W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > August 2015

Re: [css-writing-modes] Propose writing-mode: sideways-left

From: John Daggett <jdaggett@mozilla.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Aug 2015 17:12:21 +0900
Message-ID: <CALYZoVMuM4w98RTekPV9+FdNW_wkJTST3UJh=-gGYR-QOzkSLw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Florian Rivoal <florian@rivoal.net>
Cc: Koji Ishii <kojiishi@gmail.com>, fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>, "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
Florian wrote:

> > So, when the minutes[1] says:
> >
> > > Okay. We don't have Koji so I suggest we resolve on the
> > >          mailing list.
> > >
> > > - Everyone on the call was in support of the proposal to create
> > >      sideways-lr and sideways-rl in writing-mode, but all the
> > >      interested parties weren't on the call, so a decision will
> > >      occur on the mailing list.
> >
> > I'm good, and no objections doesn't seem to be seen on this ML so far.
> >
> > Can we say this is resolved now?
> >
> > [1] https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2015Aug/0051.html
> I mentioned during the call that you were in favor, but it is John
> Daggett's opinion we're waiting for.

No, I still don't think this is a good idea. It's exchanging complexity
of implementation for authoring model complexity and that's almost
always a poor choice in my opinion.

Anyone involved in publishing here in Japan that I mention this to seems
baffled by this proposal to add sideways-lr and sideways-rl to the
writing-mode property. And I think implementors of EPUB viewers here are
frustrated at changes like this and the impact it will have on this spec
going to REC quickly.

To summarize the proposal from Elika as I understand it:

Current definition [1]:

  writing-mode: horizontal-tb | vertical-rl | vertical-lr
  text-orientation: mixed | upright | sideways-right | sideways-left |

Authors use the writing-mode property to enable vertical text display
and the text-orientation property to override the orientation of text
within a line, when needed.

Proposed change [2]:

  writing-mode: horizontal-tb | vertical-rl | vertical-lr | sideways-lr |
  text-orientation: mixed | upright | sideways

CJK authors use vertical-rl while authors wanting vertical headings in
tables use either sideways-rl or sideways-lr. CJK authors use
text-orientation to override the orientation of text within a line but
text-orientation has no effect on authors using sideways-rl or

It seems to me this proposal is being driven by some complexities that
don't really exist in content, for example when the orientation of text
changes within a line:

  p { writing-mode: vertical-rl }
  span.left { text-orientation: sideways-left }

  <p>This is a <span class=left>strange ball of beeswax</span></p>

But how this sort of complexity is solved isn't really important. It
won't occur frequently in content so we can use implementation
experience to come up with better proposals in later levels of the spec.
Cluttering up the writing-mode property seems like a mistake to me and
making this change will affect implementations that already implement
the writing-mode/text-orientation properties as defined up until this

The discussion within the group has been relatively limited and I think
we haven't heard enough from implementers that depend on these features.
Apple? Microsoft? EPUB viewer vendors in Japan? Amazon? Getting that
feedback is important I think.


John Daggett
Mozilla Japan

[1] CSS3 Writing Modes ED

[2] Elika's proposed change

Received on Thursday, 20 August 2015 08:12:51 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Thursday, 20 August 2015 08:12:52 UTC