W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > November 2005

Re: line breaks in XHTML 2.0

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Date: Mon, 7 Nov 2005 16:27:02 +0200 (EET)
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.63.0511071617520.1626@korppi.cs.tut.fi>

On Mon, 7 Nov 2005, Manuel Strehl wrote:

> #1 about <br />: Alright, but <l> is just intended for mark up single
> lines. So if I want to break the line between two sentences I have to
> use </p><p>?

If you have two paragraphs, you use two <p> elements.

As far as I can see, there is no way to create a forced line break
(in XHTML 2.0 as currently drafted) without specifying a line, <l>.
You could of course use CSS for the purpose (in theory, that is - but 
XHTML 2.0 too is just theory).

The draft seems to define <l> as a line so that there must be a line break 
before and after it _and_ no line breaks inside it. This means that you 
can't use <l> as a simple substitute for <br>. This is probably a good 
principle; <br> isn't really logical markup.

> #2 about &shy;, <wbr>: Old problem, not even solved by <wbr>: In German
> you have words like Daten-Set (en: data set). Actually it is allowed to
> syllabify the word to 'Daten-' and 'Set'.

<wbr> works well, or at least better than any of the more theoretical 
approaches. It's nonstandard and will probably remain so, and it's poorly 
named (it does _not_ mean word break but a line break opportunity).

> When you mark it up like Daten-&shy;Set, what will you get, if the
> browser breaks the line? Daten--\nSet. Two hyphens will be displayed,
> not really what was intended.

Or you get Daten--Set with no line break. Besides, this isn't a place for 
soft hyphen, whatever you think about that character otherwise.

> That's kind of a problem and not on the fringes: HTML document reads in
> German HTML-Dokument. You see, it's quite common. If you have such words
> in a rather small navigation bar, you soon run into real problems.

Surely. But the basic problem is that browsers cannot hyphenate German,
or any language. The problem that you _can_ do something about is the
small navigation bar. Simply remove it, or stop trying to make it narrow.
(In navigation, less is more.)

Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Received on Monday, 7 November 2005 14:27:08 UTC

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