Khmer pagination

Inasmuch as Khmer – more specifically, my lack of knowledge about how to best format Khmer – made up a slide in my “XSL-FO meets the Tower of Babel” talk at the MultilingualWeb workshop in Luxembourg last week, Richard Ishida directed me to his page about Khmer, from which I found Franklin Huffman’s “Cambodian System of Writing“, and in the 153-page book, I found half a page on page numbering and section numbering in Khmer.

The intent of my talk – after the amusing introduction, the pep-talk about XSL-FO being good at multilingual layout, and the public displays of ignorance – was to make the case for additional W3C Layout Task Forces and/or for a Multilingual Layout Community Group at the W3C, where any Task Force(s) could do the heavy lifting for specific languages or scripts and any community group’s wiki could accrete information about lesser-known traditions.  Sadly, to me at least, the only expressions of support that I got for either idea were from Richard Ishida and Felix Sasaki, but then they’re also the current and previous chairs of the Japanese Layout Task Force.

Since Richard’s page, Daniels and Bright’s “The World’s Writing Systems”, and the Unicode Standard Version 5.0 (being about plain text, as it is) all cover the Khmer script without mentioning even the few layout details in the book, and since there’s no W3C community group to collect this sort of information, and since my talk included three slides of “What I know about…” for three Ruby traditions, here’s “What I know about Khmer pagination”:

Image from page 63 of Franklin Huffman’s “Cambodian System of Writing“. Book placed in the public domain in 1975.

2 thoughts on “Khmer pagination

  1. I wish list-style-type soon available in Khmer (១. ២. ៣…..ក. ខ. គ……) in CSS style-sheet.

  2. That’s the sort of thing that would have a better chance of making it into the specs if it was collected and visible. Certainly better than if it’s just us two discussing it in blog comments.

    Note that XSLT’s xsl:number should be able to do the numbering sequence (http://www.w3.org/TR/xslt20/#convert) if you start it with “១” or “ក” (but YMMV about whether a particular XSLT processor does the right thing) so it’s not completely bleak if you’re starting from XML and transforming to HTML, XHTML, or XSL-FO.

    You are out of luck with CSS 2.1, but if/when CSS Lists and Counters Module Level 3 gets implemented, you should be able to use ‘@counter-style khmer’ (http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-lists/#khmer) or ‘@counter-style cambodian’ and, presumably, also make your own counter style for numbering by consonants (since that doesn’t appear to have made it onto the CSS radar). The ‘.’ after the counter would be there by default.

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