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Re: [csswg-drafts] [css-pseudo-4] ::first-letter should include space separators (#5154)

From: Johannes Odland via GitHub <sysbot+gh@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 16 Jul 2020 07:00:31 +0000
To: public-css-archive@w3.org
Message-ID: <issue_comment.created-659200901-1594882830-sysbot+gh@w3.org>
I'll write a few words about why I brought up this issue. 

I work in the norwegian public broadcasting company. We've tried to use the ```::first-letter``` to style drop caps but it fails. Sentences starting with "remark punctuation" (– Bare vent litt)  is prominent in news and magazine-style articles. But whenever ```::first-letter``` is applied to these sentences the results is inconsistent between browsers, and the desired effect is not achieved. 

In an article we published in 2017 we deliberately changed the language and dropped starting sections with these sentences to avoid this problem: https://www.nrk.no/sperret-inne_-slatt-og-lenket-fast-1.13769828

Typography literature tells us to hide the punctuation, or move it into the margins (hanging punctuation). Most examples I can find in todays print newspapers hide the punctuation. (typography teaching book from 1952: https://www.nb.no/nbsok/nb/a627d2b30ca616ba40bcd2100bf63e1f?index=3#59)

On the web we can not simply remove the punctuation. We need to support older browsers and progressively enhance the layout. The punctuation can be hidden only when ```::first-letter``` is supported.

Including space separators in ```::first-letter``` will not solve the problem with hanging or hidden punctuation, but it will be a necessary step on the way. A ```::first-punctuation``` would be really helpful. 

I fear that if ```::first-letter``` does not support space between the punctuation and the letter, it will be unusable for the Norwegian language. 

GitHub Notification of comment by johannesodland
Please view or discuss this issue at https://github.com/w3c/csswg-drafts/issues/5154#issuecomment-659200901 using your GitHub account
Received on Thursday, 16 July 2020 07:00:33 UTC

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