Re: an HTML question

Chris Lilley, Computer Graphics Unit (
Tue, 31 May 1994 13:46:06 GMT

Tsam <> said:

> Is there a way to do a global "reverse-order" of text inside an HTML
> document (from "document" to "tnemucod"...;)) ? and, alternatively - is
> there a utility that can perform this revrsal task in ascii ?? (which can
> later be converted to HTML format...)

Inferring from your email address, in particular the country code, I have this
advice to give:

Don't do this. Its a hack. Get a browser that supports right to left ordering

At WWW94 I spoke to Toshihiro Takada about Mosaic-L10n, the internationalised
Mosaic, and we found that a mixture of hebrew and english was rendered
incorrectly. (All english or all hebrew is OK). He is now looking at the
problem, which goes like this:

hebrew-words-1 english-word hebrew-words-2 gets rendered on screen as

hebrew-words-1 english-word hebrew-words-2|
<<<<<<<<<<<<< >>>>>>>>>>>> <<<<<<<<<<<<<<|margin

in other words you get the second bit of the sentence first (reading right to
left). The correct algorithm requires scanning ahead to detect changes to a
labguage written with a different direction, rendering it to a buffer or
otherwise determining the length, saving the position, offsetting by the length
and rendering it into the gap. This algorithm will also work for snippets of
hebrew in english text.

although I do not myself speak any languages that require other than ISO
Latin-1, I regard multinational support as crucial to the success of the Web,
assuming we want to go on calling it the World Wide Web and not the Much of
Western Europe plus the United States Narrow Web. Otherwise we disenfranchise
huge sections of the user population.

Chris Lilley
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