From: Philippe Verdy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sat Jun 21 2003 - 09:21:11 EDT
From: "Michael Everson" <email@example.com>
> At 16:45 -0700 2003-06-20, Richard Cook wrote:
> >Of course, in pop e-print, nearly everything that can be done to a
> >character is done ... including Bold-Ital-Outline-Shadow ...
> Hey, there's no reason only Latin typography should be filled with vulgarism...
If you just look at Japanese, you'll see that most Hiragana andKatakana text
use both narrow (half-width) and square (full-width) style within the same font
but with distinct characters.
In Latin text, it is most often rendered with the same characters but with
Some typographic effects have different usage patterns between Latin/Greek/Cyrillic/
Hebrew and Asian text. Italic is one of these, and in HTML its use has been
deprecated in favor of a more language neutral "emphasized" style (which can be
right-slanted with Latin/Greek/Cyrillic, but can be a distinct font or typographic
effect applied to some base font).
In strict typographic terms, the "italic" style modifier is just a convenience to
select actually distinct fonts. It's true that Arabic is, in its natural form, already
right-slanted and would not support being more slanted than it is now.
Slanting artificially a font which contains characters that are already slanted
such as Arabic, or should not be slanted like Han is quite disastrous for the
Other typographic effects are much more language neutral such as
font scaling, and varying the inter-letter spacing (but with interesting problems
with Arabic and Devanagari where most characters should be kept ligated,
by changing the length of the horizontal ligating stroke), or adjustment
of margins, usage of borders around paragraphs, and distinct shading of
When I look at most Asian web pages, Bold and Italic or other typographic
effects used to emphasize some text is often rendered by using distinct
colors or gray scales. It's interesting to see the colorful patchwork commonly
found in Asian web pages, even the most serious ones that consist mostly
of annotated text...
Also, the Outline and Shadow styles are much more often used in Asian
compositions than with Latin, notably for titling. And the range of point
sizes used on the same page is much more important in Asian pages
than in Latin/Cyrillic/Greek/Hebrew) pages.
So any attempt to force mapping a italic or bold style on any text seems
disastrous. It seems more intelligent to try mapping some conceptual
styles like "emphasized" or "quoted" or "footnote" within stylesheets
where actual fonts can be selected according to a language context.
But this goes far beyond what Unicode can do (stylesheets are better
studied by the W3C style/CSS working groups).
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