From: Asmus Freytag (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu May 22 2008 - 12:18:42 CDT
On 5/21/2008 11:34 PM, David Starner wrote:
> On Wed, May 21, 2008 at 10:43 PM, John Hudson <email@example.com> wrote:
>> The key word here should be *glyph*. Correct cultural norms for spacing
>> punctuation should not be a text encoding issue at all, any more than
>> spacing any other glyphs should be an encoding issue. These should be
>> display issues, handled via font intelligence and language tagging.
> Taken most literally, that's obviously not a common practice at all; I
> note the spaces after your commas and periods, and the examples I've
> seen without them have struck me as erroneous and deficient. While
> every glyph has a certain amount of space around it, I get the feeling
> the more I have to trust "font intelligence and language tagging", the
> less consistent things are going to look among systems and the more
> likely it is that things will come out just wrong on some system I
> haven't tested.
I tend to share your pessimistic/realistic view in this regard. Perhaps
it's useful to distinguish between degrees of spacing. Nobody wants to
have to key in minute differences in the width of spaces, as they are
routinely determined by layout software. But the convention is that
people do code the presence/absence of a gap in the line - that has the
benefit that even unsophisticated implementations show an acceptable
representation of the text.
In that sense, I'd think a practice where there's some character added
before a French ";" would tend to be more robust. Language sensitive
layout would then focus on adjusting the width, not determine the
presence of such a space.
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