Here are my comments on the proposal to improve bidi handling (at

1.1. <br>, <hr>, and embedded block elements should "reset" bidi state
I fully understand the motivation behind this but have some reservations.

a) I agree that browsers are inconsistent with the interpretation of the markup and this is a serious issue that must be addressed.

b) I think making <br> reset the bidi state will solve the majority of issues with bidi markup. But, (and this is a big "but") by redefining <br> as a bidi break we are removing the possibility from HTML for allowing an author to force a line break in markup without resetting the bidi state. I think this is wrong. There are cases (e.g. making a two line headline for a news article) where an author or automated software would want to insert a manual line break that will behave the same way as visual line break without resetting the bidi state. This case would be rarer than the current use of <br> but still possible.

Ideally, there should be two forms of <br> - one that resets bidi and one that does not. Speaking without any knowledge of past discussions - my own preference would be for HTML to have a new element that lets me break lines like <br> but would syntactically define a new paragraph. This element would reset the bidi state - and <br> would not. That would mirror the behavior of the Unicode characters - U+2028 Line Separator and U+2029 Paragraph Separator.
1.2. newline and other line-breaking characters should "reset" bidi state in <textarea>, <pre>
OK. except for U+2028 line separator which must be treated by bidi like a white space.
1.5. <option> should support the dir attribute, and be displayed that way in both the dropdown and after being chosen
I would also add the same comment for other grouped elements like <li>. Setting an opposing direction for <li> to its list causes unpredictable results. The picture below shows what happens in Webkit and Gecko for this markup:

<ol class="liststylesquare">
    <li dir="rtl">Bullet for list element should be a square glyph</li>
    <li>Bullet for list element should be a square glyph</li>


Adil Allawi
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Diwan Software Ltd
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