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Chapter 22. Ruby > What Is Ruby?

22.1. What Is Ruby?

Ruby refers to a technique for laying out text used in many Asian character sets, like Japanese (Hiragana, Katakana, Kana and Kanji), Korean (Hangul and Hanja) and Chinese (the Bopomofo characters used in Madarin as an example), where additional characters are used in conjunction with “base” characters as an aid in pronunciation or as an explanatory annotation.

There are three implicit structures for ruby: the initial “base” text (called “ruby base”), the commentary text (called “ruby text”) and the bounding box that contains both (the “ruby” itself). Figure 22-1 uses English words to provide an example of what ruby is all about.


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