Requests for comment/Vertical writing support

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Request for comment (RFC)Requests for comment
Vertical writing support
Component General
Creation date 2013-08-07
Author(s) Yair rand
Document status in draft
See Phabricator.
General2013-08-07Yair randT353

Vertical writing support in Mediawiki is necessary in order to have wikis in vertically written languages, such as American Sign Language and Mongolian. Vertical text is currently supported by Internet Explorer 8+ (with partial support in 5.5-7[1]), Google Chrome,[2] Safari, and Opera 15, but is not yet supported by Mozilla Firefox (Mozilla bug 145503). Vertical text uses the CSS writing-mode property; see the W3C CSS Writing Modes Module Level 3.

In order to support vertical writing, CSSJanus will need to be adapted to automatically rotate the CSS, much like the CSS is flipped horizontally for right-to-left languages.

Screenshot from the ASL Wikipedia test project on Incubator.

Additionally, there would need to be a way to rotate certain Mediawiki images (arrows, bars, etc.), presumably automatically. Certain scripts would need to be modified to comply with the page direction as well. (Width needs to become height, top to become left, left to top, etc.)

CLDR does not currently include language-to-writing-mode mappings.

There are approximately seventy million people whose native language is a sign language, as well as several million users of Mongolian script, who would benefit from vertical writing support in Mediawiki. Vertical text may also be useful as an option for the Classical Chinese localization. Creation of an ASL Wikipedia is currently blocked by lack of vertical writing support.

Architecture meetings[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. IE 5.5 through 7 support tb-rl (top-to-bottom, right-to-left, as is sometimes used in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean), but do not support left-to-right vertical text, as is used as the exclusive direction for SignWriting and Mongolian script.
  2. Except form elements, like the Vector skin’s search box. A horizontal search box would break Vector’s page layout.