ブラウザーで日本語の縦書き The vertical layout for Japanese on web browers

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Sep 13, 2012 07:18 Japanese
You know what? The invention of internet changed the Japanese language.

When you use a computer to write something in Japanese, more than 98% of people (this was just my guess, but it turned out to be very accurate. http://internet.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/news/20120106_502780.html) use the horizontal layout. When you read something on internet, you read texts in the horizontal layout in 99.99999% of cases.

Historically, Japanese has been written vertically and from right to left for more than a thousand years. Even today, news papers and novels are printed with the vertical layout. However, the internet and computer force people to use the horizontal layout for Japanese. These days the number of books using the horizontal layout are increasing.

In terms of internet, it was simply a fundamental technical issue. None of the modern web browsers or standard computer languages for web pages, i.e. HTML, XML, CSS and JavaScript, allows you to display Japanese text in a vertical way. For example, even in Lang-8, you can't choose the vertical layout for display of Japanese texts. This kind of technical obstacles may underlie the slow development of ebooks in Japan, as well.

Chinese and Korean are being affected, similarly. I read that in South Korea all the major news papers adopt the horizontal layout. Things are rapidly changing.

However, some people seem to be aware of this problem. The latest standard format of ebooks, EPUB3.0 implements the vertical layout and related features. Moreover, there seems to be a governmental effort on the international standardization of the vertical layout on web browsers.

Question is, when these efforts have accomplished their goals, will the major news papers adopt the vertical layout for their online web site? I'm not sure...


次世代ブラウザーの縦書きレイアウト 総務省が国際標準化を検討 (2012.9.11 09:00)
http://www.sankeibiz.jp/business/news/120911/bsj1209110900001-n1.htm

Webブラウザでの日本語縦書き表示、順調に進行中。年内には実装の見通し (2011年1月19日 )
http://www.publickey1.jp/blog/11/web_4.html