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Re: proposal to expose word breaker through JavaScript

From: Xiaomei Ji <xji@chromium.org>
Date: Wed, 29 Jul 2009 11:17:13 -0700
Message-ID: <a7aebc750907291117t31d2759cg3a8515df1e5e6601@mail.gmail.com>
To: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>, amla70@gmail.com
Cc: public-webapps@w3.org, ap@webkit.org, jshin@chromium.org
Hi Anne, Alfonso,
Thanks for your reply and the reference to Microsoft's range.expand.
Please see my reply inline.

On Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 6:35 AM, Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com> wrote:

> Initially I did not quite understand what this API was proposing, but after
> reading it a few times it seems to mimic the behavior of what typically
> happens when you double-click a "word".

Yes. you are right. It is to identify a word when user mouse over or
click on a page. A specific use case is dictionary, which shows the
word definition when user mouse over or click in a webpage.

For example: following JS code would locate a word under mouse.

var range = document.caretRangeFromPoint(event.clientX, event.clientY);

var word = document.expandRange(range, 'word');

> I'm still not quite sure whether I understand the API though. Is "word" a
> keyword on how the range is to be extended or is it an example? Also,
> wouldn't it be better to put the method on Range rather than Document?

"word" is a keyword.  Like Microsoft's
a range could be extended to a 'character', a 'word', a 'sentence', or a
'line' etc.

As to whether it should be a method in Document or in Range, it is open to

> And finally, use cases would help as well as a definition of "word
> boundary" and how this works/won't work in an international context.

A word is the smallest semantic form in one language. In languages use space
to break word, such as English, a word is a collection of characters
terminated by a space or punctuation. In languages do not use space to break
word, such as Chinese, word breaker is needed to break a word.

The API should work for English, at least. Whether it works in an
international context depends on whether the layout engine/browser supports
correct word breaker in that language.


> Cheers,
> --
> Anne van Kesteren
> http://annevankesteren.nl/
Received on Wednesday, 29 July 2009 18:17:54 UTC

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