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Re: [css-text] Enclosed alphanumerics and text-align:capitalize

From: Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 24 Mar 2015 16:05:43 +0000
Message-ID: <55118B57.3000802@w3.org>
To: Jonathan Kew <jfkthame@gmail.com>, www-style@w3.org
On 23/03/2015 18:29, Jonathan Kew wrote:
> A further issue that I don't think has been mentioned here relates to
> the 'uppercase' and 'lowercase' transforms. ISTM that these transforms,
> too, should only affect "letters" (or "typographic letter units", as CSS
> Text likes to call them) and should leave Symbol characters untouched,
> even though some Symbol characters -- by no means all the "enclosed
> letter-based" ones -- do have case mappings. The CSS Text draft is less
> clear about this, inasmuch as it fails to link the term "letters" in
> 'uppercase' and 'lowercase' to a definition in the Terminology section
> (as earlier drafts did), but the only plausible interpretation I can see
> is that "letter" here is shorthand for "typographic letter unit", and so
> once again the Symbol characters are excluded.
> AFAIK, all engines -- including Gecko, which gets 'capitalize' right by
> this interpretation -- currently mishandle this, and apply case mappings
> to Symbol characters. However, I doubt that changing our behavior to
> match the spec here is likely to "break the Web" in any substantial way,
> and it would put us in a more consistent and predictable state. (It
> would seem odd that 'text-transform:uppercase' affects ⓐⓑⓒ if
> 'text-transform:capitalize' does not; or that 'text-transform:lowercase'
> affects ⒶⒷⒸ but not 🅐🅑🅒.)
> In summary, I think the CSS Text spec should maintain its definition of
> these transforms as applying only to letters, and should reinstate its
> link to the definition of "[typographic] letter [unit]" for 'uppercase'
> and 'lowercase' to reinforce this. An informative note could be added
> alerting implementers to the fact that some non-Letter characters have
> case mappings defined in Unicode, but should *not* be affected by these
> text-transform values.

actually, i'm inclined to disagree here.

i tend to agree that capitalize should not affect enclosed 
alphanumerics, mainly because i can't really imagine use cases where 
people will want words made of these things, like Ⓐⓑⓒ, and i expect that 
they are more likely to be used as counters, in which case you'd want 
them all uppercase or all lowercase, and unaffected by capitalisation.

i can, however, see situations where i might want to convert lowercase 
enclosed alphanumeric counters to uppercase, or vice versa, using 
styling rather than by changing the actual characters (cf. number forms, 
which are similar and behave in the same way)[ⅰ] – and so i think that 
the difference in behaviour between capitalize on the one hand and 
uppercase/lowercase on the other is ok.  Furthermore, i'm worried that 
changing the spec may break some usage of these characters (albeit small 
in number) in legacy content, given the fact that browsers currently 
seem to unanimously agree in their support of upper/lowercase for these 

so in my view, the spec already says what should happen, and we don't 
need to change it.


Received on Tuesday, 24 March 2015 16:05:53 UTC

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