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

From: David Tolpin <>
Date: Wed Oct 19 2005 - 03:46:59 PDT

On 19/10/2005, at 15:36, Broberg, Mats wrote:

> 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.

Why do you need fixed spaces for this purpose on the level of machine-
readable presentation markup instead of variable-length spaces, to
which they were mapped?

>> 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".

They didn't have a choice.

>> 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.

Let your typesetters enter them as unicode characters, and transform
them into leaders at the transformation stage.

> 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.

The de-facto standard deals with manual typesetting input, XSL deals
with digital typesetting interpretation. It does not 'supercedes', it

> 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.

What is B42, please?

David Tolpin
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Received on Wed Oct 19 04:12:34 2005

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