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Chapter 7. Looking Ahead to HTML 4.0 > New Directions Overview

7.1. New Directions Overview

With a lot of the basic content issues covered in HTML 3.2, the new items in HTML 4.0 focus on topics that reflect more mature thinking about the role of the World Wide Web as a global, universal, content publishing medium. Many concerns that have been addressed by computer operating system and application software makers for years are being formalized for the Web for the first time in Version 4.0. This section highlights the new directions in HTML 4.0.

7.1.1. Internationalization

Surprise! Inhabitants of Earth do not all use the English language or the Roman alphabet. HTML 4.0 adopts various industry efforts to assist with internationalization. These are meant to support both the authoring of content in any of the world's written languages and the display of that content in any alphabet, including non-Roman ones, such as Cyrillic, Arabic, Hebrew, Chinese, Japanese, and the rest. Of course, the browser and operating system underneath it must do all the hard work in terms of rendering character sets that are not native to the system. Acceptance of the Unicode character set (ISO 10646) is a first step in making these facilities seamless to users.


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