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Re: Non-breaking hyphen [NH]

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  • 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 1 of 8 , Aug 13, 2002
      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 2 of 8 , Aug 14, 2002
        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 3 of 8 , Aug 14, 2002
          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 4 of 8 , Aug 14, 2002
            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 5 of 8 , Aug 15, 2002
              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 6 of 8 , Aug 15, 2002
                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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