It is clear at ‘HTML 4.0 Specification’, item ‘9.3.3 Hyphenation’, and because ‘CSS2 Specification’ doesn’t defines any "Hyphenated" attribute, that hyphenation is an author’s concern.

It looks fine to me, because -- as an author -- I can tell, not only, what should and what should not be hyphenated, but also, tell how this hyphenation should be performed. No matter the user agent’s language or hypothetic hyphenation algorithm, which should not exist at all.

I would do that by inserting the ‘soft hyphen’ character entity (decimal 173) everywhere in my paragraphs where I want to allow hyphenation to be performed, and not doing so where I want not. I already have a software of my own which is able to do it in Portuguese.

But, unfortunately, both IE4 and Netscape 4.5 does exactly what should not be done with decimal 173, that is, show them as plain hyphens. By doing so they’re preventing us on using hyphenated texts. 

In my opinion, hyphenation is not only an important lay-out feature, but it’s also ‘an cultural issue’, in Portuguese it’s ‘strange’ when the body text isn’t justified and hyphenated.

What is W3C’s position about it, will this approach be changed, or should we wait the User Agents to change? Will they?

Aristeu Escobar Branco da Silva

São Paulo, Brasil.

Received on Wednesday, 20 January 1999 12:01:52 UTC