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Re: [Groff] Permissible characters for hyphenation


From: John Gardner
Subject: Re: [Groff] Permissible characters for hyphenation
Date: Mon, 30 May 2016 23:09:03 +1000

>
> I have been convinced that soft hyphen is a control character and
> not something visual,


Almost correct.

Soft hyphens *do* describe potential breaking points, but they only become
visible when surrounding text is broken.

For instance, assume this line had soft-hyphens every 20 characters:

Methionylalanylthreonylserylarginylglycylalanylserylarginylcysteinylproly


When wrapped, this is how it would look:

Methionylalanylthre-
onylserylarginylgly-
cylalanylserylargin-
ylcysteinylproly


Without soft-hyphens (and when wrapped to 20 columns), it'd look like this
instead:

Methionylalanylthre
onylserylarginylgly
cylalanylserylargin
ylcysteinylproly


Here, hyphenation becomes a lot less apparent.

I should also add that I don't know how well-supported this behaviour is
between different platforms. I remember reading that some browsers
displayed the hyphen between broken word boundaries, while others didn't.
Web authors were encouraged to use the more semantic and reliable <wbr/>
element <https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/HTML/Element/wbr>
instead.


On 30 May 2016 at 22:29, Steffen (Daode) Nurpmeso <address@hidden>
wrote:

> Stephen Berman <address@hidden> wrote:
>  |Does groff permit characters besides hyphen-minus (ASCII 45) and soft
>  |hyphen (octal 255) for displaying hyphenation in man pages?  I'm asking
>
> I have been convinced that soft hyphen is a control character and
> not something visual, it should be used as a Ā«break-indicatorĀ»
> rather than as a hyphenation character, interpretation of which is
> left as an excercise for the processing software.  I have no idea
> still but would guess groff uses "hyphen minus" U+002D or hyphen
> U+2010 if Unicode is possible.
>
>  |because the Emacs package man.el displays references to other man pages
>  |(e.g. in the SEE ALSO section) as clickable links, but has a bug when
>  |such a reference is hyphenated, and in trying to fix this bug the above
>  |question arose (see
>  |http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/bug-gnu-emacs/2016-05/msg01358.html).
>  |I'd be grateful for a definitive answer or at least a pointer to
>  |relevant documentation.
>
> Sorry.  Truly.
>
> --steffen
>
>


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