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lynx-dev Re: justification+hyphenation

From: Juan-Carlos Lerman
Subject: lynx-dev Re: justification+hyphenation
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 1999 15:57:46 -0700

address@hidden wrote:
> On Fri, 15 Oct 1999, Juan-Carlos Lerman wrote:
> >Vlad Harchev wrote:
> >
> >>   Does anybody enjoy justification+hyphenation of the quoted text? :)
> >
> >On the contrary. I and many others don't enjoy. In fact we find
> >it annoying:
> >
> >1. It has been shown, at least a decade ago, that unequal spacing
> >   between words is undesirable on ergonomical/perceptual grounds.
> >   Such justified text is more difficult to read. It might be
> >   considered "prettier" by some, but measurements show it takes
> >   more processing time by our personal brains. This assessment
> >   pertains to *equally spaced fonts* rather than to *variable
> >   fonts.*
> I think I agree with you, but why do newspapers do it?

My comments referred only to *equally spaced fonts*. Variable
spaced fonts with columns of text as wide as used in books, can 
be properly justified.

Newspapers don't use equally spaced fonts, and, anyhow they are
not good examples of justification because the narrower the
column of text is, the more difficult it is to produce a 
typographically pleasant justification. 

In such a good justification, the spaces between characters 
are identical in width within each line of text. Newspapers 
seem not to be able to control the problems you show. I wouldn't 
use them as example. I prefer to refer to classic typography.
> Actually, what I _really_ hate is when something happens like this, in
> newspapers:
> This is a column
> of text that ex-
> actly  fits  the
> width but  every
> once in a  while
> a  single   word
> s t r e c h e s
> out like that.

When there are one or two words in such a narrow column it 
seems that the newspapers' algorithms fail and try to fill a
column with one or two stretched words.

Also notice that good wide column book typography uses
hyphenation (I mean breaks words into two lines) rather  
sparsely, perhaps less than in 5 or 10% of lines.

To return to Lynx's topic: how would hyphenation work when
searching using the command "/" to match a given word?

> That's way more annoying than multiple spaces in words..
> Sorry for the off topic stuff, just my gut reaction to justification.
> Newspapers must do it for a reason though.
> >My personal wish is that such alleged improvements are kept in
> >the realm of private use and are never implemented by public Lynx
> >systems which are relyed upon by people with a diversity of
> Waaait..  Why not just implement them but turn them OFF by default?
> Sure, I think there is a threshhold below which things may not be
> added to the main Lynx distribution (or at least only be compiled in
> specially), but even though I don't like justification and hyphenation,
> it's something that I could imagine a lot of people liking..
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