Re[2]: [css4-text] 'text-autospace' and French guillemets

> Alexander Savenkov wrote to <> on 8 August 2004
> in "Re[2]: [css4-text] 'text-autospace' and French guillemets" 
> (<>):

>>> Do you mean using characters to produce certain glyphs? I canít answer
>>> the question because I don't understand it.
>> That was a rhetorical question, Etan.

> Regardless, I don't understand what you meant by "typesetting". I 
> understood that you *didn't* mean the physical placement of metal 
> slugs. Beyond that, "typesetting" could refer to the mere use of coded
> characters or to the entirety of languages like CSS and Tex.

By typesetting I meant supplying text with the special characters that
facilitate reading and comprehension.

>> If you have the following ď3 %Ē in your text (minus the quotes), the
>> right to way to handle the sequence is not to mark it up, but to place
>> the special typographical characters that will do the job:
>> 3,EN SPACE,% or more precisely 3,ZWNBSP,EN SPACE,ZWNBSP,%.

> I won't object forcefully. But I wish to make a few notes:

We can surely argue on this for years.

> The character U+FEFF, zero width no-break space (ZWNBSP), is to be used
> only as a byte-order mark. Its other semantic as a formatting character
> is deprecated in favor of the character U+2060, word joiner (WJ). So
> the appropriate document fragment would be as follows.

>      3&#x2060; &#x2002; &#x2060;%

I didít know this. Thank you.

> Even if the editing and storage environments supported the direct use
> of the characters (instead of references to characters), it would be
> cumbersome.

Cannot agree here. Proofreaders (the ones who work with printed books)
do this daily either with semi-automated tools or with their hands.
Thereís nothing wrong with this.

> Consider the following simple declaration, which could be
> written once and still serve any number of documents.

>      text-autospace: numeric-percent alpha-percent;

You cannot invent CSS properties and values for every single case.
There are thousands of proofreading rules.

> Now consider the alternative: entering or generating a sequence of
> obscure characters for every percentage sign.

For every paragraph sign, for every mathematical sign, for every
metrical abbreviation, for many-many others. The characters that seem
obscure to you are correctly referred to as legal Unicode characters.

> The declaration would
> work with legacy content but not with legacy user agents. The character
> entry would require modification to legacy content and does not work
> with most fonts.

> When the fonts and/or layout engine don't support the necessary
> characters, the rendered result will be a series of unintelligible 
> boxes. I find it worse to see a series of boxes than I find it to see a
> lack of space or a space of the wrong width.

Then the solution for you is straightforward. Do not use non-ASCII
characters if your readers are not equipped with the necessary
software. Use usual spaces or images.

>> You donít need to do this:
>> 3<span class="percentsign">%</span>
>> and apply .percentsign { margin-left: .5en; }.
>> See, itís not the level of markup, itís still the level of plain text.

> If that was an argument, I have yet again failed to understand. 
> Certainly, when one avoids tagging and instead uses data characters or
> character references, the issue is at the level of plain text.

Why the sarcastic tone?

<sentence>certainly, when one avoids the use of non-ASCII characters and
instead marks everything up, all the issues are gone</sentence>

sentence::first-letter { text-transform: uppercasse; }
sentence::after { content: "."; }

>> Exactly, what space is put between the text and the quote marks in
>> France?

> I don't know. Some person at the French Academy probably knows. 
> (Contact information is at 
> <>.)

I thought you were looking for help. Instead, youíre sending me to
some page to find the contact. Sorry, Iím not going to do that.

> It could be argued that none of markup, style sheets, or textual 
> content are the solution. The argument would hold that it is the 
> responsibility of the font designer to provide appropriate kerning for
> various languages. What do people think of that?

Adequate solutions are welcome.

  Alexander Savenkov                     

Received on Monday, 9 August 2004 10:42:39 UTC