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Non-breaking hyphen [NH]

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  • Bruce Somers
    ... Not really. A non-breaking hyphen (not meaning a particularly robust hyphen, an unbreakable one, but one which will not allow text to be broken at a
    Message 1 of 8 , Aug 13, 2002
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      > IMHO, you really do want to stick to the standard set
      > of W3-approved HTML tags for whatever version of HTML
      > you're coding to. Avoid browser-specific extensions
      > like the plague... Please!!
      >
      > Having said this, remember that the <td> and <th>
      > tags do accept the nowrap option, which is W3-approved
      > and does pretty much the same thing as <nobr>.
      >
      > Regards,
      >
      > Scott
      >

      Not really. A "non-breaking hyphen" (not meaning a particularly robust hyphen, an
      unbreakable one, but one which will not allow text to be broken at a poor spot) would
      be effective only at a single point, analogous to the "non-breaking space", and in contrast
      to nowrap options.

      Suppose you were referring to someone named Nielsen-Stokeby. You would not want
      the name split at the hyphen. But there might be other places within the same data
      element, where a line break should be allowed. That renders nowrap inapplicable.

      I suppose this could be solved by entering xxxx <.nobr>Nielsen-Stokeby</nobr> xxxx .
      (The period in <.nobr> is there only to prevent some mail systems from processing
      it as a HTML-Tag. It should be "thought-away" !)

      But it seems peculiar indeed, that there should be no non-breaking hyphen as a companion
      to the non-breaking space.

      Bruce





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    • Alec Burgess
      ... would not want ... the same data ... inapplicable. ... Nielsen-Stokeby xxxx . ... processing ... hyphen as a companion ... Not speaking about
      Message 2 of 8 , Aug 13, 2002
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        Bruce:

        > Suppose you were referring to someone named Nielsen-Stokeby. You
        would not want
        > the name split at the hyphen. But there might be other places within
        the same data
        > element, where a line break should be allowed. That renders nowrap
        inapplicable.
        >
        > I suppose this could be solved by entering xxxx
        <.nobr>Nielsen-Stokeby</nobr> xxxx .
        > (The period in <.nobr> is there only to prevent some mail systems from
        processing
        > it as a HTML-Tag. It should be "thought-away" !)
        >
        > But it seems peculiar indeed, that there should be no non-breaking
        hyphen as a companion
        > to the non-breaking space.

        Not speaking about HTML here, but just about how books and newspapers
        are "normally" printed - aren't there really two kinds of hyphens, ones
        that are always there even if the word/phrase does NOT require breaking
        (your example: Nielsen-Stokeby) and hyphens that MAY be inserted as part
        of the right justification process (eg. syl·la·ble)

        My point: either of these can be legitimately broken, so why would a
        non-breaking hyphen be "necessary"?

        Regards ... Alec
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Bruce Somers" <bruce.somers@...>
        To: <ntb-html@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: 13 August, 2002 16:57
        Subject: Non-breaking hyphen [NH]
      • Fay
        Perhaps it s personal taste. I don t like words broken to the next line, either when I m reading or when I m writing. I especially don t like names, like E A
        Message 3 of 8 , Aug 13, 2002
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          Perhaps it's personal taste. I don't like words broken to the next line,
          either when I'm reading or when I'm writing. I especially don't like names,
          like "E A Poe", to break, and I'd feel the same way about "Digby-Smythe",
          for instance. I know that justification looks better when breaks are
          allowed.
        • Ron Woodall
          ... There are actually three forms of hyphens, all of which came about as a result of the old hand-set typesetting industry. There is the mandatory hyphen (aka
          Message 4 of 8 , Aug 14, 2002
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            At 10:57 PM 8/13/02 +0200, you wrote:

            >Not really. A "non-breaking hyphen" ...
            >... companion to the non-breaking space.

            There are actually three forms of hyphens, all of which came about
            as a result of the old hand-set typesetting industry.

