#342 New section on encoding text directionality


The ticket arises out of this discussion on TEI-L:


The Guidelines currently have little or no information on how to encode directionality of text (both horizontally and vertically). The implicit recommendation is to use the W3C's Internationalization Tag Set:


which would involve using e.g. @its:dir="rtl" for right-to-left. There is an example showing how to build a TEI schema in the Exemplars:


ITS, however, doesn't handle vertical text layout (as in Japanese, for instance).

The proposal is to add a new section to Languages and Character Sets (CH) that covers:

- Inherent directionality in Unicode codepoints
- Unicode embedding and override codepoints for directionality
- Desirability of making directionality explicit in encoding (ref http://www.w3.org/International/questions/qa-bidi-css-markup\)
- Recommended use of ITS, and explanation of how to create a schema incorporating it
- Possible approaches to vertical orientation using CSS (http://dev.w3.org/csswg/css3-writing-modes/)
- Differentiation between vertical orientation as common in Japanese text and rotated blocks, which can be handled with tei:zone/@rotate.


  • Lou Burnard

    Lou Burnard - 2012-03-15
    • milestone: --> RED
  • Lou Burnard

    Lou Burnard - 2012-03-15

    Seems like a good idea to me, but needs input from specialists to draft a new section

  • BODARD Gabriel

    BODARD Gabriel - 2012-03-20

    Should we form a working group to propose a draft of this section? I volunteer to join said group, as this is an issue I've had some interest in. Martin, who else would you invite to such a group?

  • stuart yeates

    stuart yeates - 2012-04-12

    I would be really reluctant to see us duplicate the work of others.

    I suggest that as much of this as possible be done in a non-normative manner, illustrating how TEI can work with these standards rather than extending TEI to cover this ground.

  • James Cummings

    James Cummings - 2012-06-29
    • assigned_to: nobody --> stuartyeates
  • James Cummings

    James Cummings - 2012-08-09
    • assigned_to: stuartyeates --> martindholmes
  • James Cummings

    James Cummings - 2012-08-09

    Reassigning to Martin Holmes from Stuart Yeates, so we keep track of this. I agree that this needs looking at and that we should gather people who know more about it to suggest standards to adopt/recommend.

  • Kevin Hawkins

    Kevin Hawkins - 2012-12-22

    For the record, Council decided in Oxford that MH would consult such people as D. Anderson, F. Sasaki and M. Bingenheimer, along with the TEI-L list, to put together a group to create a recommendation for a new Guidelines section on encoding text directionality. The workgroup now has a wiki page: http://wiki.tei-c.org/index.php/Text_Directionality_Workgroup .

  • Martin Holmes

    Martin Holmes - 2013-03-17

    Just an update: work is proceeding on this, and is being tracked on the wiki page. We are moving slowly because we're waiting for the final version of http://www.unicode.org/reports/tr50/, and the next release of Unicode, before drafting our Guidelines section, which will refer to both. In the meantime, we may proceed with a section on text rotation, which we intend to distinguish from true text directionality.

  • Martin Holmes

    Martin Holmes - 2013-11-11
    • Group: RED --> AMBER
    • Priority: 5 --> 1(low)
  • Martin Holmes

    Martin Holmes - 2013-11-11

    Changed this ticket to Amber, because although it's a long way from ready, we have reached the stage where a first draft is ready to be discussed by Council.

  • Martin Holmes

    Martin Holmes - 2013-11-13
    • Priority: 1(low) --> 5(default)
  • Martin Holmes

    Martin Holmes - 2014-01-17

    Council decided during the January telco that MH and LB will move forward with integrating the draft into a rewritten Chapter 10, incorporating sections from other chapters as discussed at the November face-to-face, this work to begin one week after the release of 2.6.0 in January.

  • Martin Holmes

    Martin Holmes - 2014-02-04

    I've now added all the images (with permissions in zip files per TCW20) from the draft to the P5/Images folder in SVN (rev 12830).

  • Martin Holmes

    Martin Holmes - 2014-07-01

    Rewrite completed, new section in Guidelines for next release, and Council has signed off on it. Closing this ticket with thanks to everyone who helped.

  • Martin Holmes

    Martin Holmes - 2014-07-01
    • status: open --> closed-fixed
    • Group: AMBER --> GREEN

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