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Re: Will spacing issue after italics EVER be addressed?

From: Mikko Rantalainen <mikko.rantalainen@peda.net>
Date: Tue, 10 Jan 2006 14:43:31 +0200
Message-ID: <43C3ABF3.4040303@peda.net>
To: www-html@w3.org

Johannes Koch wrote:
> Bonnie Granat wrote:
> 
>>It's hard to believe that by 2006 there has been no manner of ensuring that
>>extra space in inserted after an italicized word in HTML text.
> 
> I think this is about presentation of content, and IMHO it's not a 
> property of a markup or stylesheet language but a responsibility of the 
> renderer.

I agree. I haven't examined the problem in detail but my guess is 
that most commonly used font subsystems don't really provide 
succifient support for required font measurements.

The actual problem is rendering text sequence "iiirrr" where the 
"iii" part is italiced and "rrr" marks regular text. If font 
subsystem doesn't support measuring the whole string "iiirrr" where 
parts of the string must be rendered with different fonts then the 
UA has no other way but to render "iii" and "rrr" as separate items 
and simply catenate those together. The thing is, the font subsystem 
is the only part of the whole process that has any *real* knowledge 
about the required spacing  (or kerning) between the "i" and "r". 
Most italic (or slanted) fonts share basic font metrics with 
corresponding regular font. The only case where there should be a 
difference is spacing between the characters when changing between 
different fonts. A badly designed font may lack this information and 
as a result, no high quality rendering is possible with such font.

There's no way the problem could be *correctly* fixed by content or 
style sheet author. Neither of them cannot know how much extra space 
(notice that correct rendering could also require negative spacing 
in case the rendering subsystem applied too much extra space) should 
be added at the font change positions. And please, don't tell me 
that the problem is only with intranet content so "the available 
fonts and system settings are known".

-- 
Mikko
Received on Tuesday, 10 January 2006 12:43:53 GMT

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