Re: Seriffed and sans-serif fonts?

Michal Young (
Wed, 19 Apr 1995 12:56:27 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 1995 12:56:27 -0500
To:, Multiple recipients of list <>
From: (Michal Young)
Subject: Re: Seriffed and sans-serif fonts?

>Examples of usage of text and idioms are given in seriffed fonts.
>Comments on the utilisation and the parts of speech, ie. the
>annotation itself, needs to be rendered in a sans-serif font.
>It doesn't really matter which: universe, avant-garde, helvetica,
>geneva, etc.

Isn't this what style sheets are all about?  You define a hierarchy of
logical tags that distinguishes between examples and comments, and you give
suggested fonts for each.  The user can override them (perhaps the user is
running a text-to-speech browser and prefers a female voice for examples
and a male voice for comments), but the map to actual fonts/characteristics
should match the "shape" of your hierarchy of logical tags.

Am I misunderstanding the basic ideas here?

>Can we introduce a new mechanism?  <ss> (for sans-serif)?

The last thing we need is a proliferation of hard-wired physical formatting
tags -- there is just no end to it.  An extensible logical tagging system
can always be subverted for physical tagging, but it's very hard to recover
logical structure from physical tags.

Michal Young
Purdue University
Software Engineering Research Center
Department of Computer Sciences
1398 Computer Science Building
West Lafayette, IN  47907-1398
voice: 317-494-6023
fax:   317-494-0739