Re: flexible line-spacing?

Subject: Re: flexible line-spacing?
From: "Christof Drescher" <drescher@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 10:29:30 +0100
From: Frank A. Christoph <christo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> > completely). Normal typesetting would then resort to changing the
> > line-spacing a little bit. But how can this be achieved in DSSSL?
> > I did not
> > find any characteristic to have such a flexible line-spacing generated?
> >
> > Has this simply been forgotten in the specs, or am I missing something?
> Probably not forgotten, only unaddressed. DSSSL makes a point of being
> ambiguous on the treatment of line and page breaking, leaving these things
> to be implementation-dependent. (I believe the introduction to the
> explicitly says something to this effect.) For example, although the
> standard mentions the minimum and maximum conditions on length-specs which
> you refer to above, it says nothing about how they affect breaks. Any
> reasonable implementation will of course try to make use of such
> information, but you could have a conforming DSSSL implementation which
> totally ignored them.

Seems a fairly decent explanation to me; yet I still think it has been

While the length specs at least have the information present (a min/max
value), though it
might be ignored by some backends, the line spacing is simply not addressed
at all!

If there was at least a characteristic, I could blame the backend; if there
is no way to specify it,
I must blame the inventors (well, no offense intended... :-) )

> The reason for all this, I believe, is that the designers wanted DSSSL to
> support a wide range of existing backends, like RTF and TeX, many of which
> also have ill-defined breaking semantics. Another contributing reason is
> also undoubtedly the fact that there is no universal notion of
> that applies to all natural languages, and DSSSL is pretty open-ended when
> it comes to language support. So you see, ambiguity breeds ambiguity; this
> is an instance of the computing world's own version of entropy.

Well, even if it does not apply to some languages, it should not have been
left out, should it?

Too bad. When comes DSSSL-2? :-)

Christof Drescher
Pro Image GbR, Marburg, Germany

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