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Re: [css3-text-layout] "design philosophy" or "basic idea" how vertical writing would work in CSS

From: MURATA Makoto (FAMILY Given) <eb2m-mrt@asahi-net.or.jp>
Date: Sat, 26 Jun 2010 22:25:02 +0900
To: www-style@w3.org
Message-Id: <20100626222502.F28C.B794FC04@asahi-net.or.jp>
Incidentally, I started to write a discussion document named "CSS reformulation
for vertical writing".   Let me quote the introduction section.

	1. Introduction

	This document is intended to sketch vertical-writing CSS.  We
	believe that vertical writing has far-reaching impacts on CSS
	and that incorporation of a few properties is not sufficient. 
	Rather than focusing on the writing-mode and some other
	properties, this document attempts to classify all changes
	necessary, desirable, or appropriate.  Hopefully, a revised
	version of this document can be used as a guideline for
	reformulating CSS for vertical writing.

HTML5 Japanese Interest Group of W3C have had some preparatory
discussions in the Japanese language.  Interested people here might 
want to join (but only when you understand the Japanese language ;-)
I plan to send my 


> You may wonder what I'm talking about. Vertical writing is not a single 
>feature as you all might have already understood. It is a writing
>"system" used in East Asia, and it consists of multiple features working
>together. To design such a big set of features, I hope you agree that it
>is preferable to have a design philosophy to have better common

I agree wholeheartedly here

> Since the word processors with vertical writing feature appeared in 
>the world, which was almost 30 years ago, all systems used one design
>philosophy. That is, to rotate horizontal writing system clockwise by 90
>degree, and make it the "reference platform".

First, let us make sure what you mean by "rotate horizontal writing 
system clockwise by 90 degree".  Internally, everything is horizontal 
writing.  When you display or print documents, the system behaves 
as if it first constructs an image and then rotates it by 90 degree.  

For example, suppose that you system internally creates a page layout as

    a b c 
    d e f

By rotating the page layout, we get a page layout such as:

                 d a
                 e b
                 f c

Of course, for this approach to work, you need fonts rotated the 
other way around.  The biggest advantage of this approach is 
its simplicity.

I personally believe that this approach is restricted to very simple 
documents only and does not provide a solid basis for introducing 
vertical writing to CSS.   The biggest limitation is that it does not
allow the mixture of horizontal writing and vertical writing.  Magazines
or pamphlets heavily use such mixture.  Even simple books in vertical
writing use horizontal writing for page numbers, running headers/footers, 
and captions (see
http://www.w3.org/TR/2009/NOTE-jlreq-20090604/#fig1_14-en) ,
although it is certainly possible to provide some ad-hoc implementations 
of page numbers, running headers/footers, and captions.

Received on Saturday, 26 June 2010 13:25:48 UTC

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