Originally Posted by cybmole
c'est la vie
- & why resurrect this thread - it has been dormant for 14 months
Well, I just think that no matter the (dormant) status of a thread, it is always good to share information, especially cultural information, which is by nature quite difficult to access in other cultures.
That is to say this issue may be quite irrelevant in some culture, but pretty terrible in some other cultures. Thus I guess sharing this may be useful.
I'm the first to say french people are reluctant to adapt their language. And to be honest, I believe the main reason we are unable to do that is a pervasive intellectual arrogance that I just can't bear. You know, we tend to think we are more intelligent than others but don't do anything to prove it. That is why our language is sacred and you can't alter it. If you dare do that, then you open the gates of Hell.
On the contrary, Germany reformed its language a few years ago since they thought they had to modernize and make it more "user-friendly".
Unfortunately, in this particular case, I must admit that I can't even see how we could change our language. We do differently, but we can't do else. As long as non-breakable thin space is not fully supported, we have to provide a damaged reading experience.
A normal non-breakable space is OK, but we can tell there is something strange while reading. It's all about feeling and subconscious awareness. And it is a huge problem when readers set text-alignment to justify ("syntax" may be visually broken in several places).
No space at all is no option, since it means bringing a huge parasite in the reading experience (some tried and readers contacted them to ask why they did it that way — some even said it was so painful it damaged their reading experience). They are not used to it so…
A span is OK in some cases (numbers) but we can't obviously do that for all double quotation marks as it would take hours or days. And I guess publishers are not willing to pay for that.
French ebook developers abide by the ebook rules (readers' freedom to set as they wish) but we are keen on typography as it was meant to facilitate so there is a lot we can do to enhance their reading experience. We are currently trying to find a golden mean. In this process, more and more french ebook developers are considering typographical enhancement something vital. And readers keep their freedom at the same time. But AFAIK, the vast majority tell us they get a better experience (some readers using one specific eReader even thanked a developer for its typographical tunings since the default experience (values set by this eReader's manufacturer) is very bad).
As a matter of fact, more and more readers are actually complaining about ebooks that haven't been optimized typographically.
Thus non-breakable thin space is a huge problem as it is a "process breaker".
We just want to make better ebooks and that's it. For example, some guy whose name I don't remember, developed a methodology to manage rich content (non-fiction). It is pretty simple since it was adapted from something existing but it works very very well and readers seem to agree. As a result, we can offer a better reading experience, which is basically the aim of an ebook designer. And books using this methodology tend to be more beautiful as well. As a consequence, those books get extra-advertizing since people find it of high-quality (visually charming + content is managed quite perfectly).
In fact, sometimes it looks like this guy's job is to find a lot of solutions to help us make better ebooks people love and push publicly.
So yeah, at first it looked like we could do nothing because of "ebook rules and principles" but we are discovering we can do a lot, and that we can do a lot that eventually meet readers' expectations. That is why everything is insanely important (in this case, non breakable thin space).
for your attention. I'll try to be more concise next time.