W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > January 2013

Re: A proposed standard for CSS-controlled sentence spacing

From: Thomas A. Fine <fine@head.cfa.harvard.edu>
Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2013 12:25:16 -0500
Message-ID: <50F19C7C.4010406@head.cfa.harvard.edu>
To: Glenn Adams <glenn@skynav.com>
CC: "Jens O. Meiert" <jens@meiert.com>, www-style@w3.org
On 1/12/13 9:34 AM, Glenn Adams wrote:
> On Fri, Jan 11, 2013 at 12:55 PM, Thomas A. Fine
> <fine@head.cfa.harvard.edu <mailto:fine@head.cfa.harvard.edu>> wrote:
>     On 1/11/13 11:49 AM, Jens O. Meiert wrote:
>             The javascript relies on finding two spaces between
>             sentences for
>             sentence detection.
>         I can’t help it: “[T]ypographically speaking, typing two spaces
>         before
>         the start of a new sentence is absolutely, unequivocally wrong.”
>         *
>         http://web.archive.org/web/__20110728124818/http://www.__slate.com/id/2281146/pagenum/__all/
>         <http://web.archive.org/web/20110728124818/http://www.slate.com/id/2281146/pagenum/all/>
>         * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/__Sentence_spacing#Typography
>         <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentence_spacing#Typography>
>         *
>         http://designaday.tumblr.com/__post/129167950/an-appeal-to-__english-teachers
>         <http://designaday.tumblr.com/post/129167950/an-appeal-to-english-teachers>
>     Before I answer let me say this.  HTML should not take sides in any
>     debate like this.  It should provide the necessary tools for either
>     "side" of the argument.  Unfortunately the current situation is that
>     HTML has the appearance of having already taken sides.  In most
>     discussions of "one or two spaces", HTML's space-collapsing behavior
>     is held up as an endorsement from the web standards people (us) that
>     "one space" is the only correct option.
> Would introducing one or both of the following help allow authors to
> mark "sentence separator spaces" as having the desired semantics?
> http://www.w3.org/TR/2006/REC-xsl11-20061205/#white-space-treatment
> http://www.w3.org/TR/2006/REC-xsl11-20061205/#suppress-at-line-break

This would still be formatting by content instead of by CSS.  There'd 
still be no way to adjust the spacing via CSS, make global changes, make 
post-creation changes in the browser, make dynamic changes, etc.

I'd also say that it's perhaps worse than some of the other optinons for 
formatting with whole spaces, because it's introducing even more 
complexity into getting settings just right for a given set of content. 
  Only a serious HTML/CSS expert would be able to pull off this very 
mundane every day task.

Received on Saturday, 12 January 2013 17:25:51 UTC

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