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Re: [css3-text] letter-spacing at element boundaries

From: Alan Stearns <stearns@adobe.com>
Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2012 06:58:46 -0800
To: fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>, "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <CB4E9326.AF40%stearns@adobe.com>
On 2/1/12 2:01 AM, "fantasai" <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net> wrote:

> On 01/30/2012 02:01 PM, Jonathan Kew wrote:
>> The current WD says,[1]
>>    "At element boundaries, the total letter spacing between two characters is
>> given by and rendered within the innermost element that<em>contains</em>  the
>> boundary."
>> AIUI, this means that in the example
>>    <p>The quick<span style="letter-spacing:1em">brown</span>  fox</p>
>> we should have no extra spacing (beyond the standard word-space) before or
>> after the word "brown", because the boundaries<space, letter b>  and<letter
>> n, space>  are not _contained_ by the span that has the letter-spacing, but
>> only by the<p>  element. So the expected rendering is something like this:
>>    The quick b    r    o    w    n fox
>> (Correct?) However, I think from an author's point of view, it would be more
>> natural to have a somewhat different rule, such that in this example, the
>> word spaces before and after "brown" _would_ be affected:
>>    "At element boundaries, the total letter spacing between two characters is
>> the mean of the letter-spacing property of the characters on each side of the
>> boundary."
>> This would add 0.5em to the word spaces each side of "brown" in the above
>> example:
>>    The quick   b    r    o    w    n   fox
>> My thinking is [...]
>> I also noticed that fantasai seemed to think[2] back in 2005 that this would
>> be the appropriate behaviour. However, a later comment[3] chose a different
>> behaviour. I'm interested to know whether that was a decision driven by
>> specific needs/use-cases, or would it be worth reconsidering?
> My thinking was that if I had
> em<em>phatic</em>ally
> and I specified some letter-spacing, would I really expect to get
> em p  h  a  t  i  c ally
> ? It seemed to me it made more sense for only the characters inside the
> <em> to be spaced apart from each other, and certainly not to have a
> half-space between some letter pairs and a full space between others.
> I think your example seems more reasonable with the half-spacing treatment
> because
>    a) your letter-spacing boundary coincides with a word space
>    b) your letter-spacing amount is a larger amount than the word
>       spacing
> I suspect if both of these were not true, you would not come to the same
> conclusion as you did. Note that the behavior in the spec gives the most
> control: if you want, you can add margins or padding to the element and
> control precisely the extra spacing on the outer boundary; and the amount
> of spacing between two elements, each with their own letter-spacing values,
> is predictable.
> And that was my thinking.
> What are your thoughts now?
> ~fantasai

In the examples I've seen (called 'sperren' or 'sperrsatz') neither the
surrounding word spacing nor surrounding letterspacing is increased.

In a blackletter quote, only the spacing between the letters in the word is
increased. The quote marks around the word are set at a normal letterspace


In a discussion of how to achieve this effect in Word, the document showing
the intended result does not increase word spacing:

(PDF link) 

In this discussion on how to achieve this effect in CSS, the problem is how
to remove unwanted extra spacing at the end of the word:



Received on Wednesday, 1 February 2012 14:59:16 UTC

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