RE: Suggestion for mail to HTML 5 WG about bidirectionality markup in HTML 5

I think this is generally good.  I may send some very small comments later.
I'd like to raise these comments through the review table process, so that
they can be easily found and related to other comments to HTML5, and tracked
separately to avoid confusion.  It's a slightly unusual scenario, since the
document is a moving target.  I'll think about that a little.


Richard Ishida
Internationalization Lead
W3C (World Wide Web Consortium)


> -----Original Message-----
> From: [mailto:public-i18n-core-
>] On Behalf Of Felix Sasaki
> Sent: 14 February 2008 08:25
> To:
> Subject: Suggestion for mail to HTML 5 WG about bidirectionality markup in
> HTML 5
> Hi all,
> this is a draft mail for my action item
> Felix
> Dear HTML Working Group,
> the i18n Core Working Group has looked into the definition of the "dir"
> attribute in HTML 5 at [1] and would like to make the following comments.
> 1) We think that HTML 5, like HTML 4, should be able to render
> bidirectional text
> without a style sheet. It would break backwards compatibility to remove
> the ability of a browser to do so without CSS. Therefore in our opinion,
> HTML 5 has to
> describe the expected behavior in at least the detail of HTML 4 rather
> than
> leave it up to the "presentation layer".
> 2) The section about the <bdo> element does *not* leave the expected
> behavior completely up to the
> presentation layer - which is confusing. Content authors need to know if
> they should use CSS, if CSS would override the specified
> behavior etc.
> 3) We propose that you add a note making clear that using the
> bidirectionality markup provided is preferred, rather than attaching CSS
> styling to arbitrary markup such as <p> etc.
> 4) You should consider allowing two new attribute
> values for the "dir" attribute: 'rlo' and 'lro' for dir. You do not need
> to remove the bdo element,
> but the new values will allow content authors to proceed to a scenario
> we described in the ITS 1.0 specification, see [2]. It will also provide
> some additional power to the authors, since they will be able to attach
> dir="lro" to a block element.
> 5) Note that we do not want to impose a requirement on implementations
> of HTML 5 to implement CSS. You could just reference CSS and define a
> default stylesheet fragment. This would just mean that an HTML 5
> implementation has to make things behave as if it used this CSS default
> stylesheet
> fragment.
> 6) HTML 4 made an exception in that it said that you don't have to
> support bidi rendering unless you actually render Arabic or Hebrew. We
> are not sure such an exception clause is still approprate, but it may be
> a way to make the adoption of the above a bit easier.
> 7) Further information about bidirectionality markup can be found at [3]
> and [4].
> Best regards,
> Felix Sasaki
> [1]
> [2]
> [3]
> [4]

Received on Monday, 18 February 2008 17:27:54 UTC