Re: [xep-support] Support of special types of spaces

From: David Tolpin <>
Date: Wed Oct 19 2005 - 02:30:41 PDT

> fine typesetting requires fixed spaces.

Why does fine typesetting requires fixed spaces?

> And they are still there, because users need them.

Users need them because typesetters are erroneously taught to use them.

> the standard should
> offer the typesetter to enter fixed spaces as any other type of
> character.

In the first place, you should not force the typesetter to enter XSL
FO, XSL FO is an internal machine-readable
format, it is regretful if someone has to deal with it manually.
Allow him to enter any type of character
in the format the typesetter is accustomed to (not in presentation-
level XML), and translate them into what his
legacy skills map into, according to the current advanced level of
technology, allowing variable width spaces with
any granularity to be used instead of a limited set of fixed ones.

> One of the very ideas with a new technology is that it should
> exceed the level of precision or quality as the one it supersedes -
> and
> it should do that faster and easier. Not the opposite.

Not the opposite. Different. The very idea of any new technology
is to trade some quality for consistency and performance. It is not
possible to
create an automated tool which is as smart as a human typesetter; but
the automated
tool does not get tired, and does not make errors because it is
tired. It is predictable,
and can process high volumes of information with consistent results.

Fixed spaces, as well as a few other features, are legacy items; they
exist only because
the technology was limited in the past -- you could not have variable
spaces anyway. But there
are other things in the behavior of modern tools which are compromise
between perfectness and predictability.

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Received on Wed Oct 19 02:52:58 2005

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