W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > December 2012

Re: HTML 5.1 Use Cases

From: Thomas A. Fine <fine@head.cfa.harvard.edu>
Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2012 17:38:57 -0500
Message-ID: <50DB7C81.6020406@head.cfa.harvard.edu>
To: Lee Kowalkowski <lee.kowalkowski@googlemail.com>
CC: public-html <public-html@w3.org>
On 12/20/12 5:56 PM, Lee Kowalkowski wrote:
> On 20 December 2012 19:04, Thomas A. Fine <fine@head.cfa.harvard.edu
>     [...] You shouldn't have to configure everything
>     "wrong" at the highest level, so that you can override the "wrong"
>     setting as needed at all lower levels.  That's just poor design.
>
> A separate property would be better, but that doesn't mean the outer
> level is wrong, just different, if it wasn't called word-spacing, but
> space-width, it wouldn't really be the wrong way around, would it?
>   Sentences are at a higher level than words, I think, it doesn't look
> the wrong way around to my mental model of the structure, sentence
> spacing would be specified at the paragraph level, and word spacing at
> the sentence level.

Look at it this way.  You should configure the default at a higher 
level, and overrides at the lower level.  Here, sentence spacing is the 
exception not the rule, but you are configuring it as the rule, and word 
spacing as the exception.  Backwards.

> Not necessarily, there isn't a letter element for letter-spacing or a
> word element for word-spacing.

What exactly would sentence-spacing configure if you didn't have 
something that was defined as a sentence?

> Well, my example was a little old-school.  In today's browsers, you
> could just:
>
> .sentence:after
> {
>      content:' ';
> word-spacing:.5em;
> }‚Äč
>
> Then you would be able to leave normal word spacing at the default setting.

This is an excellent formatting option that I wasn't aware of.  Thanks. 
  I'll have to update my web page on formatting sentences to include this.

I suppose it does weaken

> It's the CSS that isn't hard. The hard part is using HTML to mark up
> sentences.  I would find that extremely tedious (unless a markdown
> processor used 2-spaces as a delimiter). Telling HTML students they
> never need to use the sentence element would also feel a bit of a weird
> thing to have to do.

I'm experimenting with a feature on my blog, where it reformats 
sentences on the fly by adding a tag around the space between sentences 
and adjusts the word-spacing on that one single space.  It only requires 
the author to have the two-space habit that many of us have anyway.

It's a very incomplete solution, but it at least demonstrates that 
formatting sentences doesn't have to be a user-intensive task.

> Although I'm not sure if you're suggesting a sentence element any more.

There's potentially several ways to solve the formatting problem (see my 
message a few days ago in www-style).  And the one you've suggested 
above using the "after" selector is perhaps the cleanest one so far. But 
the only one that also provides a semantic benefit is a sentence tag.

       tom
Received on Wednesday, 26 December 2012 22:39:26 UTC

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