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Re: Double-spaces at ends of sentences?

From: Patrick Rourke <ptrourke@mediaone.net>
Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2001 08:20:53 -0400
Message-ID: <001601c123f2$66552b40$5f00000a@psicorp.com>
To: <www-amaya@w3.org>
> In English it is customary to place two spaces after a period at the end
> a sentence.  However, current HTML browsers generally squeeze spaces into
> single space, so a paragraph like this one would be displayed with only
> space between sentences.

Only on a typewriter, as typewriters must use monospaced fonts. In
electronic typesetting, one uses an extended space after a period (I've
never worked with metal type, so I don't remember if one used two en-spaces
or a special double-en-space or some such piece of type). Word processors
automatically extend the space after a period, as do web browsers. I'd
suggest checking a book on typography out of the library if you're
interested in an extended discussion of this.

> Some current WYSIWYG HTML editors cover for this by changing the first
> to a non-breaking space (&nbsp;).  This forces the browser to display two
> spaces.

This is not correct behavior. The extended spacing should be handled
automatically at the browser level.

> I noticed that Amaya will change the NBSP-SP sequence into two regular
> spaces.  That is to say, if I read in a document with the NBSP-SP sequence
> and then save it again the sequence is changed to SP-SP.  Hmmm...

Probably a case of Amaya trying to cope with those WYSIWYG HTML editors and
their wrongheaded support of typewriter methods in a (limited, obviously)
electronic typesetting environment.

> I admit, there may be some change to the HTML specification to cover for
> this somehow and I just don't know about it.  Or perhaps Amaya has this
> behavior for some other reason to which I am not privy.  So I'm not
> this is a bug, I just would like to know the reasoning.

I hope the above is Amaya's reasoning.

Anyway, I hope this helps. Unfortunately, everyone has taken typing classes,
but no one who teaches keyboarding in this electronic world has ever studied
or practiced electronic typesetting, so this particular bit of
misinformation continues to spread (my own company wrongly uses a double
space in our publications).

Patrick Rourke
Received on Monday, 13 August 2001 08:24:21 UTC

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