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[Bug 10807] i18n comment 1 : new attribute: ubi

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2010 13:20:03 +0000
To: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1P7pdD-0001jk-UQ@jessica.w3.org>
http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=10807

--- Comment #14 from Aharon Lanin <aharon.lists.lanin@gmail.com> 2010-10-18 13:19:59 UTC ---
(In reply to comment #13)
> It seems to me that the use cases described in this bug can be most easily
> addressed as follows:
> 
> 1. Add an 'auto' value for the CSS 'direction' property that determines the
> direction in a suitably automatic way.
> 
> 2. Recommend that authors use the <output> element to mark up information from
> users, and make <output> default to 'direction:auto'. This element defaults to
> unicode-bidi:isolate.
> 
> So for a place name, you'd write:
> 
>    <output>Purple Pizza</output> - <a href="ppreviews.html">3 reviews</a>
> 
> If you knew the direction, e.g. a phone number, you could write:
> 
>    <output dir=ltr>+1 555 123 4567</output>
> 
> Are there any use cases that this would not address?

I have several problems with this solution.

1. It is not correct to characterize all or even most content that needs
isolation (and/or auto-direction) as "user-provided" or as the "output of a
calculation" or in any way associated with forms (which the output element
seems to be). For example, let's say I am just authoring a simple HTML document
in an RTL language, and want to list a few of my favorite bands, e.g. "I LIKE
a, b, AND c." If I do not use isolation on a, b, and c, this will be displayed
as:

.c DNA ,a, b EKIL I

instead of the intended

.c DNA ,b ,a EKIL I

This can be solved by using &rlm; ("a&rlm;, b&rlm;, AND c"), but this is ugly
and has other problems.

What I really want to do is bidi-isolate each of a, b, and c even though they
are not user-provided or calculated, and I have no form in my page.

For a different example take a web app, e.g. a search app. None of the things
that need isolation in each search result - the title, the snippet, the
filename, the size - is generated by the app's user, and there is no
association with a form. In a sense, they are calculated, but not in the way
intended for the output element.

In brief, I do not think that the output element is a good fit for most use
cases - although having isolation on for output element by default (in addition
to a more general solution) is probably a good idea.

2. It is quite a common occurrence that the item needing isolation is already
wrapped in an element like <a> or <q> or <span> (or <output>). In fact, if <a>
and <q> were being invented today, we would want isolation for them by default
- but we dare not do that now because it would most certainly break some
existing documents. But having to wrap such items in *two* elements, e.g.
<a><ubi>BLAH BLAH</ubi></a> - or is it <ubi><a>BLAH BLAH></a></ubi>, is surely
rubbing salt in the wounds. An attribute with a short name and no need to
specify a value is a lot less painless to use.

3. As far as I understand, adding an "auto" value to the CSS direction property
is a non-starter. Fantasai should be able to provide more details. For this
reason, I am also reopening bug 10808.


Let's deal with the auto-direction issue separately in bug 10808, which I am
re-opening for reasons described there.

Basically, you are saying that isolation will be provided by the <output>
element.

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Received on Monday, 18 October 2010 13:20:09 UTC

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