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Re: font sizes...

From: Bert Bos <Bert.Bos@sophia.inria.fr>
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 1996 12:10:24 +0200 (MET DST)
Message-Id: <199607241010.MAA26759@mygale.inria.fr>
To: Walter Ian Kaye <boo@best.com>
Cc: www-style@w3.org
Walter Ian Kaye writes:
 > Of course, relative numbers were broken from the beginning. These things
 > *should* have been called "font index" or something like that, since
 > "font size" (in real life) has always referred to absolute sizes,
 > generally expressed in points.

True, but calling the property "font-index-or-size" didn't seem very

 > At 3:49p +0200 07/23/96, Bert Bos wrote:
 > >The CSS1 spec gives four ways to set the font size:
 > >
 > >1. Corresponding to Netscape's numbering scheme is the set of 7
 > >keywords: xx-small, x-small, small, medium, large, x-large and
 > >xx-large.
 > Strange... I never thought of a 12pt font as "small", especially in the
 > context of Netscape's "normal" font size. One would think that "normal"
 > would correspond to "medium" rather than "small". ::shrug::

My `corresponding' shouldn't be taken too literally. It is perfectly
OK to map Netscape's font #3 to medium. In fact, like you, I would
think it strange otherwise.

#6 would be xx-large, #7 would then be an unnamed size that you can
only reach as a relative size, e.g., with font-size:+3 (assuming the
parent has medium).

CSS's x-small and xx-small may both be mapped to #1. The spec says:
"the UA should take the quality and availability of fonts into account
when computing the table."

The intention of this is that it is safer to ask for medium than for
10pt, since the browser can then choose the best size. Because of
screen resolution and other factors, medium may turn out to be 10.7pt,
or something else that the author could never have guessed.

  Bert Bos                                ( W 3 C ) http://www.w3.org/
  http://www.w3.org/pub/WWW/People/Bos/                      INRIA/W3C
  bert@w3.org                             2004 Rt des Lucioles / BP 93
  +33 93 65 77 71                 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France
Received on Wednesday, 24 July 1996 06:10:52 UTC

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