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RE: Sentence spacing and nested quotes

From: Braden N. McDaniel <braden@shadow.net>
Date: Sat, 28 Nov 1998 14:02:36 -0500
To: "Matthew Skala" <mskala@ansuz.sooke.bc.ca>, "Scott K. Laws" <scott@elvis.mu.org>
Cc: "style-list" <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <005401be1b01$a9b23ba0$01000080@bonezero>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-style-request@w3.org [mailto:www-style-request@w3.org]On
> Behalf Of Matthew Skala
> Sent: Saturday, November 28, 1998 1:31 AM
> To: Scott K. Laws
> Cc: style-list
> Subject: Re: Sentence spacing and nested quotes

> It sounds like both you and the other poster haven't fully understood my
> proposal, so I'll make it more explicit:  I think there should be two new
> properties for spacing, one a list of sentence-ending punctuation marks
> and one the sentence-to-sentence spacing.  Sentence-to-sentence spacing
> defaults to be equal to word-to-word spacing.  The rendering algorithm is
> that when a sentence-ending punctuation mark is immediately followed by
> collapsed white space, that white space takes on the "sentence space"
> width, where it would otherwise take on the "word space" width.
> "Sentence-ending" punctuation marks not followed by white space in the
> document, don't have any extra white space inserted.

This is problematic because "sentence-ending" punctuation is not unique. A
period does not necessarily mark the end of a sentence. In English at least,
there is no algorithmic way to *guarantee* that the end of a sentence can be
inferred. You can come close by incorporating a grammatic analysis; but this
is still not perfect, and I think it is a bit much to ask of user agents
(especially considering they must be able to render the document in real
time). The only way this suggestion would be practical is if markup were
used to denote each sentence; this is something you could do in XML. And
this makes the issue moot, as you could then use the margin and/or padding
properties to achieve the spacing you desire.

Braden
Received on Saturday, 28 November 1998 14:02:11 GMT

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