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IE border problems with dir="rtl"

Sent by Ryan Becker on 18 July 2005 22:10


I've been considering what would be a better test. Consider this page:

  <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN"
"http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">
  <html dir="rtl">
    <head>
      <title>Underline Test</title>
      <style>
        .underlinedText {
          border-bottom: 1px solid #FF0000;
        }
      </style>
    </head>
    <body>
      <div style="position:relative; top:20px;">
        Here comes a red underline (next sentence).
        <span class="underlinedText">This sentence has a red
underline.</span>
        Well, there it was, or should have been.
      <div>
    </body>
  </html>

IE renders this fine when dir="ltr", but chokes when dir="rtl". To see
if a solution handles wrapping, the page can be resized to force the
underlined sentence to break. The sentence should be underlined across
all line breaks, exactly as it is in LTR mode. You can clearly see how
_zoom:1 (the best idea thus far, from Ingo Chao) fails with this test
page. I would like a solution requiring only one tag, like this example,
but I don't mind settling for several nested tags if that's what it
takes to make this test page render correctly. I can't believe MS let
serious RTL rendering bugs like this slip by unnoticed, when they were
one of the first to embrace internationalization.

If someone has a solution for this, I'd love to hear it. If I end up
discovering a work-around myself, I'll post it, because I have a hard
time believing no one else has, or will, stumble across this bug, or
something related.

I'm also curious to know what RTL resources people have found around the
web. Here are my 3 references:

- http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/struct/dirlang.html#h-8.2
- http://www.i18nguy.com/markup/right-to-left.html
- http://www.microsoft.com/mind/1099/localize/localize.asp

When I started working with RTL, I figured lots of people and companies
had experience doing this, but then I started looking for sites
supporting RTL languages and discovered that not even GMail supports it
(and Google can do everything, right? ;-) ...or so I thought). One more
question, if there's anyone else out there navigating the crazy world of
IE RTL development: Has anyone attempted, successfully or otherwise, to
completely ditch the RTL rendering modes and do all the right-to-left
work themselves? It almost seems like it could be easier to do that
(using dir="rtl" on text only).

Ryan
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