Mozilla’s &SHYness Problem

Since I’ve given so much space to extolling the wonders of Mozilla, I thought it only fair to call out what appears to be one of the few times they have fallen down on standards compliance.

Yoz Grahame has the goods on Mozilla’s nonexistent support for the soft hyphen character, ­. This character allows you to tell the browser where it should insert a hyphen and wrap to a new line if a word is too long for its containing element. Here are some examples if you’d like to see it in action.

When I say “see it in action”, though, I should qualify that you won’t see anything if you use any version of Mozilla. That’s because support for ­ just does not exist in Moz — even though it is explicitly required in the HTML 4.01 spec.

Non-compliance with HTML 4! What is this, 1999? You might think so from browsing the Bugzilla thread on this subject, which has actually been open since 1999 and is still (depressingly) tagged “NEW”.

Come on, people. Even IE knows what to do with this character. You can work it out.


Sandy Smith

January 18, 2005
10:52 pm

If it’ll make you feel better, Safari had to go non-compliant on floats just to fit IE’s backward behavior:

Jason Lefkowitz

January 18, 2005
11:48 pm

Not to make a pun, but that’s Apples and oranges — this is implementing the actual HTML 4 spec, not kludging in something to follow IE’s bad behavior. In this case IE is actually following the spec more closely than Gecko.
Hyatt wrote about implementing soft-hyphens in KHTML last year and made it sound like No Big Deal, so it’s beyond pathetic that this has been stuck in Bugzilla now for as long as it has….