[whatwg] Hyphenation

Sander Tekelenburg tekelenb at euronet.nl
Wed Jan 10 20:51:55 PST 2007

At 02:19 +0100 UTC, on 2007-01-11, Håkon Wium Lie wrote:

> Also sprach Sander Tekelenburg:
>  > FWIW, my feeling is that it would be best if there'd be a defined format
>  > hyphenation rules, and browsers would accept such description files [...]
> This format exists. It was pioneered by TeX

Cool! (I couldn't find a spec though. Could you point to it?)


> I agree that browsers should read these dictionaries.

OK, so given your position ;) that raises the question of why they don't yet
:) Just a matter of "so many things to do, so little time"? Or does this
require something to be specced first?

> However, the
> dictionaries don't have to ship with browsers -- they can be web
> resources just like style sheets and images are.

I'm not sure they should. I think this is the sort of thing that users should
have easy control over and Web publishers shouldn't be burdened with (they're
unlikely to be hyphenation specialists, after all). So my thought was more
that users could themselves create such files (or, more likely for most
users, download someone else's creation) and install it, to have the browser
apply them to all content in that language. I think that's the only way to
ensure users can get the hyphenation that they consider correct. (Obviously
the browser would have to allow multiple hypenation files, for multiple
languages, to be installed.)

The only reason I suggested that browsers could even ship with them is that
doing so would more quickly reach more users; get them aware of and used to
such a nicety. Not a necessity. More a means of 'evangelisation', if you
will. No doubt the first browser to offer this will generate some buzz ;)

Sander Tekelenburg
The Web Repair Initiative: <http://webrepair.org/>

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