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Re: List-style-type: lower-greek in CSS 2.1 and CSS3

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Date: Sun, 5 Aug 2007 21:37:17 +0300 (EEST)
To: www-style@w3.org
cc: public-i18n-core@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.SOC.4.64.0708052121100.24959@hopeatilhi.cs.tut.fi>

On Wed, 1 Aug 2007, Richard Ishida wrote:

> Three of the four browsers tested (Firefox, Opera and Safari) supported 
> lower-greek rendering of list-style-type. Firefox and Opera support the 
> algorithm correctly, but Safari has a bug that occurs in some ranges 
> after the 576th list item.
- -
> I believe that this means lower-greek is ok for CSS 2.1.

I think that what happens after the 576th item or so is immaterial when 
considering maturity for including the feature in CSS 2.1 final. As your 
document says,
'No information is given in CSS 2.1 about expectations for rendering other 
than this should be "Lowercase classical Greek".'

What happens after omega is left undefined (implementation-dependent); 
this does not sound good, but it's quite the same problem as what happens 
after "Z". Generally, browser support to numbered lists with more than a 
few dozens of items is lousy, and authors should therefore avoid long 
lists, in practice. It's not an urgent matter to fix specifications and 
implementations in this respect.

What matters is that lowercase Greek is needed both by the Greek and the 
international scientific community, which sometimes uses lowercase Greek 
letters for numbering in texts in different languages. Thus, there is a 
need, and there is a reasonable specification, and there are adequate 
implementations for the range from alpha to omega. There are no open 
questions when considerations are restricted this way, and the most 
important browser that does not implement the feature properly (IE) does 
not mess around with it but simply ignores it and uses common ("European") 
digits instead - which is something that authors using CSS should always 
be prepared to.

However, the wording is unnecessarily obscure. What's "classical Greek" in 
this context? The real classical Greek - roughly, the Greek language 
spoken and written in the age of Perikles - had no lowercase letters. How 
would the numbering alpha, beta, ..., omega be different in modern Greek?
The word "classical" is unnecessary and might just raise the question 
whether the sequence contains some ancient letters that were used for 
numbering in the old times.

And when the Latin letters are specified as a, b, c, ..., z, it is odd 
that the Greek letter list is open-ended. I think it should explicitly 
terminate with omega, since the note "This specification does not define 
how alphabetic systems wrap at the end of the alphabet" would then apply 
to the Greek letters as well.

-- 
Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Received on Sunday, 5 August 2007 18:37:26 GMT

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