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Re: [CSS Text/G.C. for P.M.] Hyphenation & ligatures

From: Robert O'Callahan <robert@ocallahan.org>
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2009 10:13:26 +1300
Message-ID: <11e306600902231313q6de742ber68a863c642db120f@mail.gmail.com>
To: thomas <thomas.bsd@gmail.com>
Cc: Jonathan Kew <jonathan@jfkew.plus.com>, WWW Style <www-style@w3.org>
On Tue, Feb 24, 2009 at 8:37 AM, thomas <thomas.bsd@gmail.com> wrote:

> OK.  Though, I doubt that hyphenating and advanced font features are
> two completely separate questions.  Let me take a tricky example.
> Imagine there is a property to switch ligatures on and off.  According
> to the rules of german typography, you want want no ff-ligature in
> "Kauffahrt"(because it is composed of "Kauf" and "Fahrt"), but you
> want a ff-ligature in Schiff.  How do you handle the word
> "Kauffahrteischiff"?  You could use a span inside the word to disable
> the ligature on the first place.  But then the hyphenator would
> consider two words, breaking the parameters "hyphenate-before" and
> "hyphenate-after".

No, it wouldn't. <span> boundaries do not introduce word boundaries. If
introducing a <span> confuses the hyphenator, that's just a bug in the

>  So you put a zero-width word-joiner between 'Kauf'
> and 'fahrt' to prevent the ligature.  The problem is, there should be
> a break point between 'Kauf' and 'fahrt', and the word joiner prevents
> this.  So you add also a soft hyphen, writing
> 'Kauf&nobreak;&shy;fahrteischiff'.  But then, what happen? Since the
> manual hyphenation overrides the auto-hyphenation, the word will never
> break between 'Kauffahrtei' and 'schiff' -- and it should be possible.

Why would manual hyphenation at one position override auto-hyphenation at
another position?

ligatures, Firefox puts a standard ligature (ff, fi, etc.) whenever
> possible, thus displaying wrongly 'Kauffahrt' or 'Kaufinteresse'.  It
> is then necessary to add manually the required word joiner and this is
> painful.

That is true. CSS control over font features is definitely necessary.

"He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are
healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his
own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all." [Isaiah
Received on Monday, 23 February 2009 21:14:03 UTC

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