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RE: [css3-writing-modes] bidi-style resolution of punctuation orientation

From: Koji Ishii <kojiishi@gluesoft.co.jp>
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2011 08:06:22 -0400
To: Florian Rivoal <florianr@opera.com>, Ambrose LI <ambrose.li@gmail.com>
CC: "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <A592E245B36A8949BDB0A302B375FB4E0AC4D1B30C@MAILR001.mail.lan>
> Compare these the 2 runs of numbers in this string.
> 
> 松本さんが1970年に生まれたので、英語で「I was born in
> 1970」と自己紹介したらいいです。
> 
> I you use vertical-right to layout this, I think East Asian authors would
> expect the first 1970 to be upright, and the second one to be sideways.

That's what I'm referring to an advanced feature for level 3.

From authors' perspective, the second "1970" are usually set sideways, but for the fisrt "1970", there are several options how to set:
1. Sideways. Using sideways in this context isn't strange at all.
2. Use japanese-informal list-style[1] to set it using Han characters.
3. Upright.
4. text-combine; we usually don't use 4 digits text-combine, but sometimes we do.

It is an author's editorial decision which one to use. Professional editors usually create rules by examining the contents. If it won't have a lot of numbers and alphabets and he wants it look traditional, they'd choose 2. Or he may set text-combine up to 2 digits, and the rest as sideways or upright. Some newspapers allow text-combine up to 4 digits if font size is bigger than xx points, but only up to 2 digits otherwise.

Since it's a stylistic decision, it's nice if CSS can make a switch. But there are so many options and rules that it's not easy to create automatic rules that can satisfy everyone.

For the example John raised[2], I can guess the rules being like:
* Single digits are full-width (upright)
* 2 digits are text-combine
* 3 or more digits are full-width (upright)
* Letters of single word are full-width (upright), otherwise sideways
but I guess we don't want allow authors to write this complex rules in CSS level 3, do we?

Microsoft Word and Adobe InDesign therefore follow very simple rules:
1. All full-width characters are set upright.
2. All narrow are set sideways.
3. Ambiguous punctuation follows fonts if information is available, otherwise use app's built-in logic.

and basically, this is the same as what current text-orientation: vertical-right[3] and Appendix C[4] is saying. Appendix C gets a little complex to read and to understand, but it's still simpler than what Word/InDesign has for ambiguous punctuation characters (I guess.)

Authors then need to make edits to do more:
* Both Word and InDesign allows authors to apply text-combine to selected text.
* Both Word and InDesign allows authors to transform between half-width and full-width.
* InDesign can select range of text and apply text-combine for all "up to xx digits".
* InDesign has an feature to set all narrows upright as a paragraph property.

Current writing-modes level 3 does the same level as Word/InDesign does, and we do have all the features listed above so that authors can apply if they want more.

If we want to add more automatic rules than Word/InDesign has, you'll start receiving hundreds of responses to add more, and that's what fantasai was worried that it'd take years if we take that route.

I'd rather want us to ship level 3 at the same level as Word and InDesign does today, and consider supporting more advanced use cases in future levels.

[1] http://dev.w3.org/csswg/css3-lists/

[2] http://dev.w3.org/csswg/css3-writing-modes/#fig-mac

[3] http://dev.w3.org/csswg/css3-writing-modes/#text-orientation

[4] http://dev.w3.org/csswg/css3-writing-modes/#vertical-typesetting-details


Regards,
Koji
Received on Friday, 15 July 2011 12:06:15 GMT

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