Joerg Pietschmann wrote:

I found them online, the relevant URLs appear to be
and for the interpretation of the codes
(the lb section)
I still think this area is somewhat unintuitive to browse.
Does somebody know where there is a more elaborate explanation
of the values used there, in particular whether there is a
formal description how they are supposed to influence the
actual line breaking? I don't want to rely on intuition here,
it fails me much to ofte n...


Slightly related question: FOP appears to render the U+00A0 non
breaking space always at full space width. Shouldn't the space
also be used for justification purposes? There are, after all,
non breaking spaces with a definite width available.

Ooops, major blunder. I should check before posting. While
there is a variety of spaces at U+2000 and following code
points, as well as various additional spaces for some scripts,
there is only the common U+00A0 non-breaking space, U+2007
figure space (whatever this is)

Spaces for aligning numbers in a table (also called tabular spaces, at least in French). These spaces are rather old fashion ones inherited from a Xerox precursor to Unicode.
Today most spacing is (should) dynamically adjusted in the justifying process or through tagging for fixed width-ones. Some of these spaces are actual duplicates of one another (due to a misunderstanding at the normalization commitees level, U+2000 = U+2002 and U+2001 = U+2003).

 and U+202F narrow non-breaking
space available. This begs the question: how should arbitrary
non-breaking spaces be expressed in XSLFO, and how often does
this issue arise?

Well, in fine French typography, this occurs often. Semicolon, question marks and exclanation marks, for instance, should be preceded by a fine non-breaking space while colon and closing guillemet ( ») should be preceded by a larger non-breaking space. I believe Unicode does not distinguish between these two cases, its customary answer would be that this is a higher protocol's duty : Unicode only marks a semantic function (non-breaking space) not its appearance. In other words, it's FO's problem ?

Well, if we are at this, another typographical nastyness which
comes to mind is an indented initial. 

Do you mean a drop cap ? Lettrine in French, Zierbuchstabe oder Spaltenbuchstabe auf Deutsch ?

 This bothers me for quite
some time now: How should this be expressed in XSLFO? In HTML, a
floating table around the letter can be used, but this seems
awkward and does not account for fine tuning like the outdent to
account for serifs. Also, the automatic displacement of the next
lines could be a problem. I think there is also a float necessary
in XSLFO, perhaps with some adjustments to the width and with
relative positioning for fine tuning.


P. Andries

Tout unicode en français
Liste complète des noms de caractères ISO 10646 et Unicode 3.2 mise à jour
Texte complet du standard Unicode annoté.

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