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Fractions created with the backslash character can be clunky and confusing. With the Fraction property turned on, backslash-based fractions can be automatically transformed into true fractions.

If an article about typography doesn't even know the difference between a slash and a backslash, how are we ever to get people to stop saying backslash when talking about URLs?

http://public.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/backslash.html




BTW, this feature is a complete fail -- say I write 3431/5147, and what do I get? 343(1/5)147, so not only still ugly, but also incorrect mathematically.


No, it's not. It works like it's suppossed to do for any (not actual regex) /d+ \/ /d+ . See screenshot here: http://imgur.com/gwlHJ

Fonts supporting the frac feature have a separate set of smaller numbers, and these get dynamically composed into fractions once you type them.


Maybe things will change with how the browser implements fractions but 112/3 = 11(2/3) and 3431/5147 = 3431/5147 (there is no 1/5) http://imgur.com/a/4FFNy

Edit: Spelling.


That's actually an issue with that specific font. Try editing the first Verdana Example (3/4 Ale..), that works for me for 1234/5678.


Got me; I tested 3431/4147 and then made an error when posting a comment; this is my original screenshot: http://imgur.com/MajJD


Yeah, it can only support those fractions that are included in the specification and the font itself, like 1/2, 3/4, 5/8. It's a typographic special case.


I know -- the problem is the syntax. You can't safely apply this to any document, because it may change the meaning of it. Such things should only exist as unicode characters or character entities.


I'm not sure your argument is valid. How is the decision made to convert x/y to fraction form? Is it white-space/punctuation+whitespace on either side? If that's the case, then: xxx/yyy will never become fraction form; however, x/y and x/y. (as in the end of a sentence) will.


The only way to guarantee it is to have an HTML tag to identify the fraction - <frac>11/63</frac> or similar.


But this does not work this way -- it seems it just blindly consumes char before and after / and converts if this fraction has a glyph in the font. Also, what you suggest is hard to implement since there are numerous localisation-dependent options what a whitespace/punctuation is and where to search it.


I've always disagreed with the whole "leans forward/backward" logic. I feel that a slash is a character that you draw by moving your pen _forward_ along the page, while a backslash is drawn by moving your pen _backward_. I guess the added problem with that is that probably not all people start drawing slashes from the top.

I should add that my opinion doesn't stop me from using the correct term in conversation.


You still use a pen? :)

I don't start a slash from the top or the bottom - I start it from the left, and go up or down.

The reasoning is simple: Draw a straight line. Lean it. Is it leaning left? It's leaning backward. Leaning right? Leaning forward.


When explaining this I usually use add one detail: just as a stick leans from a point on the ground, so does a slash lean from the baseline of the typeset.




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