Re: Hyphenation (was Re: A suggested tag)

You, Dave Raggett, wrote:
++ On Thu, 17 Apr 1997, Vincent QUINT wrote:
++ > A full dictionary for each language would be too much expensive.
++ > Some time ago (in 1983) F. M. Liang proposed a very efficient
++ > method for compressing hyphenation dictionaries while making them
++ > much easier to search. This method is used in TeX and it produces
++ > quite good results with very small dictionaries. This is also the
++ > method used in Amaya.
++ Its always good to build on proven implementation experience.
++ The question remains as to how to link to such dictionaries.
++ One idea is to use LINK e.g.
++    <LINK REL=hyphenation LANG=en HREF=hyphen.dict>

Somehow, this suggests user agents have to download complete
dictionaries for a document. I don't think a dictionary on how to
hyphenate words is a property of the document, but of the language. I
just want to download a dictionary for English once, and not
everyone's local copy. Of course, there will always be exceptions,
names, new words, etc. But making a new dictionary which basically is
a copy with some additions is a huge waste of resources; specially if
you realise the exceptions might not even need to be hyphenated.
Therefore I think the author needs to have the possibility to mark
exceptions in the document, and hence leaving the bulk to the user
agent. For instance:

<HYPHENATE WORD = "foobar" HYPHENATED = "foo-bar">

In that case, you only need to mark your exception once per
document, and you can still use 'foobar' in your actual text.
&shy; doesn't seem to degrade gracefully on some browsers, and
you need to type foo&shy;bar for every occurance of foobar.

++ Another is to extend CSS with a hyphenation property, e.g.
++    BODY {hyphenation: url(hyphen.dict)}

This has the same problem as mentioned above.


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