            There is the mandatory hyphen (aka hard hyphen) that remains no
            matter what and it sticks like glue to both the leading and trailing words.
            This addresses the situation "Digby-Smythe" where the typesetter would back
            up as much as several lines to adjust for this combination. Where he wasn't
            able to make the adjustments, the editor would have to edit the text
            slightly to accommodate the adjustment. This structure is used for proper
            nouns. A possible solution is the &#.8722; that Lotta suggested in a
            separate post. _If_ your audience is all in the US/Canada, has access to
            MSIE 5+ or Mozilla 5/Netscape 6, the solution is viable. However, older
            browsers display a "?" or the dreaded square in place of the unrecognized
            character. Do we have a partial victory?

            There was not just one size of hyphen, there were several, from
            the width of a standard hyphen to just slightly smaller than an en-dash
            (nutt.) When a line length wasn't quite right and the word spaces were
            adjusted, the hyphen could be adjusted as well. When both of these elements
            were expanded to their logical limit, only then did inter-letter spacing
            get adjusted. It must be noted that an em-dash or en-dash is actually a
            thinner line than a hyphen. It derives its impact from its length not from
            its weight. A hyphen derives its impact from weight and less so from
            length. (This statement is totally dependant on the font, weight and size.)

            The second hyphen is the one that is inserted by the author but is
            not a proper name i.e. sub-ordinate. I call this a "soft hyphen." In this
            instance, the hyphen is required (according to the author) but breaking at
            the end of the line is quite acceptable. When the window is resized and the
            line rewrapped, the hyphen remains even if the word isn't at the end of the
            line. This is created with the normal hyphenation

            The third hyphen is the one that is inserted but normally
            invisible. I call this a temporary hyphen. This is a product of our new
            hyphenation dictionaries. The hyphens are inserted according to rules: i.e.
            no two adjacent lines will end with hyphens; or only one hyphen is allowed
            per paragraph, etc. When the browser reaches the end of the line it checkes
            the rules to see if it is allowed to insert a hyphen. If it can, it then
            looks up the word in the hyphenation dictionary: if not, it adjusts what it
            can.

            This hyphenation dictionary is the real reason that hyphenation is
            not included in browsers. Consider that I use the Concise Oxford
            Dictionary. This publication is about 1666 pages of words with their
            hyphenation included. However, the real Oxford Dictionary is many times
            larger. Now, what about those words that Webster acknowledges as in common
            usage in the U.S. but Oxford does not (lacking common usage in the
            UK/Canada) and vice versa (i.e. whilst.) Multiply this confusion with every
            language on earth and add further confusion; to wit,

            The Inuktitut language of the Inuit in the North Polar regions have a
            common spoken language with many dialects. However, the Religious Leaders
            of the day decided that the language must be written down (ostensibly to
            distribute the Bible) so the Roman Catholics created a written language in
            one form and other Churches did the same but differently. Someone created a
            written form of the language that used a new written form with new
            characters. So now we have one language with many dialects written in
            various forms and they all need to be accommodated. How is the browser
            vendor to meet all of these challenges, especially when he doesn't even
            know what the original language was? One of the First Nations in the west
            of Canada has a language that can only be spoken and understood by someone
            born and raised in it. Our ears are just not trained to hear some of the
            consonants in their language. How does the browser manufacturer adjust his
            product to accommodate this language?

            Fay added a comment about justification. It must be realized that
            traditional (hand set type) typesetting adjusted line lengths even for rag
            right margins. There was a band of space down the right margin.
            Justification meant that this band was a thin line at the right margin.
            However, an Editor could order a wider band and allow for a rag right
            margin but with the same effect as justified text. i.e. the lines appear
            rag right to make the publication less formal but it would read just as
            easily as justified text without the sternness. The font, font size, line
            length and types of indents used all dictated the width of this "right
            margin band."

            I recognize that not everyone is interested in such a close
            examination of hyphens so I propose this to bring an historical perspective
            to the issue and perhaps point out some of the constraints of the 'web. It
            is truly a universal tool but we haven't figured out how to accommodate
            everyone yet.

            Ron Woodall

            ---------------------------------------
            Ron Woodall
            nor@...

