atw: Re: Extra spacing after full stop

rhardman:
On Fri, 18 Jan 2008 10:55:45 +0100,  you wrote:
> * À 20080118-1556_Fri, O'Connor, Deirdre [Beacon Technology]
> (DeirdreOConnor@xxxxxxxxxxx) écrivit:
>> Can anyone provide a yes/no answer to the question of whether extra spacing 
>> between
>> sentences should/shouldn't be used in Manual/Guideline/Standard type 
>> documentation? I
>> find many professionals
>>
>
> For what it's worth, in UNIXworld where most of our developers started life, 
> programs
> which parse text use (something like) the following definitions:
>
> Paragraph - A string of characters ending with the ascii characters "period 
> 'carriage
> return' linefeed".
>

Er, I'd question this.   UNIX convention for text is newline character. The 
CR/LF ending is a Windows variation that continues to cause compatibility 
problems.


> Sentence - A string of characters ending with the ascii characters "period 
> space space".
>
> So, at least in in UNIXworld, that is the origin of the double space after a 
> full stop.
> One would have a snowball's hope in hell to change this convention. Indeed, 
> reading a
> page of text in a monospaced font, developers are accustomed to mentally 
> parse out the
> sentences from the visual clue given by the double space between them.
>
> This is clearly irrelevant for text in proportionally spaced fonts. The 
> developers'
> friend for producing such text is the typesetter and formatter LaTeX (from 
> TeX), which
> is usually set up to replace "period space space" with "period space" from 
> the source
> text file. It should be easy for the tech writer to do this automatically, 
> even in MS
> Word, and so leave us all at peace.
>
> --
>
> Reginald HARDMAN
> Rédacteur technique - Technical writer
> Paris, France
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