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Re: Oversize / Dropped Caps and Initials are NOT paragraph styles.

From: Bert Bos <bert@let.rug.nl>
Date: Tue, 11 Jul 1995 13:27:18 +0200 (METDST)
Message-Id: <199507111127.AA081582039@freya.let.rug.nl>
To:
Cc: www-style@www10.w3.org
Benjamin Sittler writes:
 |Oversize caps, dropped caps, oversize initials and dropped initials are
 |*not* paragraph styles, since they can be applied to any region of text,
 |from a single letter on up... the only way in which they could be
 |considered paragraph styles is that their size and position affect layout,
 |but the same is true of most character-level elements. For example, I may
 |wish to have all the capital letters in a certain header enlarged, or only
 |the first one. Being perverse, I could ask for the first and last letters
 |to be enlarged and dropped. 
 |
 |Are we going to create a billion different paragraph styles (i.e. first
 |word in small-caps with large, dropped initial, first two words in
 |small-caps with large, dropped initial, first and last cap enlarged and
 |dropped, first seven words in small caps, etc...) or will we do it
 |intelligently, by using character-level styles, like STRONG.First :
 |font.style = small caps & dropped initial?

You're right, there is no reason why this kind of decoration cannot be
applied to arbitrary stretches of text. With one exception: a large
initial at the start of a paragraph causes text to flow around it, so
this style is impossible for an element that doesn't start on a new
line.

On the other hand, I don't see any alternative for creating `a billion
different styles', since I want to be able to render an element in all
these styles without adding any tags to the SGML source.

At the same time, I don't want to add too many extra properties or
complicate the style language too much.

As a concrete example of the problem, say I want to render this
paragraph, which has no tags besides <P>:

  <P>This is a paragraph. This is the second line, This is another
  line. This is the last line. No it isn't.</P>

Then how do we get the following designs:

    ### his is a paragraph. This
     # is the second line, This
     # is another line. This is
    the last line. No it isn't.

    THIS IS A PARAGRAPH. THIS
    is the second line, This
    is another line. This is
    the last line. No it isn't.

    ### HIS IS A paragraph. this
     # is the second line, This
     # is another line. This is
    the last line. No it isn't.

    ### h i s  i s  a  p a r a g r a p h .
     # This is the second line, This is
     # another line. This is the last
    line. No it isn't.

Here are some possibilities, none of them really appeals to me:

  *P: large.initial = yes,  oversize.font.size = +5
  *P: text.transform = capitalize-first-line
  *P: text.drop-cap = true,  text.transform = caps-3

Maybe we should leave some room in the language for additions in
a later version.



Bert

-- 
                          Bert Bos                      Alfa-informatica
                 <bert@let.rug.nl>           Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
    <http://www.let.rug.nl/~bert/>     Postbus 716, NL-9700 AS GRONINGEN
Received on Tuesday, 11 July 1995 07:27:39 GMT

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