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Re: [css3-text] text-emphasis-position

From: Ambrose LI <ambrose.li@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 4 May 2012 15:18:49 -0400
Message-ID: <CADJvFOXwRC1vMV8b2Qn4nT0XpLCL+FA6bd8t+11mSeXyd6HGeg@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Kang-Hao (Kenny) Lu" <kennyluck@csail.mit.edu>
Cc: Florian Rivoal <florianr@opera.com>, WWW Style <www-style@w3.org>
2012/5/4 Kang-Hao (Kenny) Lu <kennyluck@csail.mit.edu>:
> (12/05/04 21:34), Florian Rivoal wrote:
>> As the spec says, the preferred value of text-emphasis-position is
>> language dependent ('above right' for Japanese, 'below right' for
>> Chinese).
>> Because of that, I think we should also accept 'auto', and use it as
>> the default value. When the language is not known, it would do the
>> same as the current default ('above right'), but if the language is
>> known, it would switch to the appropriate behavior.
>> What do you think?
> This was previously a complex matrix[1] where there's even differences
> between Simplified Chinese ('below right') and Traditional Chinese
> ('above right'). Given that encoding this logic into a CSS value is a
> pain, I think keeping the current initial value as it is is better. And
> we can debate this at the default UA style sheet level if we want.
> My personal opinion is that we probably shouldn't have this difference
> in the default UA style sheet either. Chinese authors don't use emphasis
> dots as much as Japanese authors, and I haven't seen a Chinese book with
> emphasis dots for a while. On the other hand, you see quite a lot of
> emphasis dots in Japanese manga.
> The remaining question is whether we should make authors who prefer
> underlining emphasis dots happy by making 'text-emphasis-position' part
> of the 'text-emphasis' shorthand. I have no strong opinion about this at
> the moment.

I think this is in a way deeply philosophical. Support for emphasis
dots is a little too late for Chinese. We Chinese people donít really
insist on proper punctuation as much as the Japanese do, and when
something is not supported by software, we just tend to make do with
what the software supports (e.g., using underlining for emphasis even
though thatís grammatically wrong). And when software finally catches
up on the Chinese way we are already so used to the wrong way that we
no longer bother doing things the right way, and people who fixed the
software start wondering why no one is using their Chinese-specific
features. (And personally I think this difference in attitude
contributes at least partly to the disappearance of emphasis dots, the
myriads separator, and vertical writing.)

So from a practical point of view I hate to say it but Kenny is
probably right. Itís already too late to fix the Chinese punctuation
system on the software side.
-ambrose <http://gniw.ca>
Received on Friday, 4 May 2012 19:28:00 UTC

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