Tag characters and in-line graphics (from Tag characters)

Philippe Verdy verdy_p at wanadoo.fr
Fri May 29 14:07:45 CDT 2015

2015-05-29 4:37 GMT+02:00 John <idou747 at gmail.com>:

> "Today the world goes very well with HTML(5) which is now the bext markup
> language for document (including for inserting embedded images that don’t
> require any external request”
> If I had a large document that reused a particular character thousands of
> times, would this HTML markup require embedding that character thousands of
> times, or could I define the character once at the beginning of the
> sequence, and then refer back to it in a space efficient way?

HTML(5) allows defining *once* entities for images that can then be reused
thousands of times without repeting their definition. You can do this as
well with CSS styles, just define a class for a small element. This element
may still be an "image", but the semantic is carried by the class you
assign to it. You are not required to provide an external source URL for
that image if the CSS style provides the content.

You may also use PUAs for the same purpose (however I have not seen how CSS
allows to style individual characters in text elements as these characters
are not elements, and there's no defined selector for pseudo-elements
matching a single character). PUAs are perfectly usable in the situation
where you have embedded a custom font in your document for assigning glyphs
to characters (you can still do that, but I would avoid TrueType/OpenType
for this purpose, but would use the SVG font format which is valid in CSS,
for defining a collection of glyphs).

If the document is not restricted to be standalone, of course you can use
links to an external shared CSS stylesheet and to this SVG font referenced
by the stylesheet. With such approach, you don't even need to use classes
on elements, you use plain-text with very compact PUAs (it's up to you to
decide if the document must be standalone (embedding everything it needs)
or must use external references for missing definitions, HTML allows
both (and SVG as well when it contains plain-text elements).
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