Last Comment Bug 1046 - letter-spacing should apply on space characters too [INLINE]
: letter-spacing should apply on space characters too [INLINE]
[rtm++] [fix in hand]hit during nsbet...
: css1
Product: Core
Classification: Components
Component: Layout (show other bugs)
: Trunk
: All Other
P2 normal (vote)
: ---
Assigned To: Pierre Saslawsky
: Christine Hoffman
: Jet Villegas (:jet)
Depends on:
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 1998-10-09 17:34 PDT by David Baron :dbaron: ⌚️UTC-8
Modified: 2000-12-15 18:37 PST (History)
5 users (show)
See Also:
Crash Signature:
QA Whiteboard:
Iteration: ---
Points: ---
Has Regression Range: ---
Has STR: ---

Trailing Letter-Spacing Demonstration (1.14 KB, text/html)
2000-03-27 15:05 PST, fantasai
no flags Details
testcase showing current behavior is correct regarding 0 and normal (561 bytes, text/html)
2000-06-14 22:19 PDT, David Baron :dbaron: ⌚️UTC-8
no flags Details
testcase for letter-spacing at word gaps (1.14 KB, text/html)
2000-06-16 02:48 PDT, Pierre Saslawsky
no flags Details

Description User image David Baron :dbaron: ⌚️UTC-8 1998-10-09 17:34:25 PDT
It would be nice to support the CSS attributes word-spacing and letter-spacing.
Although I would have to say I would put them among the lowest priorities in
CSS1, I think they are still definitely worth implementing, especially if you
want to claim complete CSS1 support.‰
Comment 1 User image kipp 1998-10-27 11:39:59 PST
We now support them fully; however, the spec is unclear about how some aspects
should be handled so don't go nuts if it renders oddly; the implementation will
be updated when our css guy gets clarification back from the working group.

I'm reassigning this to peter so that he can assign it back once the
clarification has arrived.
Comment 2 User image Angus Davis 1998-11-18 10:58:59 PST
Last I heard from the CSS list, the clarification was that the value of this
property is the delta to the default value. In other words, if default letter
spacing is 0.1em, and the author says letter-spacing: -0.1em, the total letter
spacing applied should be 0.0em, not -0.1em. I thought this was extremely
counterintuitive, but it's what the CSS gods said.
Comment 3 User image Peter Linss 1998-11-18 11:16:59 PST
Actually, the latest clarification from the CSS w/g is that _I_ write up a
proposal to define the normative behavior, since the spec doesn't. Expect
something next week.
Comment 4 User image Paul MacQuiddy 1999-03-05 22:38:59 PST
per leger, assigning QA contacts to all open bugs without QA contacts according
to list at
Comment 5 User image Hixie (not reading bugmail) 1999-05-21 10:25:59 PDT
Isn't this resolved now??? The last relevant comment is from six months ago!
Comment 6 User image Peter Linss 1999-09-07 17:45:59 PDT
Pushing off non-beta 1 issues
Comment 7 User image Pierre Saslawsky 1999-10-21 01:06:59 PDT
Reassigning peterl's bugs to myself.
Comment 8 User image Pierre Saslawsky 1999-10-21 01:12:59 PDT
Accepting peterl's bugs that have a Target Milestone
Comment 9 User image David Baron :dbaron: ⌚️UTC-8 1999-10-26 15:34:59 PDT
My opinion is that the default value of 'word-spacing' (i.e., 'normal') should
*not* be equivalent to 0 (and 0 should mean that "a bc" and "abc" should look
the same), while the default value of 'letter-spacing' (again,
'normal') *should* be equivalent to 0 (since you don't adjust letter spacing for
justification).  I think this can (mostly) be implied from CSS1.
Comment 10 User image Pierre Saslawsky 1999-12-20 21:10:59 PST
Pushing my M15 bugs to M16
Comment 11 User image Hixie (not reading bugmail) 2000-01-13 15:58:59 PST
Migrating from {css1} to css1 keyword. The {css1}, {css2}, {css3} and {css-moz}
radars should now be considered deprecated in favour of keywords.
I am *really* sorry about the spam...
Comment 12 User image fantasai 2000-03-27 15:02:36 PST
Letterspacing is defined as space between characters, but that doesn't include 
spaces, does it? 
Currently, letterspacing is (effectively) added to the space between words.
Also, trailing letterspacing affects whether a word fits on a line and the width 
of a line. IMO, this should not be so.

(See attachment.)
Comment 13 User image fantasai 2000-03-27 15:05:45 PST
Created attachment 6996 [details]
Trailing Letter-Spacing Demonstration
Comment 14 User image rickg 2000-04-07 14:39:18 PDT
non-essential for m16
Comment 15 User image ekrock's old account (dead) 2000-06-05 14:42:49 PDT
I've asked dbaron to research what the "Right Thing" really is for this bug. 
Once we know that, we can figure out what to do for FCS.
Comment 16 User image Pierre Saslawsky 2000-06-12 04:05:11 PDT
This bug has been marked "future" because the original netscape engineer working 
on this is over-burdened. If you feel this is an error, that you or another known 
resource will be working on this bug, or if it blocks your work in some way -- 
please attach your concern to the bug for reconsideration. 

