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[css3-text] [css3-linebox] typesetting defaults, auto values, and i18n

From: fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>
Date: Thu, 09 Jun 2011 17:35:53 +0900
Message-ID: <4DF085E9.1070607@inkedblade.net>
To: "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>, "public-i18n-core@w3.org" <public-i18n-core@w3.org>
So, the more I work on typesetting i18n, the more obvious it becomes to me
that the defaults in CSS are all skewed towards typesetting European text.
A Japanese author needs to tweak a lot of things to get their page to work
right, which is a problem because they also need to know that these controls
exist.

Ideally, CSS would have auto defaults for such properties that Just Work.
But realistically, we need to reliably know the dominant script of the text,
just like the bidi algorithm needs to know the dominant directionality.

There are a large class of settings that need to be tweaked on a per-language
or per-typesetting-style basis. I don't think that we can realistically handle
all of these. There are way too many variations, and we are certain to leave
out lesser-understood language-specific typesetting requirements (which,
afaict, pretty much means everything except Japanese and English).

But if we know the dominant script, we could handle some fairly significant
things with that. For example, choosing the dominant baseline, or choosing
the correct orientation of ambiguous punctuation in 'vertical-right' text.

There are some 'auto' values in older drafts of our i18n-sensitive specs
that are supposed to magically do the right thing, but for which the magic
is undefined. We might consider having them key off the dominant writing
system in documents for which this information is provided. It won't handle
the language-specific variations, and we'll still need to choose a default
behavior for the vast majority of untagged pages, but we could do some
amount of automatic adjustment for authors who opt in by doing the extra
work of tagging their documents with this information. (Authors can tag
their documents by using the script subtag of the language tag.)

Thoughts?

~fantasai
Received on Thursday, 9 June 2011 08:36:32 GMT

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