From: John Hudson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu May 22 2008 - 18:15:34 CDT
Philippe Verdy wrote:
>> Philippe raised an issue specifically about the French UDHR
>> documents as provided at <http://www.unicode.org/udhr/>. Now
>> I would say that all these documents, whether plain text,
>> XML, HTML or PDF are typographically unformatted or, to put
>> it another way, they are awaiting typography.
> It would be true for the XML or TXT files, but HTML and PDF documents are
> supposed to be prepared typographically, because a good typography really
> improves the readability.
Well, good typography is currently not possible via HTML and is, in any
case, dependent on the reader's browser, not on the document creator.
And a PDF has whatever level of typographic sophistication the document
creator either decides upon or is capable of producing with his or her
tools. Of the document formats available for the UDHR on the Unicode
site, PDF certainly provides the best possibility of typographic
sophistication, but this is in no way a requirement of the format.
> It is as much important for French users as English users that are being
> told to press the space bar twice after full dots between two sentences in
> the same paragraph.
Which was a Victorian fad, not seen before or since in quality English
typography. It was erroneously taught in many typing schools long after
it ceased to feature in English publishing, and still sometimes crops up
in business and institutional documents, but it is neither desirable nor
traditional, and certainly not important.
> (If you look at the original documents scanned on the UN
> site, the French and English typographic conventions ARE used in both the
> English and French columns of the same page of the official session reports,
> even if they were forgotten on the OHCR site).
Right, and those were formatted documents.
I agree with you that nicely formatted PDFs of the UDHR in Unicode would
be nice to have, but I suspect that goes beyond the intentions of the
current project, which seems to be simply to provide Unicode encoded
versions of the document in different languages in a number of different
formats. As currently presented, I think the PDFs are the least useful
of the formats provided. [Of course, my uses involve typographically
formatting selections of multilingual text to review new typeface
designs and test spacing, etc., so for me the plain text versions are
the most useful precisely because they are clear of formatting.]
-- Tiro Typeworks www.tiro.com Gulf Islands, BC email@example.com Nobody can possibly know the reach of language, whether liturgical or otherwise, so one should just keep going until one is too exhausted to go any further. - Catherine Pickstock
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