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Re: Suggestion to add "spacing between sentences" to CSS3 Line WD

From: John Lewis <lewi0371@mrs.umn.edu>
Date: Mon, 16 Dec 2002 21:33:18 -0600
Message-ID: <22118973872.20021216213318@cda.mrs.umn.edu>
To: www-style@w3.org

Shelby wrote on Monday, December 16, 2002 at 7:35:31 PM:

> The "correct" solution would be a CSS style. Whether it can be
> implemented is another matter[...]

I agree. If you don't use a markup language that determines what
sentences are, you need something like a :sentence selector (or
similar solution). But none of that matters until someone manages to
create an algorithm to decide what a sentence is--that actually
works--for most languages. Until that happens, it can't go in CSS.
(*If* it happens--I'm not sure if it's even possible in English,
especially if you include nonstandard English.)

Today, you have a few solutions, none of which are very good. The only
one that doesn't include content to force a presentation is by
manually wrapping every sentence in span. And then you're adding tons
of markup for a tiny stylistic issue.

For these reasons, I think an end of sentence character is the best
solution (and the only solution that could actually be put into
practice without a huge amount of work). The big problem is that
people won't use it--but I don't think it's wrong to deny people the
ability to because the average person is wrong. Another problem is
that it's extra work for the author--but as it shouldn't be required,
that's not a big deal.

PS: Every typography book I've read has insisted (and my own
experience leads me to believe) that two or more spaces after a
sentence make text harder to read (primarily because it creates large
white gaps in running text, and in some cases causes diagonal or
vertical lines of white space inside running text). I don't think this
is any less true on a low resolution device (like a cellphone or PDA).
If it is, and redesigning the typeface can't help, then neither can
CSS (as it cannot increase the resolution of a display device).

-- 
John
Received on Monday, 16 December 2002 22:39:18 GMT

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