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

Re: CSS Localization

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2015 11:20:21 -0800
Message-ID: <CAAWBYDAammxV1ocw_rn60ZkSA2uiiOND7JHR=SzXfM-a++6qDw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Cameron Jones <cmhjones@gmail.com>
Cc: www-style list <www-style@w3.org>
On Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 7:57 AM, Cameron Jones <cmhjones@gmail.com> wrote:
> I don't think i'm conflating multiple things but instead it appears
> that we share different viewpoints on what users may regard as
> expected behavior.

They're different things because one is controlled by the browser and
the other is controlled by the page author.  Those are very different.

> Given that the new form inputs are still experimental, i think that
> what the expected behavior should be is still to be fully determined.

They're not experimental in any meaningful way.  They've been in
browsers for years.

> The benefit of client-side localization with specific regard to date
> formatting is that HTML can be written with only the data values and
> formatting can be applied on a site-wide basis through CSS stylesheets
> and as a part of the CSS hierarchy of property resolution including
> browser and user stylesheets.
>
> It depends on whether this is regarded to have enough utility to
> warrant its inclusion.

In your example (flag-UI localization), the entire rest of the page is
manually localized already, so a new CSS feature to localize a small
amount of the data doesn't seem warranted.

> I think the notion of what *you* can't predict and what a "normal"
> user can't predict are different.
>
> I would say that a "normal" user would be more confused by having
> different date formats on the same page, rather than having an
> intricate knowledge of which parts of the page change and which don't
> depending on what language they choose.
>
> It would seem that for an uninitiated user there is the potential for
> confusion on first encounter regardless of which approach is in place.

It's "the things I can type in, which always look about the same on
every page on the entire internet" and "the rest of the page".  I'm
pretty sure users can tell the difference between those two things.

>>>> You still haven't explained why someone would want to do any of this.
>>>> Very specifically:  what user, in what situation, would be helped by a
>>>> page setting this?  And, importantly, would they be hurt by pages
>>>> doing this for languages other than their own?
>>>
>>> A Chinese person working in LAX airport using shared access terminals
>>> running a webapp which provides a locale setting may want to configure
>>> their login to use their chosen localization without having to change
>>> browser settings on every login and inadvertently affecting other
>>> users of that terminal.
>>
>> That's a very specific scenario, and I don't think it can generalize
>> very far either.  It can also be addressed by having multiple accounts
>> at the OS level, or multiple accounts at the browser level (Chrome,
>> for example, offers this now), either of which would address the
>> situation well.
>>
>
> That kind of goes against the concept of what a webapp should be
> capable of, imho.

I don't understand why?

> I meant that shouldn't it be possible to control the format of date entry?
>
> So for example, i could configure Chrome to display and allow text
> entry in the short form "MM/DD/YY"?

This is the crux of my entire argument, which I've made repeatedly -
no, I don't think it's a good idea to allow a page to do that kind of
thing.  Yes, I think the OS should be able to do that kind of thing.

>>> It should probably always be possible for ISO-8061 text entry, but for
>>> this to be the only format seems very technical and not so user
>>> friendly.
>>
>> Again, this is the format required for setting the input.value directly.
>>
>>>>> Surely you must agree that formatting is stylistic and will be specified in CSS?
>>>>
>>>> I don't agree.  Formatting is meaningful (for example, some calendars
>>>> can't display some dates), and I haven't seen any reason for the
>>>> browser-supplied things to make this configurable so far.
>>>
>>> There are almost limitless ways of formatting dates, especially if we
>>> consider dates formatted with author supplied text strings.
>>>
>>> You seem to be advocating for a single date format for all purposes -
>>> there are many situations where anything from very short to very long
>>> formats are in widespread use and not just for visual layout.
>>>
>>> Whether a date contains the day of week, a numerical month or a verbal
>>> month, a 4 digit year or a 2 digit year - these are all common
>>> variations and not possible for a "one-size-fits-all".
>>
>> That is not even remotely what I said.
>>
>> ~TJ
>
> I was trying to ask whether you think formatting has any place in CSS,
> your response was that formatting is meaningful

In that it's not fully stylistic; some dates can't be represented by
all calendars, for example.

~TJ
Received on Thursday, 29 January 2015 19:21:08 UTC

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