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Re: Size-specific font selection in a webfonts environment?

From: Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2013 15:39:27 +0200
Message-ID: <723720988.20131022153927@w3.org>
To: John Hudson <tiro@tiro.com>
CC: public-webfonts-wg@w3.org
Hello John,

Sunday, October 20, 2013, 7:49:42 PM, you wrote:

> I'm keen to understand how this mechanism might best operate in a 
> webfonts environment (particularly with dynamic text that might be 
> displaying at different sizes on different devices or layouts), and 
> whether automatic size-specific design selection would require any 
> modifications or extensions to the CSS @font-face handling.

The original @font-face definition, as developed by the first webfonts
WG and standardised in CSS2, included a font-size descriptor:

  This is the descriptor for the sizes provided by this font. Only
  absolute length units are permitted, in contrast to the 'font-size'
  property, which allows both relative and absolute lengths and sizes.
  A comma-separated list of absolute lengths is permitted.

  The initial value of 'all' is suitable for most scalable fonts, so
  this descriptor is primarily for use in an @font-face for bitmap
  fonts, or scalable fonts designed to be rasterised at a restricted
  range of font sizes.


Unfortunately CSS3 Fonts drops this descriptor, presumably on the
grounds that no-one uses bitmapped fonts anymore (though the coloured
raster-based fonts from Apple and Google may induce a revival) and
presumably because no-one seemed to be using optical sizing, multiple
masters, and so on.

However, it would seem possible to resurrect this descriptor, perhaps
in CSS4 Fonts.

Best regards,
 Chris                            mailto:chris@w3.org
Received on Tuesday, 22 October 2013 13:39:29 UTC

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