Ruby and multiple aligned lines of text [was RE: text direction a nd CSS]

I like the Ruby spec, but I wonder if it couldn't be made somewhat
more general, to allow several lines of text to be associated?

I ask because I read a magazine that uses this sort of layout to
great effect. It's a Japanese language-learning magazine called
"Mangajin". They stack several lines of text: original Japanese
text with Ruby, romanized (Latin-alphabet) spelling, word-by word
translations, rough English translation, and finally a more natural
English translation.

When each line breaks, it continues below all of the others. Pick
up a copy and you'll see what I mean. It's sort of like subtitling,
but for text. It's very convenient.

I think it could be used for other things besides translation, too.
For example, written music for voice usually features text above
the staff (describing how the music should be performed, such as
"allegro") and text below the staff (the lyrics).

Received on Wednesday, 11 August 1999 16:05:30 UTC