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

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2014 11:53:47 +0000
To: www-international@w3.org
Message-ID: <bug-19505-4285-7mFV3D4nbg@http.www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/>
https://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=19505

--- Comment #36 from Aharon Lanin <aharon.lists.lanin@gmail.com> ---
Sorry to get involved so late, but I just realized that it is unclear that CSS
(any CSS) can fully describe how to handle iso-8859-8. The problem is with the
title, alt, and placeholder attributes.

All that the HTML spec says about them is that they should be displayed in the
element's directionality (unless the element has dir="auto" in which case each
of these have to be each displayed in the directionality determined from the
content of each attribute separately). Directionality is just LTR or RTL - it
does not include unicode-bidi.

As for the CSS spec, I have no idea whether it covers the display of those
attribute values at all. Writing Modes Level 3 certainly does not say anything
about them.

There is a CSS test that does cover unicode-bidi:override and the alt
attribute,
http://www.w3.org/Style/CSS/Test/CSS2.1/20100127/html4/bidi-alt-001.htm, and it
does demand that unicode-bidi:override be applied to the alt attribute. One
problem with that is that the test fails in Mozilla, WebKit, Blink, and IE. A
clean sweep.

Furthermore, I believe that the test's demands are inappropriate.

One of them is that an element's unicode-bidi:override be applied to the alt of
an image *inside* that element, e.g.

<bdo dir="rtl">abc <img alt="def"> ghi</bdo>

I believe that this is clearly inappropriate because the alt is displayed in a
separate box. Displaying it as "fed" would make as much sense as displaying
"fed" for the inside span below:

<bdo dir=rtl>abc <span style="display:inline-block">def</span> ghi</bdo>

(I believe that the CSS spec as it stands would prohibit that happening.
Needless to say it does not happen in any browser.)

More to the point in the context here, the test also demands that an element's
unicode-bidi:override be applied to its own alt. And although the CSS rules
suggested here currently don't include img in the list of elements to which
they apply unicode-bidi:override, they could be modified to do so.

The question is whether it is a good idea to say that an element's
unicodde-bidi applies to its attributes, outside the scope of iso-8859-8? I
don't think so. Consider the following (in a utf-8 page):

<input dir="ltr" style="unicode-bidi:override" placeholder="HEBREW FOR 'PASTE
VISUAL HEBREW HERE'">

Do we really want the placeholder (or title) to be displayed backwards?

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