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[css-text] boustrophedon in CSS?

From: John Hudson <john@tiro.ca>
Date: Mon, 7 Nov 2016 15:11:18 -0800
To: www-style@w3.org, Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>
Message-ID: <6aa4d7e6-ef78-11ec-25a0-23659e4b2059@tiro.ca>
I'm working on an epichoric Greek font for transcription of archaic and 
early-classical inscriptions. The primary use of the font will, 
therefore, involve boustrophedon layout invoked by Unicode BiDi control 
characters to set RTL layout on alternate lines of transcribed 
inscription texts, i.e. the control characters will be manually applied 
by scholars to text with hard line-breaks. The font's <rtla> OpenType 
Layout feature lookups will be responsible for displaying flipped forms 
of letters in the RTL lines (presuming cooperation of layout engine 
support).

I've been wondering, though, about boustrophedon layout within CSS as 
something that could be responsive to soft line-breaking, flex boxes, 
device orientation, etc.. I've looked online, to see if CSS already had 
boustrophedon-related properties, but have only found examples of people 
using CSS transforms to flip lines of text, rather than using a 
mechanism that will access designed RTL glyphs vis OpenType features. At 
least some of these examples seem also to rely on hard line-breaks, and 
are not responsive to changes in window width, etc.

Has any thought been given to defining boustrophedon layout within CSS 
in a way that would make it responsive and would take advantage of 
font-level display variants?

I realise that this is of very limited practical use, and is little more 
than a gimmick, given that significant use of boustrophedon will be with 
hard line-breaks in transcriptions of archaic Greek inscriptions.

JH


-- 

John Hudson
Tiro Typeworks Ltd    www.tiro.com
Salish Sea, BC        tiro@tiro.com

Getting Spiekermann to not like Helvetica is like training
a cat to stay out of water. But I'm impressed that people
know who to ask when they want to ask someone to not like
Helvetica. That's progress. -- David Berlow
Received on Monday, 7 November 2016 23:11:54 UTC

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