W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > February 2012

Re: [css3-writing-modes] rename 'text-orientation' initial value to 'mixed-right'

From: John Daggett <jdaggett@mozilla.com>
Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2012 19:39:12 -0800 (PST)
To: Florian Rivoal <florianr@opera.com>
Cc: www-style@w3.org
Message-ID: <235326533.9722821.1329363552098.JavaMail.root@zimbra1.shared.sjc1.mozilla.com>
Florian Rivoal wrote:

> >> The term 'mixed-right' communicates *very* little, I don't think
> >> anyone would understand what that means without looking up the
> >> definition.  And by labeling it something other than 'normal' it's
> >> easy to miss that this is the default behavior.
> >
> > It communicates that the orientation is mixed, and that it's related
> > to the orientation sideways-right: both turn some text 90deg
> > clockwise.
> I don't think mixed-right is particularly nice, but it is not worse
> than the ones we've used before. I don't care too strongly either way
> between the current alternatives, and I hope we'll find a better one
> eventually.

At a grammatical level "mixed-right" is awful, "mixed" typically modifies
a noun, something that has more than one state. Mixed nuts means an
assortment of nuts, mixed case implies the case is varied.  But applied
to an adjective it's not clear at all.

Rather than try and distill the *behavior* of this property in two
words, I think it would be better to simply use a value name that
instead summarizes the gestalt of the value, what it's intended to do.
It makes much more sense to have a text-align property value 'justify'
rather than 'inter-word-stretch'.

Perhaps 'ideographic' would be better here, since it's intended to
reflect the default for vertical runs of ideographic text, as opposed to
'stacked' which is intended to stack characters vertically in a more
generic way.

> As for upright vs stacked, I have a mild preference for stacked, as it
> is a better description of the behavior, and as it leaves upright
> available in case we ever want that behavior.


During the initial discussions of property values for text-orientation,
value names were oriented towards distinguishing between the *result* of
specifying the orientation (e.g. show text rotated sideways right) but
the actual behavior associated with each value now is more nuanced, such
that I don't think sticking to the original "upright-right" and
"upright" makes sense anymore.


John Daggett
Received on Thursday, 16 February 2012 03:39:40 UTC

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