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Re: [css3-lists] Proposal for a generic numeric list-style-type

From: Markus Ernst <derernst@gmx.ch>
Date: Tue, 18 May 2010 14:50:52 +0200
Cc: gabriele.romanato@gmail.com, www-style@w3.org, Simetrical+w3c@gmail.com
Message-ID: <20100518125052.237040@gmx.net>
To: timeless <timeless@gmail.com>
-------- Original-Nachricht --------
> Datum: Tue, 18 May 2010 13:31:04 +0300
> Von: timeless <timeless@gmail.com>

> On Tue, May 18, 2010 at 11:55 AM, Markus Ernst <derernst@gmx.ch> wrote:
> > That's interesting, though I don't understand all of it.
> 
> 
> > Before I read the CSS3 lists spec, as a dumb, euro-centric web author,
> 
> 1/2/10
> 2/1/10
> 20,245 CUR
> 20.245 CUR
> 
> Once you're done learning about numbers, you can start with
> punctuation, or perhaps as a euro-centric web author you're already
> familiar with them? :)

Your example is about content. List numbers as part of CSS are claimed to be styling. I think this is an intrinsic problem: Styling as itself does not require internationalization. (I am not talking about cultural differences here, of course.) But list numbers finally appear as part of the content.

My primary use case is a multi-language website with a CMS. Maybe it is in English, Hebrew, and Russian. A web designer creates the templates and writes the CSS code, all works well incl. RTL Hebrew. Later, a site administrator decides to add a Japanese version. He or she clicks the "Add language" button, then asks the Japanese translator to insert all texts, of course the translator will use the appropriate date and currency formats and all that. AFAICS numbered lists will be the only place where i18n problems occur that require an intervention of the web designer.

> > my expectation
> 
> ah. expectations, yeah, someday you'll learn not to have any :).
> 
> roughly all behaviors are bad.
> 
> If I write:
> 
> <h1> How to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich</h1>
> <h2> Required items </h2>
> <ul>
>  <li> jar of peanut butter.
>  <li> jar of jelly.
>  <li> two slices of bread.
>  <li> spoon.
>  <li> knife.
>  <li> plate.
>  <li> a clean flat surface ("table").
> </ul>
> <h2> Instructions </h2>
> <ol>
>  <li> Place the jars and plate on the table.
>  <li> Place the spoon, knife and slices of bread on the plate.
>  <li> Pick up the jar of jelly.
>  <li id=openjar> Open the jar.
>  <li id=putcoverdown> Place the cover on the table (top down).
>  <li id=putjardown> Put the jar down on the table.
>  <li> Insert the spoon into the jar and scoop out some jelly.
>  <li> Take the spoon out such that the spoon's scoop is concave up.
>  <li> Bring the spoon over one piece of bread.
>  <li> Turn the spoon over (concave down).
>  <li> Drag the spoon's scoop across a corner of the bread such that
> the jelly is forced to transfer from the spoon to the bread.
>  <li> Turn the spoon over (scoop concave up) and use the bottom of the
> scoop to spread the jelly around the bread.
>  <li> Pick up the jar of peanut butter.
>  <li> Repeat steps 4 through 6.
>  <li> Insert the knife into the jar at an angle and pull straight up.
> ...
> </ol>
> 
> If the numbers in ol > li aren't rendered in the same manner as my "4"
> and "6", then bad things happen. What happens if someone uses a
> picture instead of "4" or "6" to highlight a certain point?

This use case illustrates the fact that list numbering is somewhere at the edge of styling and content. In your example the numbers are definitely part of the content, as you wouldn't refer to styling. To be nit-picking, you should type the list numbers in your example and mark them up as list-item-markers.

But of course you are right, this example speaks against my statement that inconsistent rendering of list numbers across browsers would not be a big problem.

> The unicode specification essentially requests agents to "stop messing
> with authored content".

Again, it is about content. I do not propose to mess around with content, just to offer authors a tool to internationalize their list declarations without having to specify the values for every single language. 

If list numbering is not standardizable for some languages, agents can just apply the de-facto standard that people have got used to, as the Korean person in your example.
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Received on Tuesday, 18 May 2010 13:51:29 GMT

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