            The Compendium of HTML Elements
            "your essential web publishing resource"

            - available at/disponible à:
            http://au.htmlcompendium.org/index.htm (Australia)
            http://www.htmlcompendium.org/index.htm (Europe and North America)
          • Bruce Somers
            Hi Alec, I wrote -- But it seems peculiar indeed, that there should be no non-breaking -- hyphen as a companion to the non-breaking space. You replied -- Not
            Message 5 of 8 , Aug 14, 2002
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              Hi Alec,

              I wrote
              -- But it seems peculiar indeed, that there should be no non-breaking
              -- hyphen as a companion to the non-breaking space.

              You replied
              -- Not speaking about HTML here, but just about how books and
              -- newspapers are "normally" printed - aren't there really two kinds
              -- of hyphens, ones that are always there even if the word/phrase
              -- does NOT require breaking (your example: Nielsen-Stokeby) and
              -- hyphens that MAY be inserted as part of the right justification
              -- process (eg. syl·la·ble)

              -- My point: either of these [Nielsen-Stokeby and syl·la·ble] can be
              -- legitimately broken, so why would a non-breaking hyphen be
              -- necessary"?

              Certainly, there are more kinds of hyphen-like characters. You have
              introduced one that I don't recognize in syl·la·ble.

              For me, it is less a question as to when lines are REQUIRED to be
              broken, than to when it is ALLOWED. I'm puzzled at the character
              strings which you feel can be split legitimately. I would not split
              proper names, such as "Nielsen-Stokeby" nor, as Fay mentioned, "E A
              Poe", and your example "syl·la·ble" could scarcely be allowed to be
              split.

              In the usual displays or print-outs, lines are split when a certain
              maximum (column) length is about to be exceeded. The display and
              print routines scan back to the most recent space or hyphen and split
              the line there. In cases of proper names, technical terms, and other
              entities that should not be separated, one resorts to the so-called
              non-breaking space and non-breaking hyphen, that do not allow the line
              (character string) to be split.

              There are of course, many more problems! What to do with what is
              called a Gedankenstrich in German - used to introduce an aside of
              sorts - which is certainly not an acceptable point at which to split a
              line. I suppose it COULD be rendered by the sequence

              word/non-breaking space/non-breaking hyphen/non-breaking space/word

              preventing a line split anywhere within this sequence, IF indeed, we
              had a non-breaking hyphen.

              The non-breaking hyphen does exist in the real-computer world, but
              seems to be lacking in the PC (Pseudo-Computer) world.

              Regards Bruce


              BTW - I have a problem with "the right justification process".

              I assume that you were thinking of right-justified text and not of the
              most suitable process for creating it (the right/correct justification
              process)? I'm being picky, I know - it's for dramatic effect! LOL
              Careful use of hyphens can greatly improve the ease of readability of
              a text and in certain cases even prevent misconceptions.





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            • Alec Burgess
              ... Ron ... thanks very much ... I think its fantastic when someone is able to share detailed knowledge about an area they are expert in. Gems like yours are
              Message 6 of 8 , Aug 14, 2002
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                Ron:

                > I recognize that not everyone is interested in
                > such a close examination of hyphens so I propose this to
                > bring an historical perspective to the issue and perhaps
                > point out some of the constraints of the 'web. It is
                > truly a universal tool but we haven't figured out how to
                > accommodate everyone yet.

                Ron ... thanks very much ... I think its fantastic when someone is able
                to share detailed knowledge about an area they are expert in. Gems like
                yours are what make frequenting forums so much fun. DON'T STOP ;--)

                Regards ... Alec

                ---- Original Message ----
                From: "Ron Woodall" <nor@...>
                To: <ntb-html@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: 14 August, 2002 10:31
                Subject: Re: Non-breaking hyphen [NH]
              • Ron Woodall
                Hi Bruce: ... The Chinese and some of the other oriental languages have a similar one called ruby that has recently been made a recommendation (if my memory
                Message 7 of 8 , Aug 15, 2002
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                  Hi Bruce:

