[whatwg] Hyphenation

Markus Ernst derernst at gmx.ch
Tue Feb 10 03:42:20 PST 2009

Ian Hickson schrieb:
> On Tue, 9 Jan 2007, �istein E. Andersen wrote:
>> Hyphenation does not seem to have been discussed on this list so far, 
>> and I think it should be.
>> Old proposal:
>>     [2] http://www.nada.kth.se/i18n/html/hyph.html
> While I appreciate the problems faced by Swedish, German, and othes, I 
> don't think this is a big enough problem to deserve solutions more 
> complicated than the soft hyphen at this time.

Jukka Korpela stated that the intention of the soft hyphen is not 
actually a hyphenation hint:

(Anyway I don't really understand the difference between a normal hyphen 
and a soft hyphen then...)

> Given that Unicode provides soft hyphen semantics and CSS provides the 
> rendering rules, I don't think there is anything much for HTML5 to say on 
> the matter at this time.
> This thread included many further e-mails discussing the subject. I agree 
> with most of the points made. There did not seem to be a consensus that 
> this is something that HTML5 should do anything about. If hyphenation 
> dictionaries are to be used, it seems CSS would be the best place for 
> them. I haven't done anything in HTML5 to handle them.

The wish for an in-text hyphenation mechanism is of course motivated by 
the habit of how we do it in office and layout softwares, where text and 
presentation are not separated. I totally agree that the appropriate 
place for it is presentation, thus CSS, and the CSS3 draft looks quite 

Anyway I don't find anything about the format of the hyphenation 
dictionary. To replace in-text hyphenation hints it is necessary to have 
several levels of hyphenation quality - the german word for "hyphenation 
mechanism" for example, "Trennungsmechanismus", you might want to have 
hyphentated at any possible place inside body text, but only at 
"Trennungs-mechanismus" in a headline. I see that this list is not the 
appropriate place for suggestions about CSS3 properties - maybe someone 
can point me to the appropriate place?

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