Two new specifications relating to 'Ruby' annotation have been released by the W3C. 'Ruby' are "small character annotations, sometimes added to the characters of an ideographic script like Japanese, to clarify the pronunciation (and/or the meaning) of those characters. They are usually put in a very small font, along the side of the ideogram in vertical text, or at the top in horizontal text... Ruby annotations are used frequently in Japan in many kinds of publications, including books and magazines; a sequence of ideographic characters (kanji) is supplemented with the simpler hiragana which show how the word should be pronounced. Ruby is also used in China, especially in schoolbooks. Ruby text is usually presented alongside the base text, using a smaller typeface. The name 'ruby' in fact originated from the name of the 5.5pt font size in British printing, which is about half the 10pt font size commonly used for normal text. While many international typography needs can be fulfilled through the use of style sheet languages such as CSS or XSL, additional markup is needed [in this case] to define the relationship between the base text and its annotation. Ruby Annotation delivers this functionality to the Web in the form of an XHTML module, thus allowing ruby to be correctly rendered along with the basic text without using special workarounds or graphics. XHTML 1.1 includes the Ruby Annotation module, enhancing XHTML 1.1's power and extensibility." As part of the W3C Internationalization Activity, the Internationalization Working Group has produced a markup specification for ruby which is now a W3C Recommendation, Ruby Annotation. A companion document Implementing the Ruby Module from Masayasu ISHIKAWA has been released as a W3C Note. It describes sample module implementations of the abstract definition of ruby annotation markup using several schema notations: XML DTD, RELAX, TREX, and the W3C XML Schema. This document also illustrates W3C's Amaya browser/editor implementation of ruby as part of XHTML 1.1.
- Ruby Annotation. W3C Recommendation 31-May-2001.
- Announcement: "World Wide Web Consortium Issues XHTML 1.1 and Ruby Annotation as W3C Recommendations. Two New Specifications Deliver Enhanced Modularity and Internationalization Support."
- Testimonials for XHTML 1.1 and Ruby Annotation
- Implementing the Ruby Module. W3C Note 31-May-2001.
- "CSS3 Module: Ruby."
- W3C Ruby Annotation reference page
- W3C Internationalization Activity
- "Ruby Annotation" - Main reference page.