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Re: Use relative sizing and positioning rather than absolute

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU>
Date: Wed, 29 Jul 1998 08:41:22 +1000 (AEST)
To: WAI Markup Guidelines <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.95.980729083242.9765A-100000@ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU>
On Tue, 28 Jul 1998, Josh Krieger wrote:

> If this is a style sheet issue, then it shouldn't be a problem
> because the user should be able to override the value with
> their own style sheet settings.

Unfortunately, this is not as simple as it may seem. Suppose that the
author's style sheet establishes a particular font size for the body of
the document, and a larger font size for first-level headings. Let it be
supposed further that the user's style sheet overrides the declaration by
the author that refers to the body of the document. Now, if the author has
used relative (EM and EX) units to specify font sizes at lower levels of
the document tree (the first level headings in the present example), then
these will be scaled appropriately once the user's style sheet has
established a new body font. However, if the author has instead employed
absolute font sizes, then the result is that the first level headings
would retain their original size, which may be less than the new "body"
size established by the user. The only recourse, in this case, is for the
user to include the INHERIT keyword in the body font size declaration; but
the disadvantage here is that the author's font distinctions are entirely
lost.

So far as the proprietary attributes are concerned, they should be
avoided. Relative font sizes should be used in style sheets as argued
above.
Received on Tuesday, 28 July 1998 18:41:03 GMT

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