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[Bug 19505] Describe visual direction when document encoding is iso-8859-8

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Thu, 06 Feb 2014 08:48:48 +0000
To: www-international@w3.org
Message-ID: <bug-19505-4285-Sr5t6kNa93@http.www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/>
https://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=19505

--- Comment #29 from Matitiahu Allouche <matitiahu.allouche@gmail.com> ---
Here is my point of view, as one with some experience of the Hebrew scene.

a) The percentage of pages marked with ISO-8859-8 may be very low for the whole
internet, but for Hebrew users it may be nonetheless more than "noise" (I don't
have any statistics).

b) Hebrew data in visual order may come from 2 main sources:
- pages created when the most common browsers did not have bidi support. It is
to be expected that the number of such active pages will decrease steadily.
- data from mainframes and large data bases. Typically, those are owned by big
institutions, who started using IT when bidi support was limited to keyboards
and fonts (no support for logical order) and are very slow modernizing their
software systems. Nobody can tell when such usage will become marginal.

c) The current state of things is good enough. The main browsers have
reasonable support for visual data. If new browsers won't support them, or
support them with simple means like a default stylesheet, it is still ok for
the users.

d) My suggestions: 
1. Do nothing to make existing browsers remove the support they provide, don't
outlaw the visually ordered data, so that the service to Hebrew users is not
impaired.
2. On the other hand, I see no reason to invest much effort in specs or in new
implementations. Newcomers may decide to support this part of the Hebrew market
or not, like any other business decision.
3. Make very clear to anyone making first steps in the bidi world that
ISO-8859-8 and visually ordered data are a dead end.

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