Comment 17 User image ekrock's old account (dead) 2000-06-14 18:23:51 PDT
Marking nsbeta3 for tracking. Recc. nsbeta3+. This is a CSS1 W3C Official 
Test Suite bug. Have asked dbaron to investigate this issue and try to determine 
what the Right Thing is, then we need to see if we can do it.
Comment 18 User image David Baron :dbaron: ⌚️UTC-8 2000-06-14 22:19:41 PDT
Created attachment 10171 [details]
testcase showing current behavior is correct regarding 0 and normal
Comment 19 User image David Baron :dbaron: ⌚️UTC-8 2000-06-14 22:21:14 PDT
The above testcase (which shows that we are doing deltas from normal, rather 
than values, which I don't like but is what the spec says), along with:
show that our behavior is correct except possibly for the issue mentioned by above.  I will raise this on www-style.
Comment 20 User image David Baron :dbaron: ⌚️UTC-8 2000-06-14 22:44:41 PDT
I take that back.  I think the remaining issues are the following:
 * How does 'letter-spacing' apply at word gaps?  Should it:
     + not apply
     + apply once
     + apply twice (once on each side of space)
 * What happens where 'letter-spacing' and 'word-spacing' change?  Should it 
work like collapsed margins, as Matthew Brealey proposed in ?  Do we care?
Comment 21 User image Pierre Saslawsky 2000-06-16 02:46:58 PDT
We should apply letter-spacing twice at word-gaps like MacIE5 does. It preserves 
the legibility of the text when letter-spacing becomes larger than the normal 

In the 2 lines below, letter-spacing is 3 times the width of the space. In the 
first line, it is applied once between words; in the second one, it is applied 

    g   a   p   s    a   r   e    n   o   t    v   i   s   i   b   l   e

       g   a   p   s       a   r   e       v   i   s   i   b   l   e

Reassigned to erik who is taking care of Text Layout. Changed the summary line to 
"letter-spacing should apply on space characters too". Reset the milestone from 
"future" to M20 because of nsbeta3 nomination.
Comment 22 User image Pierre Saslawsky 2000-06-16 02:48:53 PDT
Created attachment 10238 [details]
testcase for letter-spacing at word gaps
Comment 23 User image ekrock's old account (dead) 2000-07-20 11:18:59 PDT
correctness of compliance with official W3C CSS1 test suite. Passing this is a
key product goal. Test suite results will be closely watched by reviewers.
Please approve for nsbeta3.
Comment 24 User image Frank Tang 2000-08-15 15:04:27 PDT
mark nsbeta3+ P2 per bug meeting (ekrock)
Comment 25 User image Pierre Saslawsky 2000-08-17 08:42:43 PDT
Marking M18 because it's been approved for beta3
Comment 26 User image Jaime Rodriguez, Jr. 2000-08-24 14:23:01 PDT
Adding buster to cc: list.
Comment 27 User image Frank Tang 2000-08-29 16:19:48 PDT
mark it as P4. shanjian, can you help to look at this bug ?
Comment 28 User image ekrock's old account (dead) 2000-08-29 18:12:03 PDT
Marking [nsbeta3-] and Future because Netscape engineering is overburdened. 
Letter spacing on space characters is frankly a rather obscure issue. Will 
document this as a known issue in release notes. Please feel free to note your 
concerns or objections, but please don't clear nsbeta3- unless you are 
committing to accept the bug and implement the fix yourself in the nsbeta3 
Comment 29 User image David Baron :dbaron: ⌚️UTC-8 2000-08-29 18:19:25 PDT
For the record, letter-spacing on space characters isn't an obscure issue.  It
makes letter-spacing look horrible on any multi-word text.  The workaround is to
use word-spacing, but then once the bug is fixed it will look horrible on any
pages with that workaround.
Comment 30 User image ekrock's old account (dead) 2000-09-01 10:55:43 PDT
Possible hack workaround I thought of: since letter spacing on characters works 
but space characters doesn't, if you want to create the visual appearance of 
spaces but have letter spacing work correctly, simulate spaces by surrounding a 
non-space character (e.g. an "a" or an "m" or a "_" or something) with a SPAN 
and set STYLE="visibility:hidden" on the SPAN. If the enclosure within the SPAN 
doesn't change how spacing is calculated, that ought to work both in the 
initial release with the bug and future releases without it. If anyone has a 
second to test this and confirm this idea that would be great!
Comment 31 User image David Baron :dbaron: ⌚️UTC-8 2000-09-22 20:03:51 PDT
That workaround won't work on any browsers that don't support CSS2's visibility 
property.  We also shouldn't expect authors to do things that messy.
Comment 32 User image Hixie (not reading bugmail) 2000-09-27 16:59:30 PDT
This bug basically kills 'letter-spacing' for multi-word spans. I would 
recommend removing support for this property altogether if we do not fix it.

