experience with/opinions on justification and CSS white-space properties in email?

Ben Bucksch ben.bucksch at beonex.com
Thu Jul 1 10:34:41 UTC 2010

  On 01.07.2010 00:22, Daniel Glazman wrote:
> Justification is exactly what it means in your favorite text processor

OK, thanks for the clarification. I couldn't know, because I never used 
a word processor with English UI. "Justification" for me meant "a 
supporting argument" :).

> We're not using it _now_ in text/plain email. But it could make sense:
>   Launch your preferred  Office suite, type  some kilometers of
>   text, switch all to a monospace font like Courier and justify
>   the  text.   Just  like  in  the  current  paragraph  that  I
>   manually justified.
> And then the user in me thinks "why not?" in email...
> I am not asking if you're using it. I am asking "will you *ever* use
> it?"

If we were to implement something like that in plaintext mail, we would 
do the "justification" ourselves, by adding the fixed-width spaces 

If nothing else for backwards compatibility to HTML renderers who don't 
support this combination, and more importantly for pure plaintext emails.

That said, I don't see us adding this feature at all. Even on HTML pages 
with proportional font, I barely ever see "justified" text. And if we 
were to implement it, we probably wouldn't use the CSS feature. And if 
we need to do it internally in the editor, we can do it regardless of 
the spec.

> We plan to make "text-align: justify" fallback to "text-align:
> initial" when used on a "white-space: pre" or "white-space: pre-wrap"
> element and we're not going to reverse that later.

That sounds sensible to me. I don't think CSS needs to support every 
theoretically possible combination of CSS features, esp. if they are 
hard to implement and esoteric to use, in that case it's fine to define 
that this combination is not supported. Implementing CSS is hard enough 

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