CSS and East Asian Width


The Unicode® Standard Annex #11 have long defined a set of
recommendations [1] on handling character width in East Asian context.

[1] http://www.unicode.org/reports/tr11/#Recommendations

I assume the recommendations are directed to handling the display of
the data so it ought to be addressed in CSS. However, these remain
unspecified in the CSS spec, and web authors have to workaround the
problems (particularly, characters with ambiguous widths) by
hard-coding OS font names or even shipping their own web font, to
ensure width are displayed correctly in critical places, like ASCII
art "images".

Character grid [2] was a related proposal being mentioned by Mr.
Ishida in [3], but it was removed from the current CSS Text spec [4].
The current CSS Text spec does not specify any feature allow web
authors to specify character width directly nor indirectly from, for
example, HTML "lang" attribute.

[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/2003/CR-css3-text-20030514/#document-grid
[3] https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-i18n-cjk/2015OctDec/0017.html
[4] http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-text/

Quick web searching shows there wasn't any discussion took place,
ever. People have pointed out offline to me that there isn't a lot of
interest on this either (particularly because people are able to
address the issue are not the user of East Asian languages I guess?)

So here it is. Is there any previous discussion/conclusion I am not
aware of? Thanks!


Received on Thursday, 17 December 2015 06:33:09 UTC