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Re: lynx-dev lynx2.8.2dev.19 patch #6 (em dash = --)

From: Philip Webb
Subject: Re: lynx-dev lynx2.8.2dev.19 patch #6 (em dash = --)
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 20:18:08 -0500 (EST)

990315 David Combs wrote: 
> On Mon, Mar 15, 1999 at 01:44:13PM -0500, Philip Webb wrote:
>> these changes have a basis in traditional professional secretarial style,
>> based on fixed-space typewriting.
>> as for the width of  1 em , that belongs in the world of printing,
>> which has always had variable-space fonts (since Caxton?),
>> not the very different world of on-screen WWW text-browsing,
>> which retains the fixed-space layout from typewriter days,
>> even if some WWW jargon has been imported from the printing world.
>> i'd say `  ' is as useful for readability as `--':
>> both can help a bit here & there, depending on context.
> Well, I sure don't like just several spaces!   Especially THESE days,
> with tyros using computers and sending email and writing text and bad html.
> ALL THE TIME i see horrendously-formatted stuff
> , with multiple spaces between    words, no spaces between words, etc
> (commas at the left margin!).

what are you referring to when you say "several spaces"?

> Seems to me we really need the two hyphens.
> when we write by hand, we don't just leave eg one inch of black space
> to indicate the meaning associated with an em-dash.

writing by hand is inevitably variable-spaced: see distinction above.

> Also, if we map an emdash onto blankspace,
> how is the READER to know we've done that?

what do you mean by "map an emdash onto blankspace"?

> Maybe we can fudge the html so it looks better on mono-spaced fonts
> (well, actually typewriter fonts), but we sure shouldn't fudge
> the English language (or whatever other languages also use such em-dashes)!

Lynx is designed for fixed-space fonts: from About Lynx under Help:

  Lynx is a fully featured World-Wide Web browser for use ...
  via cursor-addressable, character-cell terminals or emulators.

> Tell me, is this idea of mapping an em-dash into blankspace
> really SERIOUS within this group.

again, what are you talking about (see above)?

> I mean, is there a quorum of people for this idea?

i don't think you mean `quorum' ...

> If not just one person's idea, then we better talk about it
> a LOT more before implementing anything!
whatever you are reacting to, it's certainly not my message ... (smile)!

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ELECTRIC   /] [] [] [] [] []|  Centre for Urban & Community Studies
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