Tue, 13 Dec 2005

Typography Testing

Just some experiments with various typography.

I happen to be one of those people that prefers to have more space between sentences than between words. Ideally, this should be about a space and a half; that's what most typography does and I think it looks good. When typing in ASCII, I put two spaces between sentences, because that's the closest approximation that looks good. Unfortunately, HTML collapses whitespace so you get things like:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Fusce tincidunt orci vitae dolor. Nam tristique velit ac turpis tincidunt tincidunt. Morbi feugiat lacinia ante. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Nulla facilisi. Fusce orci mi, tincidunt ut, aliquam vel, sodales ac, odio. In pellentesque purus. Aliquam enim augue, convallis dictum, condimentum ut, commodo a, augue. Fusce viverra justo ut risus. Curabitur tellus arcu, malesuada sit amet, dictum vel, iaculis nec, nisl.

Now, if we replace the double spaces with en spaces, we get:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit.  Fusce tincidunt orci vitae dolor. Nam tristique velit ac turpis tincidunt tincidunt. Morbi feugiat lacinia ante. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Nulla facilisi. Fusce orci mi, tincidunt ut, aliquam vel, sodales ac, odio. In pellentesque purus. Aliquam enim augue, convallis dictum, condimentum ut, commodo a, augue. Fusce viverra justo ut risus. Curabitur tellus arcu, malesuada sit amet, dictum vel, iaculis nec, nisl.

Not too bad. There's some extra spacing in there. The "elit. Fusce" sequence actually has an en space followed by a normal space, because I have a newline in my source at that point, and HTML doesn't consider the en space to be whitespace. This seems to work best with Firefox 1.0 on Linux. In Firefox 1.5 on Windows, for some reason, the paragraph with the en spaces has extra vertical space between lines. And Internet Explorer 5 for Windows doesn't display the en spaces; it puts empty squares in their place.

I also wouldn't mind using nice-looking quote marks for things. HTML has a tag for inline quoting: the <q> tag. Most browsers don't quite work properly with it. Here's a nice bit of quoted text:

“And then he said, ‘Stop, or, as my father used to say, “cut it out!”’”

When rendered with <q> tags, it looks like this:

And then he said, Stop, or, as my father used to say, cut it out!

Nobody gets it exactly right. Firefox 1.0 uses ASCII double quotes for everything. Firefox 1.5 correctly uses double curly and then single curly quotes, but it also uses single curly quotes on the innermost quote. w3m uses the ASCII backtick for all leading quotes and the ASCII single quote for all trailing quotes. Internet Explorer 5 doesn't render anything.


Phil! Gold