the sentence:
Because HTML uses the Unicode bidirectional algorithm, conforming 
documents encoded using ISO 8859-8 must be labeled as ISO-8859-8-i.

This sentence is problematic, IMHO: HTML is a protocol and does not use 
the Unicode bidi algorithm.  HTML assumes that Bidi data are stored in 
logical order (with the exception of charset="ISO-8859-8"), thus HTML 
rendering agents must use the Unicode bidi algorithm to present the bidi 
data in correct visual order.  I suggest the following phrasing:
HTML assumes by default that Bidi data is stored in logical order, to that 
rendering agents will have to use the Unicode bidirectional algorithm to 
present the text in correct visual order.  If the encoding is ISO-8859-9, 
the corresponding charset specification must be ISO-8859-8-i.

4) "ISO-8859-6 (Arabic) is not visual ordering" => "ISO-8859-6 (Arabic) 
does not imply visual ordering"

Shalom (Regards),  Mati
           Bidi Architect
           Globalization Center Of Competency - Bidirectional Scripts
           IBM Israel
           Phone: +972 2 5888802    Fax: +972 2 5870333    Mobile: +972 52 

"Richard Ishida" <ishida@w3.org>
13/08/2009 22:10
Authoring HTML: Handling Right-to-left Scripts, additional changes
Sent by:

I have implemented the feedback received on this document in the editor's 
version at 

I have also, after further discussions, made some further changes as 

1. changed Best Practices to Techniques throughout (and just removed from 
the title)

2. created 3 new techniques

3. redesigned http://www.w3.org/International/docs/bp-html-bidi/uanotes 
and changed the links after each technique so that there is only one now, 
pointing to a section in the uanotes document.  The uanotes document 
contains a short summary of any browser-specific note and pointers to 
tests and results for more information.  It also contains links to the 
appropriate section or sections of the techniques index so you can find 
more information. This document still needs some more work.

If you have any comments on the above, please send to this list.  Barring 
showstoppers, I'd like to publish the final version in about a week to ten 


Richard Ishida
Internationalization Lead
W3C (World Wide Web Consortium)

Received on Wednesday, 26 August 2009 00:57:39 UTC

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