Re: HTML 3.xx & scalability

Greg Kostello (greg_kostello@digitalstyle.com)
Thu, 16 May 1996 14:28:59 -0700


Message-Id: <96May16.143440pdt.15364-2@gateway.digitalstyle.com>
Date: Thu, 16 May 1996 14:28:59 -0700
To: Hakon Lie <howcome@w3.org>
From: Greg Kostello <greg_kostello@digitalstyle.com>
Subject: Re: HTML 3.xx & scalability
Cc: www-html@w3.org

First, I'd like to state that I'm very pleased with the fact the the CSS
specification allows the author to define the values for properties in
relative units. If one considers the style associated with the <BODY> tag to
be the base style for text in a document, then being able to specify other
elements relative to that base font size/line height is a real advantage to
stylesheet designers. 

Question: Is it possible, to set the font size and line height relative to
the browser width? That way, as the user changes the width of the browser,
certain elements could respond by shrinking or enlarging proportionally.
This is especially important for the text from a readability standpoint. It
is much easier for the human eye to read small print across a narrow column
than a wide column. For example, if you look in many magazines, you will
find that text which spans the page is typically larger than text in a three
column format.

At 01:16 AM 5/14/96 -0700, you wrote:
>Walter Ian Kaye writes:
>
> > >(Walter: it would be nice if you could wrap your lines to around 72
> > >characters)
> > 
> > Oh, my message! Thought you meant that it would be nice if we could do that
> > in HTML regardless of font. Now that *would* be nice! ;)
>
>Yes. In CSS[1] you can express lenght values in units relative to the
>font size:
>
>  P { width: 72em }  /* ems, the height of the element's font */

Just a nit, as stated, ems is a specification font height. However, em says
nothing about the width of the font, even for mono-spaced fonts. So, by
specifying the width as 72 ems, you will only get 72 characters across for a
mono-spaced font if the width for the font is equivalent to the height
(which is rare).

I looked at the different units in section 6 of the CSS specification, and
it didn't appear to be any way to accomplish what you stated. Please
enlighten/correct me if this is possible? Thanks.

>
>In the example above, the width of P elements would be relative to the
>font size of the element.
>
>[1] http://www.w3.org/pub/WWW/Style/css
>
>Regards,
>
>-h&kon
>
>Hakon W Lie, W3C/INRIA, Sophia-Antipolis, France
>http://www.w3.org/people/howcome  howcome@w3.org
>
>
>
-----------------------------------------------
Greg Kostello
Digital Style Corporation
e-mail -- kostello@digitalstyle.com, URL -- http://www.digitalstyle.com/
(619) 673-5051