Re: FPWD of Additional Requirements for Bidi in HTML

I have no W3C official status, but I am one of the co-authors of the 
proposal. I think that I represent this group when I assure you that it 
has never been our intention to write a separate specification or to do 
anything to jeopardize the HTML5 WG's work.

On the contrary, considering that the HTML5 WG may not have enough time to 
dedicate to Bidi matters, which are not always simple, we have tried to 
gather an informal group of Bidi experts to elaborate a well-enough cooked 
proposal, to be eventually delivered at the door-step of the HTML5 WG.

Although good progress has been made, we would prefer to have a little 
more "cooking" time before deciding that the document is ready for HTML5 
examination. This is just to save the HTML5 WG members some effort. 
Whoever wants to participate in the discussion starting now is definitely 

Only my 2 cents.

Shalom (Regards),  Mati
           Bidi Architect
           Globalization Center Of Competency - Bidirectional Scripts
           IBM Israel
           Phone: +972 2 5888802    Fax: +972 2 5870333    Mobile: +972 52 

Maciej Stachowiak <>
Sam Ruby <>
Richard Ishida <>,,, Philippe Le Hegaret <>
08/03/2010 03:30
Re: FPWD of Additional Requirements for Bidi in HTML
Sent by:

On Mar 7, 2010, at 10:09 AM, Sam Ruby wrote:

> Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>> Hi Richard and I18N WG,
>> On Mar 5, 2010, at 3:29 AM, Richard Ishida wrote:
>>> HTML folks,
>>> Just to let you know the expectations of the i18n WG wrt this 
>>> document[1] which was published yesterday.  We do not expect the 
>>> HTML WG to review and comment on it just yet.
>>> The document is still in early draft, and was published to 
>>> facilitate ongoing feedback from bidi experts and i18n folks. It 
>>> also contains some explicitly identified open issues.
>>> The plan is to obtain feedback as soon as possible from bidi 
>>> experts and internationalization folks, then issue a new draft 
>>> that incorporates the results of those discussions.  Only at that 
>>> point do we plan to put the proposals to the HTML community and 
>>> seek their comments and commitment. Depending on the amount of 
>>> discussion that takes place, we would hope to publish the second 
>>> draft in about a month from now.
>>> [1]
>> It's a little quirky to deliver feedback on the HTML WG's 
>> deliverables in the form of a Working Draft developed elsewhere, 
>> and it might have been better to make us more aware of this effort 
>> ahead of time. (I, for one, was surprised to see  seventh Working 
>> Draft published with ours and was puzzled that I hadn't seen it 
>> before.)
> I don't believe that it has been established that bidi is an HTML WG 
> deliverable.  All that I have seen stated is "Seven Documents 
> Related to HTML Published".

I don't think this *draft* is established as an HTML WG deliverable. 
However, the draft suggests possible changes to HTML, rather than 
itself defining conformance requirements. My assumption is that 
there's a desire to put these changes in the HTML spec itself, not to 
convert to a document to a standalone spec that defines its own 
separate conformance requirements. Perhaps Richard could clarify.

Also, HTML5 already defines many markup features for bidi support in 
particular and international text in general. It's clearly in scope.

>> That being said, as long as the HTML WG gets the feedback in the 
>> end, I'm not too concerned with the process of developing it.
> I would modify that statement: as long as the groups are working 
> together, I'm not concerned about which group publishes it.

I would be concerned if the end result is two specs with contradictory 
conformance requirements, without even an attempt to fix the HTML5 
spec itself.

>> From reading over this draft, it seems to me that most of this 
>> feedback is ready to be delivered to the HTML WG right now. I see 
>> many specific points that identify a specific problem in great 
>> detail, outline why the current state of the spec doesn't work, and 
>> propose at lest one workable solution. That's more than enough data 
>> to go into a bug report.
>> I would expect that bug reports on these issues would most likely 
>> resolved expeditiously to everyone's satisfaction, and without any 
>> great controversy. The only potential problems I see are with 
>> details of syntax(*). I think those are best resolved within the 
>> HTML WG. I also suspect some of the comments may be issues for CSS, 
>> not HTML, for example the treatment of list markers. HTML 
>> completely defers to CSS on list rendering. Either way, it would be 
>> good to identify those kinds of issues ASAP rather than continuing 
>> to develop in a silo.
>> If the I18N WG would like these issues addressed before Last Call, 
>> I strongly recommend delivering the feedback to the HTML WG as soon 
>> as possible, ideally in the form of bug reports, one per distinct 
>> issue.
> Against which component would such bugs be filed?

"HTML5 spec bugs".

> What I see published for bidi seems to meet the criteria for a 
> vendor-neutral applicable specification, as described by section 
> 2.2.2 of the HTML5 Working Draft.

Maybe I am misunderstanding the draft, but it looks to me like it is 
requesting changes to HTML, not attempting to be its own separate 
specification. Let's take a specific example. The draft suggests that 
<br> should act as a bidi separator. HTML5 specifically says it should 
*not* act as a bidi separator (as does HTML4). It seems logical that 
the intent here is to fix HTML5, not to have a separate spec with a 
directly contradictory processing requirement.

My interpretation of the intent of this document seems to be in 
accordance with the subsequent note from Addison Phillips.

Really all I'm saying is that *if* the I18N WG wants this document to 
result in changes to HTML5, they should try to deliver the relevant 
feedback to the HTML WG as soon as possible. Richard's original note 
was that I18N WG plans to wait at least a month before making any 
proposals to the HTML WG or seeking feedback.


Received on Monday, 8 March 2010 17:37:44 UTC