[webkit-dev] Supporting css ime-mode property

Ryosuke Niwa rniwa at webkit.org
Tue Oct 5 14:31:33 PDT 2010

On Tue, Oct 5, 2010 at 11:26 AM, Alexey Proskuryakov <ap at webkit.org> wrote:
>   Also, I don't think the difference between IE and Firefox's
> implementation affects CJK websites, which presumably will be the primary
> users of ime-mode.
> I think it does. An example that was given by Kenichi Ishibashi in <
> https://bugs.webkit.org/show_bug.cgi?id=21279> was a site that used
> ime-mode to limit input to Katakana. You can't type Katakana when an
> ASCII-capable IM is forced on Mac, can you?

That's exactly why we need to activate IME there.  If I understood his
comment, Kenichi is saying that we need to activate IME to type names in
Katakana while we need to deactivate IME to type in card numbers, etc... not
that website disables IME to restrict the input to Katakana.

> We really should have named this property as cjk-ime-mode!
> Yes, every feature that's added to the Web is only put to good use, exactly
> as envisioned by its creators.
> Do you suggest limiting the feature to pages that specify lang="ja"? I
> didn't respond to you previous e-mail, because I don't see how any argument
> of usefulness on "CJK websites" in specific circumstances is an answer to
> concerns about possible harm.

I don't think we can limit it to pages with lang="ja" because I speculate
that most of Japanese websites don't specify the language.  I'm quite
confused as to why you're so concerned about adding this property because
we're not changing the default behavior of WebKit by supporting this new
property.  If anything, developers don't use this property and their
websites work as they do today.  And if some websites decide to use
ime-mode, I'd expect them to know what they're doing.  This might mean that
such websites won't work for users who don't regularly use CJK languages but
many of CJK websites don't target such users anyways.

> - What to do on platforms other than Mac and Windows? We can do whatever is
> "appropriate" or not support it at the moment.
>  Making it easier for web sites to support only a subset of important
> platforms is not something that I see as a good thing.  I think that
> whoever proposes adding a feature to desktop WebKit needs to make sure that
> it doesn't make mobile users miserable. We need to improve both.
> I'm not saying we can't implement it.  I'm just suggesting to implement it
only for Mac and Windows (or Windows only if we're so inclined) first until
we figure out what's correct on other platforms.  I'm confident that there's
a way to support this feature in almost every platform with IMEs.

> - What to do with the harm from future misuse, which is more than likely,
>> given that most (all?) suggested use cases were wrong?
> I think it's websites' fault if they misuse CSS property.
> We cannot expect this level of i18n awareness from web site authors. Pretty
> much every use of this feature is a misuse, but it takes considerable
> experience to know why.

Yes, that's why I expect most of developers will not use this feature.  As
MDC points out, this feature is for Web apps and alike that require heavy
localization; they don't target international users and i18n isn't a concern
for them.

I now tested, and it looks like Mac Firefox doesn't actually implement
> ime-mode, despite documentation claims. That's surprising, could you please
> check that?

As far as I checked on Firefox 4.0b6, it is implemented and works as
expected.  Do you have a different version of Firefox?

- Ryosuke
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