Monday, August 16, 2010

Progress on Language-Related Work in CSS3

Readers interested in new possibilities that will be offered by the proposed CSS3 standards for webpages and other documents (e.g. ePub) that use Cascading Style Sheets may find it useful to check out the current drafts of the Text Layout Module and the Fonts Module.

In the proposed Text Layout Module are rules for specifying direction and block flow which should better enable display of vertical text such as sometimes used for the Chinese, Japanese, Uighur and Mongolian scripts.

The Fonts Module includes the possibility of enabling automatic downloading of fonts from a server, plus ways for authors to specify advanced typographic and language-specific features that may be available in OpenType or AAT fonts.

Of course it may be some time before these standards are agreed and adopted, and even longer before all are supported by Safari and other major browsers. I have seen a report that Firefox 4 beta supports the proposed advanced font features, but have not been able to test it.