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Re: [css-text] boustrophedon in CSS?

From: John Hudson <john@tiro.ca>
Date: Mon, 7 Nov 2016 16:25:51 -0800
To: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Cc: www-style list <www-style@w3.org>, Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>
Message-ID: <7731a51f-987e-2a35-1d71-c9d0ca877ffa@tiro.ca>
On 07/11/16 15:40, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
> Ancient Greek, like some other
> interesting writing systems, will be presented on the web via images,
> not raw text.

Publishers conventionally employ three showings:

1. A photograph of the inscription.

2. A diplomatic transcription, which represents the appearance of the 
text including variant letterforms, abbreviations, boustrophedon layout, 
sometimes indications of damaged letters, etc.

3. A normalised transcription (usually in lowercase) using standard 
Greek letters, with abbreviations expanded, left-to-right layout, 
proposed reconstructions of damaged or missing letters.

So (1) is the object being studied, (2) records what the scholar thinks 
she sees, and (3) records what the scholar thinks it means.

The goal of the epichoric font is to enable (2) to be both cleanly 
encoded as Unicode characters while still representing the text using 
appropriate local and directional variant forms via OpenType Layout 

But since (2) also involves representing the line-breaks of the object, 
there's no expectation of this kind of boustrophedon being responsive, 
and hence the directional control characters can be hard-coded in the 
text strings rather than applied as an aspect of CSS styling.

*See also the Athena Ruby project, which does the same sort of thing for 
Byzantine sigillography and numismatics, but without the boustrophedon 
complication of course.



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 Tuesday, 8 November 2016 00:26:27 UTC

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