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

[CSS3 Text] Optional indication of line continuation

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2007 11:44:10 +0200 (EET)
To: www-style@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.64.0703011133290.14387@mustatilhi.cs.tut.fi>
As currently drafted (and as implemented in IE), word-wrap: break-word 
involves no indication that a break has occurred. This might be fine for 
e.g. a URL with delimiters like "<" and ">" or for a fragment of DNA code,
but for many other code-like notations the emergency breaks might create 
uncertainty: when I see "l9:" at the end of a line and "#%" at the start 
of the next line, does it mean "l9: #%" or "l9:#%"?

In programming languages, a trailing backslash "\" is often used at the end of 
line to indicate that the string continues immediately at the start of the next 
line. Although cryptic to many laymen, such notations can be very useful in 
some contexts. Besides, when break-word is really applied to words, a trailing 
"\" might even give an intuitive idea of what has happened.

Hence, I'd suggest a property called continuation-indicator, with a string 
value, with the empty string as the initial value. It would specify the string 
(typically, one character) to be appended to a line when word-wrap: break-word 
has caused an otherwise unbreakable string to be broken. A browser needs to 
take the length of this string into account when computing where to break a 
string in the document content. Typical values that might be used in different 
contexts are "\", "-", "...", and " (cont'd)".

I think this would be easy to define and to implement. Whether it is 
useful enough is a different issue.

And then there's the tougher issue: when a break occurs after a special 
character due to applying Unicode line breaking rules, should there be a 
similar option to indicate that a break has occurred, e.g. that "-" at the 
end of a line and "1" at the start of the next line should really be read
as "-1" rather than as "- 1"?

Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Received on Thursday, 1 March 2007 09:44:28 UTC

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