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Re: [css-inline] Summary of drop-caps/initial-letters discussion

From: Tony Graham <tgraham@mentea.net>
Date: Tue, 20 May 2014 23:49:13 +0100 (IST)
Message-ID: <35649.95.45.132.7.1400626153.squirrel@squirrelmail.webfaction.com>
To: "Dave Cramer" <dauwhe@gmail.com>
Cc: "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>, "James Clark" <jjc@jclark.com>, "fantasai" <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>
On Tue, May 20, 2014 12:33 pm, Dave Cramer wrote:
> On Tue, May 20, 2014 at 7:08 PM, Tony Graham <tgraham@mentea.net> wrote:
>> And for the books where only part of the first word continues in small
>> caps?  Including, but not limited to, Shakespeare:
>>
>> http://130.132.81.94/dl_crosscollex/brbldl/oneITEM.asp?pid=10000551&iid=1378064&srchtype=ITEM
>
> That example looks like a 3-line initial letter H (with, um, suboptimal
> alignment), followed by a capital E.

FWIW, Wikipedia notes "the First Folio texts were set into type by five
compositors, with different spelling habits, peculiarities, and levels of
competence" [3].  Also, looking at some facsimiles of first pages [4],
it's the only one that I looked at to not have a decorative initial
letter.

Liam shows an example from a Dutch book [1], but I now think it's not
something you'd see in a modern book, so maybe it's not necessarily in
scope.

> Another very common design for us is a 2- or 3-line initial letter, with
> the rest of the first line in small caps. That should be quite possible,
> using both ::first-letter and ::first-line.

I had thought that would go without saying.

> I'm not sure a selector that applied to part of a word would be broadly
> useful. Perhaps a time to resort to markup...

Who'd want to do either, assuming you did want to recreate the First
Folio?  I did for a talk at XML Prague, but even the definitive TEI markup
for the First Folio 'Julius Caesar' [2] doesn't specifically mark up
either the 'H' or the 'E' (which it has as 'e'), even though it records
line and page breaks and preserves the Elizabethan abbreviations for
'the', etc.  I could fudge it when transforming TEI to FO, but there
wasn't enough information there when formatting the TEI with CSS or
styling the HTML produced using the TEI's standard stylesheets.  But as
you say, and as above, styling part of the word after an initial capital
isn't going to be broadly useful (for modern English text, anyway).

Regards,


Tony Graham                                         tgraham@mentea.net
Consultant                                       http://www.mentea.net
Chair, Print and Page Layout Community Group @ W3C    XML Guild member
  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --
Mentea       XML, XSL-FO and XSLT consulting, training and programming

[1]
http://barefootliam.blogspot.ca/2014/04/formatting-drop-caps-with-css.html
[2] http://www.ota.ox.ac.uk/3014_fol-JC.tei
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Folio#Compositors
[4]
http://internetshakespeare.uvic.ca/Library/facsimile/overview/book/F1.html
Received on Tuesday, 20 May 2014 22:49:37 UTC

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