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

From: John Cowan <cowan@ccil.org>
Date: Tue, 25 Aug 2009 22:03:49 -0400
To: Matitiahu Allouche <matial@il.ibm.com>
Cc: Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>, www-international@w3.org
Message-ID: <20090826020349.GC19119@mercury.ccil.org>
Matitiahu Allouche scripsit:

>  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.

Except, what is "presentation order"?  It can be rightward, leftward,
or upward nowadays.  To speak of left to right order as "presentation
order" is to submit to a purely parochial viewpoint.

I would go with "the practice of storing Hebrew characters in
left-to-right order on each line of text", combined with an explanation
that the term "visual" is a historical one rooted in the days when only
left-to-right reading was considered normal for computer text.

> This sentence is problematic, IMHO: HTML is a protocol and does not use 
> the Unicode bidi algorithm.

HTML is not a protocol but a format.

> I suggest the following phrasing:
> HTML assumes by default that Bidi data is stored in logical order, to that
> present the text in correct visual order.  If the encoding is ISO-8859-9, 
> the corresponding charset specification must be ISO-8859-8-i.

(The mention of 8859-9 is clearly a typo here.)

Again, this is a biased wording.  I would go with:

The charset specifies whether a document encoded in 8859-8 is in visual or
logical order.  Use the charset "iso-8859-8-i" for logical order encoding
(preferred), or "iso-8859-8" for visual-order encoding (deprecated).
Text in Unicode and other encodings is always in logical order.

-- 
We call nothing profound                        cowan@ccil.org
that is not wittily expressed.                  John Cowan
        --Northrop Frye (improved)
Received on Wednesday, 26 August 2009 02:04:26 GMT

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