NBSP supposed to stretch, right?

James Kass via Unicode unicode at unicode.org
Wed Dec 18 17:07:15 CST 2019

U+0020 SPACE

These two characters are equal in every way except that one of them 
offers an opportunity for a line break and the other does not.

If the above statement is true, then any conformant application must 
treat/process/display both characters identically.

Responding to Asmus Freytag,
 > Now, if someone can show us that there are widespread implementations 
 > follow the above recommendation and have no interoperability issues 
with HTML
 > then I may change my tune.

Can anyone show us that there are widespread implementations which would 
break if they started following the above recommendation?

Quoting from this HTML basics page,

“Some browsers will ignore beyond the first instance of the non-breaking 
“Not all browsers acknowledge the additional instances of the 
non-breaking space.”

Fifteen or twenty years ago, we used NO-BREAK SPACE to indent paragraphs 
and to position text and graphics.  Both of those uses are presently 
considered no-nos because some browsers collapse NBSPs and because there 
are proper ways now to accomplish these kinds of effects.

The introduction of browsers which collapsed NBSP strings broke existing 
web pages.  Perhaps the developers of those browsers decided that SPACE 
and NO-BREAK SPACE are indeed identical except for line breaking.

Are there any modern mark-up language uses of SPACE vs NO-BREAK SPACE 
which would be broken if they follow the above recommendation?

More information about the Unicode mailing list