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too late for <wbr>, too soon for &#x200B; ?

From: Doug Cooper <doug@th.net>
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 18:30:08 +0700
Message-Id: <>
To: www-international@w3.org
  Greetings from Bangkok.

  As far as I can tell, current browsers (eg. Netscape 4.6, 4.7)
have done away with <WBR>, but still do not implement the 
zero-width space &#x200B; (the decimal doesn't work either).

  I realize that <WBR> has long been a deprecated feature, but it
has been the only way to obtain a necessary functionality.  The
current situation breaks almost all html pages -- most painfully, 
those on CD and/or in indexed archives -- for non-segmented 
languages like Lao, Khmer, Burmese, Thai and dozens of others 
in Southeast Asia.  

  -- Is anybody currently speaking up for the interests of the alphabetic,
     non-segmented writing systems of SEA?   Who?
  -- Do W3 or the major players _believe_ that somebody _is_ 
     speaking  up?   Who?

  My assumption is that Chinese and Japanese -- which pose easier
problems for minimal 'weak' (not complete, but not incorrect) 
segmentation -- have dominated discussion, and led to the notion
that this is a solved problem.  It ain't.  Nor are algorithms like maximal
matching at render-time much of a solution.

  I'm raising this issue now both in the hope of resurrecting <wbr>,
and also of helping to make sure that any of the alternatives are
generalizable, and not just 'let's hard wire language X and forget
about the rest.'  Any interest?

  Doug Cooper
          1425 VP Tower, 21/45 Soi Chawakun
        Rangnam Road, Rajthevi, Bangkok, 10400
    doug@th.net (662) 246-8946  fax (662) 246-8789 

  Southeast Asian Software Research Center, Bangkok
  http://seasrc.th.net         -->  SEASRC Web site
  http://seasrc.th.net/sealang --> SEALANG Web site
Received on Thursday, 23 March 2000 06:30:51 UTC

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