Re: Hyphenation (was Re: A suggested tag)

Foteos Macrides (MACRIDES@SCI.WFBR.EDU)
Fri, 18 Apr 1997 17:46:06 -0500 (EST)


Date: Fri, 18 Apr 1997 17:46:06 -0500 (EST)
From: Foteos Macrides <MACRIDES@SCI.WFBR.EDU>
Subject: Re: Hyphenation (was Re: A suggested tag)
To: dsr@w3.org
Cc: www-html@w3.org
Message-id: <01IHUXW88Y42003VVO@SCI.WFBR.EDU>

Dave Raggett <dsr@w3.org> wrote:
>> 3. Still, if aiming at perfectness, there should be a way to specify
>>    the hyphenation of an _occurrence_ of a word - using some element
>>    and associated attribute related to the occurrence, not to the word
>>    in general. The reason is that a language may have words which
>>    have the same spelling but should still be hyphenated differently.
>>    Admittedly, this means that the orthography is not perfect. But
>>    this is a fact of life. (Pobody is nerfect.)
>
>Netscape currently supports <wbr> as an invisible word break point
>but doesn't add a trailing "-" when the line is wrapped at this
>point.  Needless to say IE 3.0 doesn't recognize this tag. Both
>browsers map &shy; to a "-" character, but neither is able to wrap
>the line after the &shy; entity.
>
>It makes sense then to recommend that browser support wrapping after
>&shy; and to introduce a new tag for invisible hyphenation points
>that are also invisible in downlevel browsers.  What should thistag 
>be called?  <W> doesn't seem sufficiently self evident. Some other
>possibilities include <HYPHEN>, <SHY>, and <HY>

	W is too short, HYPHEN is too long, so SHY or HY seem the
best choices.

	I just patched support into Lynx for SHY and HY (as synonyms,
for now) and treat them equivalently to its handling of &shy; and &#173;
which is based on the clear, detailed specification for handling soft
hyphens in RFC 2070 (i18n).  They indicate a permissible wrap point,
but a hyphen will be inserted only if the rendering does yield a wrap
there.  Is this the intended handling of soft hyphens in the HTML 3.2
Proposed Standard and Courgar draft, and if so, could a comparably
clear section about it be added for Cougar?

	I think WBR also is worth adding, as a complement to SHY or
HY, both indicating a permissible wrap point, but with insertion of
a hyphen for one and not the other.

	But please do keep them simple, basically as tags corresponding
to entities, but degrading better for browsers which don't recognize
or support them (i.e., ignored as "unknown tags"), and leave more
elaborate hyphenation to dictionaries/style sheets/heuristic hyphenators.

				Fote

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