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Re: Something like xml:dir (was: Re: [css3-writing-modes] direction vs. writing mode in markup vs. style)

From: John Cowan <cowan@mercury.ccil.org>
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 2010 13:35:44 -0400
To: "Martin J. Dürst" <duerst@it.aoyama.ac.jp>
Cc: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>, John Cowan <cowan@ccil.org>, fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>, "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>, WWW International <www-international@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20101027173544.GC5643@mercury.ccil.org>
"Martin J. Dürst" scripsit:

> Yes, I'd definitely wait for that discussion to settle down (or  
> participate if you are interested). In addition, please carefully  
> analyze what an XML vocabulary that is very data-oriented (as opposed to  
> document-oriented) might need. The original (ca. 1995) design for bidi  
> in HTML was aimed only at static documents; the current additional  
> efforts try to cover more dynamic documents and therefore cover data in  
> one way or another, and that may or may not be enough.

I don't understand that.  What happens in CSS is outside our remit:
what happens in XSLT or XQuery or another translation language would
presumably generate appropriate attributes in the right places.  As
fantasai says, the default directionality of text is a content property;
it is a "higher-level protocol" in the sense of the Unicode Standard,
overriding the prescribed means of guessing the default directionality
(namely looking at the first character of the text).

> I hope it will not be handled in a similar way. The problem with  
> xml:lang in (X)HTML was that people assumed because there was an  
> xml:lang, that needed to be used, and they also worried about  
> interpretation of the same document as HTML, so lang was also required.  

Inevitably so if you want your document processable as both generic

But this would be more like xml:id; document formats can use it or not,
as they choose.

> The right way is to use something like xml:dir for new XML vocabularies,  
> and let HTML and XHTML stay with the current unprefixed attributes. All  
> other XML vocabularies that already have some bidi mechanisms should  
> also stay with the attributes (or elements) they already have.

Quite so.  XML Core would have no means of changing them.

John Cowan      cowan@ccil.org
        "Not to know The Smiths is not to know K.X.U."  --K.X.U.
Received on Wednesday, 27 October 2010 17:36:26 UTC

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