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Re: [css3-text-layout] New editor's draft - margin-before/after/start/end etc.

From: MURATA Makoto (FAMILY Given) <eb2m-mrt@asahi-net.or.jp>
Date: Fri, 04 Jun 2010 13:47:35 +0900
To: www-style@w3.org
Message-Id: <20100604134734.9570.B794FC04@asahi-net.or.jp>

> Can someone summarize what the advantages of the proposed
> margin-start, etc. properties are for internationalized text?  Is the
> idea simply that one can flip the writing-mode or direction and
> margins "just work"?

Yes.  Especially when major implemetations does not support
horizontal-writing, fallback from vertical writing to horizontal 
writing is a must.  If such fallback typically leads to 
miserable results, vertical-writing of CSS will probably die.  
What is needed is a smooth migration path.

Some of you might think that vertical writing is not really 
required for Japanese web pages.  Might be true.  But e-books are 
different.  EPUB relies on CSS.  Most of the physical books I read is
written in vertical writing.  

It is true that changing the writing direction while reusing the same
stylesheet does not provide a perfect result.  To really provide 
good results, we have to rewrite the content.  Arabic numbers are
appropriate for horizontal writing while kanji-based representations 
of numbers is often better for vertical writing  (no tate-chu-yoko). 
However, nothing is perfect.  For example, reflow of web pages 
does not provide perfect results for typographers.  Not being 
perfect is not a good reason to reject margin-start, etc. properties.

> I think I agree with Hakon, the :rtl, :lrt, :ttb proposal seems better
> suited to language-sensitive design.  With these an author could
> specify the exact desired styling for tate-chu-yoko numbers without
> affecting horizontal display.

I do not understand that :ttb proposal.  When the HTML family disallows 
"ttb"as a permissible value of the dir attribute (rightly so), how 
does it work?  Or, does :ttb apply when the user or reading 
system chooses vertical writing?

> For supporting Japanese layouts with a mixture of horizontal and
> vertical text, I think it would be more interesting to consider a
> better grid model and how to do "multi-column" vertical layout
> rather than convoluting the box model.

I have spoken with many people about the requirements on e-books 
for Japanese text layout.  Nobody said that a better grid model 
is a minimal requirement.  Most people assume that the support 
of vertical writing is a must.
 
> I would also note that vertical layout has been presented as a "CJK
> requirement" but my understanding is that modern Korean text is almost
> always laid out horizontally, vertical layout of Korean is generally
> restricted to situations like signage.  

It is true that vertical writing is not often used in Korea or mainland
China.  However, when I asked "Do you need vertical writing for e-books?"
to the Korean head of delegation in SC34 and the Chinese head of delegation, 
they immediately said yes.  The Chinese HoD once wrote "China has never 
given up vertical writing".

If you speak with Taiwanese, you will find that they also think that 
the support of vertical writing is a must.  I know that they are  
carefully studying the JLReq document and they are very interested in
incorporating their requirements.  

Cheers,
Makoto
Received on Friday, 4 June 2010 04:48:12 GMT

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