Re: breaking with nonspace characters

Peter Flynn (
23 Sep 1996 15:28:48 +0100

Date: 23 Sep 1996 15:28:48 +0100
From: Peter Flynn <>
Subject: Re: breaking with nonspace characters
In-reply-to: <> (message from Carl Morris
Message-id: <>

   Howed I know?  Simple, I wrote this as an email message meanning that
   you have no choice, I my mail program wraps at 72 characters!  HTML on
   the otherhand wraps at each users terminal size, THATS WHY I NEED TO

You were describing _enforced_ wrap points, not _suggested-
ones. Suggesting wrap points is still the last resort: browsers need
to be able to handle much better algorithmic wrapping first.

   Where can I maybe find this ... I know you mentioned lots of names
   above... but I don't remember seeing any sources...

Read the references I gave. Start with Appendix H of the TeXbook
(Knuth, D; Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0-201-13447-0).

   Yes there is, one called SHY...  MSIE even supports it, but HTML 3.2
   doesn't yet define it although its mentioned in the spec...

There are lots of things missing from HTML 3.2, especially in the
areas of serious information content. It's a sort of HTML3 Lite with
the useful bits removed and some obsolete stuff reinserted, but with
some handy new elements as well (and some less so :-)

   I don't understand you here...  The most I have seen is browsers that
   will act upon normal hyphens which can sometimes be breaks...  I don't
   see where any automatic algorythem could be used on english words
   without some risk of screwing up either...

Then you do seriously need to go and look at typesetting systems if
you want to understand how it works. Browsers are very clever in many
ways, but they were mostly written by people who had no knowledge of
typographic presentation, and have had to reinvent the wheel even to
get where they are today.