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Re: [review feedback] Creating HTML Pages in Arabic, Hebrew and Other Right-to-left Scripts

From: Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 12 Apr 2013 20:48:51 +0100
Message-ID: <51686523.40105@w3.org>
To: Tomer Mahlin <TOMERM@il.ibm.com>
CC: www-international@w3.org
Hello Tomer. Thanks again for your comments.

On 05/03/2013 04:57, Tomer Mahlin wrote:
> These are consolidated comments from IBM Bidi Globalization Center of
> Competency on the document stored at: -
> http://www.w3.org/International/tutorials/new-bidi-xhtml/Overview
> Section In a nutshell
>  > "..Add a dir attribute to the html tag to set the default direction
> of your page if it is right-to-left. .."
> I would suggest to drop the "if it is right-to-left" since dir is used
> for both LTR and RTL.

True, but a document is LTR by default, so adding dir for LTR document 
isn't necessary. Content authors prefer not to do things that are not 
needed, and most LTR pages don't have the dir attribute.

>  >"...Use logical ordering of bidirectional text, rather than visual
> ordering, and let the Unicode Bidirectional Algorithm take the strain..."
> I would suggest to say: When possible prefer to use logical ordering of
> bidirectional text, rather than visual ordering, and let the Unicode
> Bidirectional Algorithm take the strain.
> This is because for handling visual data properly blindly transform it
> to logical ordering is not optimal.

The 'in a nutshell' section can't include edge cases, or it will no 
longer be in a nutshell ;-)  I could probably find other things that are 
not said here too that would be useful, but this panel aims only to hit 
the "key recommendations" for the most general case.

> Section Definitions
>  > Base direction
> There should be a distinction between base direction as a direction of
> UI (for example a page) and base text direction. HTML has only one mean
> for both - dir (and equivalent means). For example, when you mention:
> "...   Use the dir attribute on block elements within the page only
> where you need to change the base direction..." you refer to GUI direction.
> I would suggest either to provide more detailed explainations on the
> differences or/and change "Base direction" to "base text direction"

I made various changes to the text - principally trying to make it even 
clearer in the first paragraph that we are talking about the base 
direction of text.

>  >" ... the base direction is inherited from the default direction of
> the document, which is left-to-right (LTR) ..".
> Direction of the document is not always LTR. It can be RTL or even not
> defined, in which case for some browsers it will be derived from default
> browser language or browser GUI direction (which is derived from
> language to web browser application is translated). I would suggest to
> drop ", which is left-to-right(LTR)"..

I disagree. In the absence of a dir attribute (as the text says) the 
HTML specification clearly says that the base direction of the document 
is LTR. It is never, and never can be, undefined.

>  >"UBA ... determine the directionality for bidirectional Unicode text .."
> I don't think this is precise. UBA strictly can't be used for
> determining directionality of text. Having text in the text buffer and
> UBA at hand you can't identify the base text direction of this text.
> This is something that semantic / syntactic analysis of text can
> reliably do. UBA is used for proper layout and display of bidirectional
> Unicode text.

The language of the definition (taken from the Unicode Standard) does 
not claim that the UBA is the beginning and end of determining 
direction. It merely says that it is used to determine directionality. 
That doesn't imply exclusiveness.

Nevertheless, i changed the text to "used when determining the 

> Section:  Markup for text direction
> Subsection: Visual vs. Logical ordering of text
>  >"....visual vs. logical approaches to writing bidirectional text "
> Visual and logical approaches relate more to correlation between storage
> and display of text rather than to "writing". Thus I would suggest to
> replace the word writing by representing.



> Best Regards,
> *Tomer Mahlin*
> GCoC Bidi architect
> Bidi Development Lab
> 	*Phone:*+972-2-6491784| *Mobile:*+972-54-3368122*E-mail:
> *_tomerm@il.ibm.com_ <mailto:tomerm@il.ibm.com>*
> * 	
> IBM R&D Labs
> Malcha Technology Park
> Jerusalem 96951
>   Israel

Richard Ishida, W3C
Received on Friday, 12 April 2013 19:49:20 UTC

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