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

From: Broberg, Mats <>
Date: Wed Oct 19 2005 - 03:36:50 PDT

David Tolpin wrote:

> Why does fine typesetting requires fixed spaces?

You need fixed spaces e.g. in some abbreviations, between series of
initials, to adjust readability around difficult characters, to separate
certain types of note references, to separate number groups in large
numbers, to align words or word groups in fixed-width typefaces. To name
a few.

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

Wrong. The fixed spaces were created by typesetters because they
themselves needed them in their daily work. Typesetters were not in any
way "erroneously taught to use them".

> 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.

Which is the very reason one should be able to enter fixed spaces as
Unicode characters, and not use entities.

> It is not possible to create an automated tool which is as smart as a
human typesetter

I'm not talking about creating an automated tool. I'm talking about that
a standard should offer at least the level of typographic control as the
de facto standard it supersedes. XSL-FO can do so without sacrificing
consistency and performance.
> 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.

You surely aren't implying that the variable space did not exist in the
past, are you? It did, ofcourse. Take a look at B42 for grand examples.

Best regards,
Mats Broberg
Technical Documentation Manager

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Received on Wed Oct 19 04:04:09 2005

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