W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > July 2007

Re: [CSS3 Text] Tibetan Emphasis marks

From: Christopher Fynn <cfynn@gmx.net>
Date: Sun, 08 Jul 2007 22:36:44 +0600
Message-ID: <4691129C.7040308@gmx.net>
To: www-style@w3.org, www-international@w3.org
CC: "Paul Nelson (ATC)" <paulnel@winse.microsoft.com>, ishida@w3.org
Paul Nelson (ATC) wrote:

> I have copies of the images (attached)

> I do not see that the Tibetan Emphasis marks truly fit as an extra layer above/below text as do Chinese or Japanese for the following reasons.

Hi Paul - The semantic of these marks is emphasis - which is sometimes displayed
in other ways (e.g using a larger point size or different colored font) - so IMO
markup is a better representation than using explicit characters.

The existing characters are also problematic in that they have to be applied to
a single base (letter or ligature) when they should really be applied to the
whole run of characters in a Tibetan syllable.

Unicode are of course never going to change the combining class and other
properties of these characters which they have defined. Personally I think the
existing characters should be deprecated in favour of emphasis markup

With the existing characters people will of course be tempted to choose
different bases within the same 'syllabe'  to achieve an approximation of the
kind of "typographic interaction" you mention below.

> 1. There should be typographic interaction between the marks and the syllable cluster on which they are positioned.

While such typographic interaction is ideal it is not essential to the semantic.
Modern Tibetan language publications from China do in fact place these marks at
a single level (often substituting the CJK sesame dots for the real Tibetan
glyph shapes.)

2. The purpose of proposing CSS (as pointed out by Chris' mail) is to have a
more immediate solution instead of
working with getting this functionality into OS level.

I think you might be reading more into what I wrote than I intended. While I did
point out the problems with implementing these in smart fonts on the basis of
the existing Unicode characters - the main thing I wanted to point out was that
these marks are simply an <em>emphasis</em> -  and best encoded that way. CSS
comes in when you want to specify how you want that emphasis displayed.

The ideal placement of the Tibetan emphasis marks is a rendering /
application problem which I wouldn't expect to see solved any time soon.
IMO lack of precise typographic placement of these marks is much less
of an issue in most situations than conveying the semantic correctly.

> While I can sympathize with Chris wanting to get Emphasis marks handled correctly (e.g. not as part of normal text stream), I do recommend that these *not* be introduced into CSS as this is really an unwanted hack and not the right long term solution.

If you have any suggestions as to how Tibetan emphasis could be better
represented in HTML , XML,  or in plain text,  I'm interested to hear them.

best regards

- Chris

> Paul

(image/png attachment: tara02.png)

Received on Sunday, 8 July 2007 16:37:36 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Monday, 2 May 2016 14:27:29 UTC