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Re: [css3-text] script-specific functionality (microtypography)

From: Alan Stearns <stearns@adobe.com>
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2011 11:49:11 -0700
To: Håkon Wium Lie <howcome@opera.com>, "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <C9C35537.4395%stearns@adobe.com>
On 4/7/11 10:59 AM, "Håkon Wium Lie" <howcome@opera.com> wrote:

> I wrote:
>> Other properties also have issues, I'll try to go through more.
> Here's more.
> The specification adds this functionality to better control
> justification:
>   text-justify: auto none inter-word inter-ideograph inter-cluster distribute
> kashida
>   word-spacing: 2 new values describing minimum maximum spacing
>   letter-spacing: 2 new values describing minimum maximum spacing
> However, microtypography is not mentioned.
>   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microtypography
> In particular, changing the widths of glyphs is how many current
> publications improve justification. Perpaps CSS can play a role by
> setting optimum/maximum/minimum constraints on microtypography? It may
> be that this is compatible with extending 'word-spacing' and
> 'letter-spacing', but I'd rather not extend these properties until we
> see the whole picture.

I would expect that if we decided to support glyph scaling in CSS there
would be a new property alongside word-spacing and letter-spacing that would
allow minimum, maximum and optimum glyph scale values. There would not need
to be any changes to the currently-proposed properties to accommodate this
new control. Does that answer the "compatibility" question you're asking, or
is there something else?

I consider the methods outlined in the wikipedia article to be fine­tuning
controls one can use only *after* the basics (hyphenation, word­ and
letter­spacing) are dialed in. The article misquotes Robert Bringhurst,
inflating his assessment of the importance of glyph scaling in good
justification. The currently­proposed controls in the draft are the most
important, so for me the question is how far down the list of possible
justification controls do we want to go at this time?

Given that (as far as I know) line break decisions are being made one line
at a time, I think the current set of proposed properties is sufficient and
can accommodate further refinement.


Received on Thursday, 7 April 2011 18:49:58 UTC

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