W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > January 2018

Re: Generalizing Markup for Interlinear Text Presentation

From: Chaals McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex.ru>
Date: Sat, 20 Jan 2018 14:43:04 +0100
Cc: public-html@w3.org
To: "Daniel Yacob" <yacob@geez.org>
Message-ID: <op.zc4pkeg6ftbnq3@desktop-kurf4r9>
On Thu, 18 Jan 2018 14:27:50 +0100, Daniel Yacob <yacob@geez.org> wrote:

> I really appreciate the opportunity for this discussion :-)
> ...

> In my experimentation I found that Ruby layout support varies widely in  
> web browsers. So building >upon Ruby markup and styles was hazardous.   
> More so than web, I think support in eBook standards is >desired, which  
> seems to lead back to web standards.  The capability that javascript and  
> css provide >to dynamically manipulate the annotation I believe is  
> important for this class of literature.

There are various examples of real applications people have made based on
medieval literature where that is important too.
>> I doubt that we want to try the approach of making a lot of specific
>> extensions for specific types of content like chant - that generally  
>> leads to a lot more complexity than is manageable, and gets broken
>> quickly.
>> However, I think it would be useful to consider a way to solve this  
>> class of problems.

Admittedly an approach that can lead to unnecessary complexity and to  
producing solutions to things that are not problems, if we try to solve  
every possible case.

I think it is important to look for peoplem who have things they are  
trying to do, and collect up the use cases, so we get a sense of the  
problems that need a solution before we settle on one - although of course  
prototyping approaches is a good way to think through issues and find the  

It is probably worth pinging the CSS Working Group if you haven't already  
- Florian is a long-standing participant - because it seems almost  
inevitable that a solution will require CSS if only working out how  
existing CSS solves any issue, and the Publications Working Group who  
might have more use cases.

>> There have been a lot of efforts on annotation of Web content that  
>> allows something more flexible than the strict tree structure forced
>> by the DOM, but finding a sweet spot between making it simple enough to
>> use so it gets traction in content, simple enough to implement and
>> maintain that people do, and general enough to stop an explonential
>> expansion of HTML, is a challenge...
>> It is probably worth opening something in the Web Patform Incubator, to
>> follow this up. My sense is that if we don't have a fairly generic
>> solution, we are unlikely to get very far.
> These points I appreciate and fully agree with.  The goal of the initial  
> letter was to seek guidance for a direction forward.  I've sent a  
> request now to join the Web Platform Incubator group.  Thanks!
> A side note, since work arounds will be needed for some time, if there  
> is one request I would make of Ruby CSS it would be to formally  
> recognize the CSS "bottom" property in the style attribute of >"rt"  
> tags. This would allow setting of the vertical distance between the ruby  
> text and ruby base.  >Older Chrome supported this and I believe Safari  
> does as well.  MS Word's support for Ruby >annotation also has an offset  
> property to set this distance.
>> I would also suggest prodding the Music notation community group...
> I'll send a letter to the group for awareness, musicologist there may  
> have an interest in the topic.  There is a pitfall in over-associating  
> chant with music notation.  Chant writing is more similar to annotation  
> than it is music scoring, and predates it.  Chant notation does not use  
> a scale, the vertical position of symbols does not indicate pitch, and  
> is annotation is vocal only, not for playback by instruments.  Chant  
> notation practices are a spectrum though and some practices indeed blur  
> the lines between annotation and music scoring.

Yes. In addition, it is very common to find song texts lightly annotated  
with guitar chords or the like. Most use cases for that could be done with  
common Ruby already.



Chaals is Charles McCathie Nevile
find more at http://yandex.com
Received on Saturday, 20 January 2018 13:43:52 UTC

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