W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > August 2008

Re: text-overflow: ellipsis

From: James Elmore <James.Elmore@cox.net>
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2008 15:56:10 -0700
Message-Id: <439112EA-A290-458E-AB89-DFE4C8F91040@cox.net>
To: Christoph Päper <christoph.paeper@crissov.de>, W3C style mailing list <www-style@w3.org>


On Aug 5, 2008, at 2:25 PM, Christoph Päper wrote:

>
> Bert Bos:
>>
>>     +----------------+
>>     |   Here is a rig|ht-aligned text
>>     +----------------+
>>
>>     +----------------+
>>     |   Here is a... |
>>     +----------------+
>>
>> Another subtle point is that the ellipsis on the first line should  
>> be after the "a" and not after the space. The space is not really  
>> a character (except in preformatted text), but a piece of mark-up  
>> that creates a word separator.
>
> This may be the case in English (typography) and probably others,  
> but elsewhere, e.g. in German, an ellipsis adjoined to a letter or  
> (partial) word indicates truncation of the word, whereas truncation  
> of a sentence was shown by an ellipsis after a space (after a word  
> or mark).
>

That is something I want to interject in this discussion. While not  
an expert in typography, I am aware that an ellipsis may fulfill  
several functions. As Christoph pointed out, two of those functions  
are: indicating missing words and indicating missing letters. (I am  
speaking about English, and probably other Western languages as well  
in these cases.) If there is a space before the ellipsis, the  
preceding is a complete word and the removed chunks are probably  
words as well. If there is no space before the dots, the missing  
pieces are assumed to be letters and a complete word is NOT the last  
thing on the line (before the dots).

Others in this thread have indicated that there needs to be some way  
to show missing / overflow pieces which may not be either letters or  
words. Is there a standard way to show missing lines of text? (I  
can't remember exactly who, but one responder suggested using "V V V"  
if lines [below] are truncated by overflow.) There have also been a  
few indications that some designers would like to use something like  
ellipsis equivalents when blocks (images, etc.) overflow. I have seen  
this happen a few times and it is reasonably clear what is missing.


So, to have a complete picture of what the proposal for ellipsis  
entails, I want to ask:

Is this for overflowing letters only?

Can the overflow / truncation be different if the boundary is at a  
word rather than a letter?

Is there a way to request that the overflow split on word boundaries?

Are there differences for languages which flow in other directions  
and which stack line boxes differently, and which have different word- 
break indicators (something other than a space)?

Does this discussion include using ellipses, or another indicator,  
for clipped blocks or for overflowed line boxes. It makes sense to  
me, but perhaps not to everyone, that an ellipsis-like symbol can be  
used to indicate clipped / overflowing elements other than letters  
and words. Are there objections to this possibility? Or voices in its  
favor?

For those who have already added to this thread -- thank you all for  
your well organized comments. This is one of the best ordered and  
most erudite threads I have read in ages.


</James>
Received on Tuesday, 5 August 2008 22:56:52 GMT

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