Re: First Letter Styling for Indian languages

Hi All,
For Devanagari script, Bengali and Assamese scripts etc, we often use first letter styling ( with or with little extended headstrokes or without headstrokes ). Content Editor uses increased font size / style face for the so called "a drop letter."  Question of aligning headstrokes does not arise here. Bengali example:


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Jose 
  To: Richard Ishida 
  Cc: ; 
  Sent: Tuesday, May 09, 2006 2:04 PM
  Subject: Re: First Letter Styling for Indian languages

  Namaste Sir

  What you pointed out is correct since south indian languages doesn't have the headstrokes as in Devanagari. Moreover the feature of first-letter styling is desirable in South Indian languages (Malayalm,Tamil,Telugu & Kannada). I will sent  details of the rules for the first letter syllabification of these languages later ..

  Thanking you

    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: Richard Ishida 
    To: 'Jose' ; 
    Sent: Friday, May 05, 2006 6:30 PM
    Subject: RE: First Letter Styling for Indian languages

    Namaste Jose,

    Thank you for your contributions about Indian typographic approaches.

    Please see, in connection with this first-letter topic,

    The i18n activity discussed this with CSS WG at the Technical Plenary and Elika Eternad has proposed/will propose some new text that recommends that this is handled by implementations using language-specific rules.  It will suggest that a good starting point for implementations applying the style is Unicode's default grapheme cluster (which ensures that most combining characters are styled with base characters). In the case of Malayalam additional rules would be needed, to apply the styling to a whole syllable. 

    The question in the blog item linked to above was "Does Malayalam (or another Indian script) actually do such a thing as first-letter styling?"  I heard from some people in Delhi that it is not typically done for Devanagari script - which is not so surprising given the difficulty of aligning headstrokes.  Since Malayalam doesn't have a headstroke, this doesn't apply. I take it from your mail that such a feature *is* desirable for Malayalam.  Please confirm. 


    Richard Ishida
    Internationalization Lead
    W3C (World Wide Web Consortium)

      From: [] On Behalf Of Jose
      Sent: 05 May 2006 13:29
      Subject: First Letter Styling for Indian languages

      In CSS3 Selectors working draft( ref: I found only the description of the usage of single letters for styling of first letter.And it is stated that some languages have specific rules about how to treat certain letter combinations.(Example given was the Dutch(ref: But i didn't find any description for the implementation.In the case of Indian languages single letter styling is not applicable. 
      The description for the styling of first letter for malayalam (An Indian language) is given below.

      When using  'first-letter' pseudo element  the following combinations can come .

      1.single character(vowel script or consonant script)
       Eg: സ,ക,അ,ഊ...("sa"-U+0D38,"ka"-U+0D15,"a"-U+0D05,"uu"-U+0D0A,...)
      2.consonant cluster+vowel
      3.consonant+vowel marker

      Please give us your valuable suggestions for the above mentioned things.

      Jose Stephen

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Received on Wednesday, 10 May 2006 18:27:51 UTC