                  At 06:47 PM 8/14/02 +0200, you wrote:
                  >Hi Alec,
                  >
                  >I wrote
                  >-- But it seems peculiar indeed, that there should be no non-breaking
                  >-- hyphen as a companion to the non-breaking space.
                  >
                  >You replied
                  >-- Not speaking about HTML here, but just about how books and
                  >-- newspapers are "normally" printed - aren't there really two kinds
                  >-- of hyphens, ones that are always there even if the word/phrase
                  >-- does NOT require breaking (your example: Nielsen-Stokeby) and
                  >-- hyphens that MAY be inserted as part of the right justification
                  >-- process (eg. syl·la·ble)
                  >
                  >-- My point: either of these [Nielsen-Stokeby and syl·la·ble] can be
                  >-- legitimately broken, so why would a non-breaking hyphen be
                  >-- necessary"?
                  >
                  >Certainly, there are more kinds of hyphen-like characters. You have
                  >introduced one that I don't recognize in syl·la·ble.
                  >
                  >For me, it is less a question as to when lines are REQUIRED to be
                  >broken, than to when it is ALLOWED. I'm puzzled at the character
                  >strings which you feel can be split legitimately. I would not split
                  >proper names, such as "Nielsen-Stokeby" nor, as Fay mentioned, "E A
                  >Poe", and your example "syl·la·ble" could scarcely be allowed to be
                  >split.
                  >
                  >In the usual displays or print-outs, lines are split when a certain
                  >maximum (column) length is about to be exceeded. The display and
                  >print routines scan back to the most recent space or hyphen and split
                  >the line there. In cases of proper names, technical terms, and other
                  >entities that should not be separated, one resorts to the so-called
                  >non-breaking space and non-breaking hyphen, that do not allow the line
                  >(character string) to be split.
                  >
                  >There are of course, many more problems! What to do with what is
                  >called a Gedankenstrich in German - used to introduce an aside of
                  >sorts - which is certainly not an acceptable point at which to split a
                  >line. I suppose it COULD be rendered by the sequence
                  >
                  >word/non-breaking space/non-breaking hyphen/non-breaking space/word
                  >
                  >preventing a line split anywhere within this sequence, IF indeed, we
                  >had a non-breaking hyphen.

                  The Chinese and some of the other oriental languages have a
                  similar one called "ruby" that has recently been made a recommendation (if
                  my memory serves me right.)

                  >The non-breaking hyphen does exist in the real-computer world, but
                  >seems to be lacking in the PC (Pseudo-Computer) world.

                  However, it appears that & #8722; does the trick, at least with
                  the later browsers.

                  Ron Woodall

                  ---------------------------------------
                  Ron Woodall
                  nor@...

                  The Compendium of HTML Elements
                  "your essential web publishing resource"

                  - available at/disponible à:
                  http://au.htmlcompendium.org/index.htm (Australia)
                  http://www.htmlcompendium.org/index.htm (Europe and North America)
                • Ron Woodall
                  Hi Alec: ... Thanks for the vote of confidence. BTW, you ll find that little tidbit in the site with revision 11. However, the question still remains: to what
                  Message 8 of 8 , Aug 15, 2002
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                    Hi Alec:

                    At 05:08 PM 8/14/02 -0400, you wrote:

                    >Ron ... thanks very much ... I think its fantastic when someone is able
                    >to share detailed knowledge about an area they are expert in. Gems like
                    >yours are what make frequenting forums so much fun. DON'T STOP ;--)

                    Thanks for the vote of confidence. BTW, you'll find that little
                    tidbit in the site with revision 11.

                    However, the question still remains: to what extent is −
                    usable. Someone in a later post suggested that — and – acted the
                    same as &# 8722 but my experiments don't support that. Do we have comments
                    that might wrap up this discussion and possibly a conclusion? Has anyone
                    experimented with some of the unicode characters with a view to this issue?

                    I've got to get to work. Interesting as it is, I can't keep this
                    up all day or the site will never be updated. Sorry for not addressing all
                    of the comments.

                    Ron Woodall

                    ---------------------------------------
                    Ron Woodall
                    nor@...

                    The Compendium of HTML Elements
                    "your essential web publishing resource"

                    - available at/disponible à:
                    http://au.htmlcompendium.org/index.htm (Australia)
                    http://www.htmlcompendium.org/index.htm (Europe and North America)
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