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[css-inline] Re: Request for advice: Initial letter behaviour

From: Florian Rivoal <florian@rivoal.net>
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2015 15:03:37 +0100
Cc: Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>
Message-Id: <44FC804C-7BAF-4CFB-93A8-A3B3343F5C74@rivoal.net>
To: "CJK discussion (public-i18n-cjk@w3.org)" <public-i18n-cjk@w3.org>, W3C Style <www-style@w3.org>

> On 13 Jan 2015, at 13:16, Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org> wrote:
> I have scanned some examples from newspapers (so, not high quality print). I’ll add a few more shortly.
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/ishida/sets/72157650248400402/
> In the section about initial-letter-align the spec says:
>    "Input from those knowledgeable about non-Western typographic traditions would be very helpful in describing the appropriate alignments. More values may be required for this property."

Hi Richard and other knowledgeable CJK folks,

In order to try and inform issue 3 from css-inline (interaction of drop/raised caps with ruby), I tried to look up examples of CJK (focusing mainly on Japanese) text having both a drop/raised cap and ruby, and mostly failed.

Not only did I not find raised/drop caps with ruby on it, I had a really hard time even finding books using both features at all.

As far as I can tell, the usage of drop/raised caps in Japanese tends to be linked to books that try to have both fancy typography and some kind of link to (old) western culture. Drop/Raised caps don't seem to be a traditional feature of CJK writing, but rather something inspired by western typesetting, and tends to be often used when the desired effect is to remind people of fancy or old fashioned western typography.

Furigana, on the other hand, is found in books where it is expected that the reader will be unfamiliar with many of the Kanji used, often because the reader is a child, or for instance because the book is meant to be studying material.

It seems the intersection of these two categories is quite small.

I did find was a Japanese version of Aesop's Fables using both. Here is an example (棒の束 / The Bundle of Sticks):


That book however only uses ruby on the (relatively) more difficult Kanji, none of which ended up in initial letter position.

I also tried the bible, which commonly uses ruby, is certainly linked to western culture. There too I found both ruby or drop caps, but never together (although admittedly, not having a Japanese bible at home or a Japanese library nearby, I was limited to searching to online scans).

Art books, and a few other categories I could think of ended up the same.

The only one example I could find anywhere, interestingly, was used in the english wikipedia article about ruby, with a piece of Korean text:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hunmin_jeong-eum.jpg Even then, the typesetting of the ruby characters is somewhat peculiar.

Does anyone have input on this? Is the ruby + drop/raised cap combination indeed so rare that it might as well not exist, or are there cases where it is used? How much does this vary across languages?

 - Florian
Received on Tuesday, 13 January 2015 14:04:02 UTC

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