If nothing is done then:

   Netscape 6 does not support the CSS 'letter-spacing' property correctly when 
   applied to spaces. Work around: Do not use 'letter-spacing' to affect any 
   multi-word phrases in any of your documents until such time as Netscape 6 is
   no longer in use (probably some time in 2004).
Comment 33 User image ekrock's old account (dead) 2000-09-27 21:30:39 PDT
No, documentation group, do *not* put the above text into the release notes, 
it's a complete overreaction. We should document the problem and my hack 
workaround instead. See me for details; I'll supply appropriate text. 

Ian: I applaud your passion for standards compliance, but let's please try to 
keep things in proper perspective. The tone of that proposed text was simply 
inappropriate for release notes. We're talking about a problem with *spacing* 
for the first release; the text can still be read. If authors are really steamed 
about this, they can client-sniff and tell folks to upgrade to Netscape 6.0x or 
6.x that fixes this or to use IE. This bug is *nothing* like the Nav4 CSS1 
*crash* bugs that so hampered adoption of CSS on the web. Is the glass 0.5% 
empty or 99.5% full? And does any other browser support this many standards this 
deeply simultaneously across platforms? No. It is not the few-and-far-between 
flaws in standards compliance of Netscape 6 that will be holding back the 
usability of standards; it is overwhelmingly the yawning holes of IE5.5 Win and 
IE5 Mac.

David: Since Nav4+ and IE4+ and Opera 4+ support visibility, that covers the 
overwhelming majority of current browser users. They can use the workaround, 
accept the bug in the first release, or not use the feature; their call.
Comment 34 User image David Baron :dbaron: ⌚️UTC-8 2000-09-28 07:04:38 PDT
I agree with Ian's proposal.  Eric's workaround is inappropriate and will mess
up lots of other user-agents (for example, non-CSS browsers, browsers with CSS
or author styles turned off, CSS1 browsers that don't support CSS2's visibility
property, search engines, etc.).
Comment 35 User image Pierre Saslawsky 2000-09-28 08:09:16 PDT
Reassigned to myself, I have a fix:

Index: nsTextFrame.cpp
RCS file: /m/pub/mozilla/layout/html/base/src/nsTextFrame.cpp,v
retrieving revision 1.276
diff -r1.276 nsTextFrame.cpp
>       mWordSpacing += mLetterSpacing; // bug 1046
Comment 36 User image buster 2000-09-28 08:46:21 PDT
looks fine, a=buster
Comment 37 User image ekrock's old account (dead) 2000-09-28 11:05:47 PDT
Thank God, a fix! (Actually, thank Pierre! ;-> ) I strongly endorse for RTM. 
Note that this is extremely high profile standards compliance. It's a test where 
Gecko is failing and IE5 Mac is succeeding on the W3C CSS1 Standards Compliance 
test suite--the only standard for which an official W3C-blessed test suite 

David, Ian: to help us make the case to PDT, would you please summarize as a 
list of bullet points the impact of *not* accepting this fix? Points to note: 
retard ability of content developers to use feature going forward, the fact that 
workarounds won't then be forwardly compatible with a fixed version, 
accessibility, etc.

Pierre: am I right in thinking that this fix is very low-risk?
Comment 38 User image Hixie (not reading bugmail) 2000-09-28 14:37:49 PDT
Thanks Pierre.

PDT: Eric summmed it up quite well.
   * High profile CSS1 test suite bug.
   * Relatively low risk (one line fix)
   * Improves readability/accessibility of any page using this property
   * Bug would cause headaches for any web author trying to migrate to CSS
   * No usable workaround exists

I t   m a k e s   t h e   d i f f e r e n c e   b e t w e e n   t e x t   
s p a c e d   l i k e   t h i s a n d t e x t s p a c e d l i k e t h i s.
Comment 39 User image Erik van der Poel 2000-09-29 10:30:47 PDT
Looks good to me to. r=erik
Comment 40 User image karnaze (gone) 2000-09-29 13:55:47 PDT
Adding rtm+. This is css1 compliance and low risk.
Comment 41 User image Michael La Guardia 2000-10-02 16:46:35 PDT
Marking rtm++.  Let's get this one checked into the branch.
Comment 42 User image Pierre Saslawsky 2000-10-09 01:48:32 PDT
Fix checked in nsTextFrame.cpp (trunk + Netscape_20000922_BRANCH).
Comment 43 User image Christine Hoffman 2000-10-11 17:43:20 PDT
Using Pierre's 6/16 textcase, verified fixed on Win, Mac and Linux with 10_11 
branch build. Added vtrunk keyword.
Comment 44 User image Asa Dotzler [:asa] 2000-10-17 15:37:10 PDT
This testcase seems to be fine for Mozilla win32 and Mac builds on the trunk
(101704) but it fails for me on trunk (101708) and trunk (101712) linux builds.

Comment 45 User image John Unruh 2000-10-31 09:56:26 PST
The testcase worksforme with the 10/31 Linux trunk build.
Comment 46 User image Christine Hoffman 2000-11-02 12:18:35 PST
Marking verified as it has been tested successfully for fix on branch and trunk
builds across platform

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