[webkit-dev] Disjointed selection ranges

Glenn Adams glenn at skynav.com
Tue Aug 14 15:28:39 PDT 2012

On Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 1:43 PM, Ryosuke Niwa <rniwa at webkit.org> wrote:

> On Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 1:14 PM, Glenn Adams <glenn at skynav.com> wrote:
>> On Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 12:25 PM, Ryosuke Niwa <rniwa at webkit.org> wrote:
>>> On Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 11:51 AM, Shezan Baig <shezbaig.wk at gmail.com>wrote:
>>>> We are using embedded WebKit in our application, and we need to be
>>>> able to use disjointed selection ranges for table editing.  I was
>>>> wondering whether anybody is currently working on implementing this,
>>>> and is there any bug number for it?  If not, I will attempt to
>>>> implement it based on the approach described by Eric in [1] and [2].
>>> I don't think we should implement general multi-range selection. It
>>> causes all sorts of hell in editing.
>> keep in mind that you need this or something much like it to handle
>> correct selection in some complex scripts (e.g., indic scripts) as well as
>> bidi contexts
> What do you mean by "correct"?

I mean understandable and repeatable.

> Selection in bidirectional text follow logical order on all major browsers
> although Gecko supports a non-default option to use visual-order selection.
> I've talked with many native RTL speakers who have a lot of experience
> working with bidirectional text but they almost unanimously agreed that
> selecting text in visual order is a bad idea.

In my experience working with middle eastern and indic display and editing
systems, both (logical and visual selection) modes have legitimate uses,
and one mode should not be eliminated simply because there may be a
majority (of a random sample) that prefers one mode. Personally, I use both
modes for different reasons.

> Also, when you copy the text selected by visual order and pasting it to
> somewhere else, we need to somehow serialize the text and the algorithm by
> which to do this is not well defined.

Agreed. Existing specs covering browser behavior do not define this very
well. My point in bringing it up was simply that there are legitimate use
cases for supporting disjoint, multi-range selection.
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