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Internationalization Comments on HTML5

Dates of comments: feb 2008 to sep 2010

The WG column indicates whether these are comments on behalf of the Internationalization Core WG. The "Owner" column indicates who has taken the responsibility of tracking discussions on a given comment. Orange shading signifies that the comment is unresolved.

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ID Location Subject Comment Owner WG Ed. /
1 The dir attributeRendering bidi without a style sheet

"The processing of this attribute depends on the presentation layer. For example, CSS 2.1 defines a mapping from this attribute to the CSS 'direction' and 'unicode-bidi' properties, and defines rendering in terms of those properties."

We think that HTML 5, like HTML 4, should be able to render bidirectional text without a style sheet. It would break backwards compatibility to remove the ability of a browser to do so without CSS. Therefore in our opinion, HTML 5 has to describe the expected behavior in at least the detail of HTML 4 rather than leave it up to the "presentation layer".

Note that we do not want to impose a requirement on implementations of HTML 5 to implement CSS, but you could describe the expected behaviour by just referencing CSS and defining a default stylesheet fragment. This would just mean that an HTML 5 implementation has to make things behave as if it used this CSS default stylesheet fragment

RIYS Link to mail thread
24.6.21 The bdo elementbdo element doesn't leave rendering up to presentation layer

"If the element has the dir attribute set to the exact value ltr, then for the purposes of the bidi algorithm, the user agent must act as if there was a U+202D LEFT-TO-RIGHT OVERRIDE character at the start of the element, and a U+202C POP DIRECTIONAL FORMATTING at the end of the element."

"If the element has the dir attribute set to the exact value rtl, then for the purposes of the bidi algorithm, the user agent must act as if there was a U+202E RIGHT-TO-LEFT OVERRIDE character at the start of the element, and a U+202C POP DIRECTIONAL FORMATTING at the end of the element."

The section about the <bdo> element does *not* leave the expected behavior completely up to the presentation layer - which is confusing. Content authors need to know if they should use CSS, if CSS would override the specified behavior etc.

RIYS Link to mail thread
3 The dir attributeAdd note about using bidi constructs in content

We propose that you add a note making clear that using the directional markup provided by HTML5 is is better than attaching CSS styling to arbitrary markup such as <p> etc., since information encoded in this way will apply to the content whether the CSS is used or not.

RIYE Link to mail thread The dir attributerlo and lro attribute values

Please consider allowing two new attribute values for the "dir" attribute: 'rlo' and 'lro' for dir. You do not need to remove the bdo element, but the new values will allow content authors to proceed to a scenario we described in the ITS 1.0 specification, It will also provide some additional power to the authors, since they will be able to attach dir="lro" to a block element.

RIYS Link to mail thread Pragma directiveswhat's the language of a document

Our proposal is as follows and is based on the text of the following sections:



[1] Explain clearly that declarations in the http header and the meta element refer to the document as an object, rather than the text in a specific element (this is what makes the distinction between single and multiple values sensible).

[2] Continue to recommend that the document-wide default language be defined by a lang attribute on the html tag, but say that if the lang attribute is missing and there is a language defined in the http or meta, then those language declarations can be used to guess the language of the text, if they contain a single value.

[3] Establish the precedence between http vs meta.

[4] Establish the rule that multiple values in the place that has precedence equates to lang="".

This is very close to what we already have, but doesn't try to make the meta declaration a different thing than the http declaration, or change it so that multiple values are no longer valid. At the same time, it allows either the http or the meta to provide language information for text-processing, if the declaration is useable.

We also feel that the spec seems to restrict the use of the term 'document-wide default language' to refer only to a language declared using the meta, and this is rather odd. We feel that in fact the lang attribute on the html element also establishes a document-wide default language. (See the text: "Until the pragma is successfully processed, there is no document-wide default language.")

Update: This comment became part of ISSUE-88.

RIYS Link to mail thread
64.6.18 The ruby elementruby code samples

The code samples in the ruby section are misleading because they show white-space between the components that should not be there.




漢 <rt> かん </rt>

字 <rt> じ </rt>



Either show the examples as the code should look, eg.




or add a note to say that the extra white space is there to show the structure clearly, but should not be copied.

Similar comments apply to the examples in the rp section that follows.

RI-E Link to mail thread
74.6.18 The ruby elementPlease add support for rb

In all the web sites that we looked at that currently use ruby markup in the wild, over 90% of code uses the rb tag. The current HTML5 model for ruby simplifies the code generally, but making the rb element obsolete will make most existing ruby code non-conformant and make it more difficult to copy code that follows the Ruby Annotation model, from XML or other formats, into HTML5.

Please allow optional use of the rb element as part of the HTML5 model.

RI-E Link to mail thread Specifying the document's character encodingAllow utf-16 encoding declarations

Currently you are not allowed to use <meta charset="utf-16"> or the equivalent pragma directive in utf-16 encoded documents. While logically it is not needed to identify the character encoding, it introduces a special case for authors to remember, and almost certainly many authors will be unaware that this is disallowed and will do it. In addition, in-document declarations of this kind are particularly useful for developers, testers, or translation production managers who want to visually check the encoding of a document (since the bom cannot be seen). Furthermore, there would appear to be no risk incurred by allowing this, since the document would be encoded in utf-16 anyway.

Note that the ask is not that the encoding of the document be determined by the meta element - the bom remains the way of determining that information - solely that no error or warning be raised if the meta element is used.

Please make an exception in the spec for utf-16 so that it is allowed to use <meta charset="utf-16"> or the equivalent pragma directive in utf-16 encoded documents.

RI-E Link to mail thread

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Comments: Inline markup ok. Always escape < and >.

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