[whatwg] Proposal in supporting the writing of "Arabizi"

Sergiusz Wolicki sergiusz at wolicki.com
Thu Dec 1 10:19:03 PST 2011

What you are proposing is not a HTML feature but an O/S- or
browser-specific functionality equivalent to East Asian IMEs.  East Asian
IMEs (input method editors = complex keyboard processors), which often use
a similar phonetic method to enter ideographic or syllabic characters, can
be activated by a keyboard sequence in any text field, not only INPUT

It would be nice to have the mentioned functionality in each browsers, but
each Chinese user would like something like this for Chinese as well. As a
Polish, I would like a way to insert Polish characters easily in any
browser as well. The proposed feature is therefore not a matter of HTML or
even browsers but rather of the operating systems.

Also, the lang= attribute is already well defined for any HTML element.
You cannot specify lang="arabizi" because there is no such language in the
relevant ISO standard (ISO 639).  "Arabizi" is a pseudo-script but it is
also not in the relevant ISO standard (ISO 15924). Therefore, "ar-Arabizi"
is also illegal. You could theoretically say lang="x-arabizi" (private tag)
but then you would not be able to properly specify the actual language, for
example for a spellchecker.


On Thu, Dec 1, 2011 at 10:07 AM, Sami Eljabali <seljabali at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hello, I apologize if this an incorrect forum to propose new html features
> in which case you may disregard this email, however should you know a more
> appropriate forum then please let me know, else I ask you to please
> entertain
> this email. :)
> There's a need for phonetic based keyboard support for Arabic speaking
> users on today's internet. There are two primary reasons for this:
> 1) Many Arabic speaking users don't surf in Arabic. A good portion of them
> are in non-arabic speaking countries, hence more often than not have
> non-arabic keyboards therefore finding it difficult to write Arabic on the
> internet. There are on the contrary, virtual Arabic keyboards on the OS
> level, as well as on sites like Google <http://www.google.ae/> addressing
> this, however phonetically spelling out a word, and seeing a list of words
> containing the one you were trying to spell out is dramatically more
> effective than the counterpart.
> 2) It vastly aids those with lacking a thorough Arabic education to
> properly to spell out what they phonetically know, hence allows a greater
> audience including non-natives to write in Arabic.
> *
> *
> *Proposal:*
> Have the interpreter described above be embedded within browsers and
> enabled when users click and focus on text fields defined as: <input
> type="text" lang="arabizi"> to interpret
> Arabizi<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_chat_alphabet>as Arabic.
> Should a browser not support it, then the <input type="text"> would be the
> fallback attribute leaving users writing in a plain text field.
> *
> *
> *Advantages of a Browser Implementation*
> 1) Guaranteed availability and ease of use for users continually relying on
> this feature, opposed to using third party service
> <http://www.yamli.com>or installed software.
> 2) Exposure to the majority of users in need of this capability.
> Furthermore, we believe the "lang" attribute opens doors in supporting
> other languages. Even showing a virtual keyboard for most spoken languages,
> and its variations, would ultimately ensure the ability everyone to express
> themselves in their language(s) of choosing on the internet.
> Your feedback is more than appreciated.
> Thank you for your time,
> Sami Eljabali
> Daniel Bates

More information about the whatwg mailing list