W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > November 1996

Re: feedback on PR-CSS1

From: Steve Knoblock <knoblock@worldnet.att.net>
Date: Sat, 16 Nov 1996 14:37:19 -0500
Message-Id: <2.2.32.19961116193719.00a9bf4c@postoffice.worldnet.att.net>
To: wij@world.std.com (William I. Johnston), www-style@w3.org, howcome@w3.org
William,

>You may need to add some more text explaining what happens when a
>rule using H1 alone is followed by a rule using H1.class1. Which
>takes precedence? I suppose the latter, as it is more specific.
>A few more examples of this would be useful, especially if style
>sheets will be combined/merged.
>

I believe class-inheritance already defines this relationship. If you set

h1 {
   font-weight: bold;
}

and 

h1.section {
  color: red;
}

the sub-class will inherit all properties of H1 not overridden by the
sub-classed elements properties. That is h1.section will have bold text (and
any defaults inherited from the browser). Am I correct everyone?


>I'm curious to know why leading is added equally on the top and
>bottom of the text height to form the line-height. I suppose one
>outcome is that lines of text in a paragraph that get a special
>font size inline will space themselves equally from the line above
>and the line below. But typical typographic practice is to consider
>base-to-base spacing to the line above an element, or to the line
>below an element (or both, which gets confusing). It's going to be

This is going to cause massive confusion with people who come from the
dtp-world or traditional typography. I like to think of leading as added
space after the line. I've never seen it referred to as space above and
below the line. Its counter-intuitive.

>difficult for authors to know how to get the right leading between
>a H1 and a following P, for example. I have to subtract the 
>font size of H1 from the line-height of H1, then divide by 2,
>then add that to the resulof subtracting the font size of P
>from the line-height of P. The result is the total leading between
>the elements, to which I have to add the font-size of P to get the
>traditional base-to-base leading from H1 to P. Am I right?
>This "half-leading" concept will take some getting used to.
>


>In 5.2.6 you suggest 1.5 as a scale factor between font sizes.
>This may be too big. Consider that H1 is usually the largest item
>on a page, and yet H6 needs to be legible. Since most web docs
>use H1 and H2 and sometimes H3, but rarely H4, H5, and H6, this
>means a default of HUGE letters for H1 and H2. I know that font-size
>is independent of H attributes, but most UAs do use font-size as a
>principal way of distinguishing H1-H6. I'd suggest a more modest
>1.2 as a factor, since 1.2^6 << 1.5^6.
>

Well, most web browsers have their own idea of how to interpret Hn. That is
the reason for style sheets, so Hn can truly be freed from any suggestion
that it has anything to do with presentation. You are correct to point out
that most web browsers give H1 a very large font size. A heading font size
larger than the text is not universal---the Chicago Manual of Style 12th ed.
recommends using type the same size as the text for headings within the
chapter and itself uses only double the text size for chapter heads. In
fact, the MIT HTML style guide recommended using H3 for top level headings
because most browser's H1 is set to large and with too much whitespace.
Well, great now HTML means nothing. I want to use H1 for my top level
headings and have it look they way it should by design. That is why CSS is
important to the survival of the web.

I don't see any real purpose in these "font size names." If i want a
font-size for a traditional document I will use points. If its a web-only
document I want to use percentages based on an adjustable font-size in
points---perhaps related to the system font size. I find these names to
vague and inexact.

>Nowhere in the proposed recommendation do you truly define what
>a "parent" element is. Is this something we are supposed to know
>from the HTML spec? For example, what is the "parent" element of
>a paragraph? I need to know that if I am to know what a percentage
>value will do if I use it for a negative margin-top. Is it the

The parent element is the HTML element that contains other elements or text.
<body> is a element that contains others, like <p>. The paragraph element
contains text and phrase markup, like <em>. Some elements can legally serve
as containers and other can not. Some elements are invalid inside other
elements like <table> inside <p>.

This brings up an interesting topic. Most browsers now do not close <p>
without a </p> tag. They "nest" everything after the unclosed <p> causing
havoc with style sheets. I now close all my paragraphs, which I like doing
anyway. I just wish everyone would make up their mind about closing <p>.

>percentage of the width of the screen, or a percentage of the 
>font-size of the paragraph itself, or of the font-size of the

The percentage is of the parent element's font-size. This is another
problem. If I have

body {
   font-size: 12pt;
}

and write

h1 {
   font-size: 100%;
}

it cones out to be 100% of the browser defualt for H1 not 100% of 12pt. How
can this be solved?

Steve
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   _/     Steve Knoblock, ed., City Gallery
             knoblock@worldnet.att.net
   _/     City Gallery - History of Photography
             http://www.webcom.com/cityg  
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Received on Saturday, 16 November 1996 14:36:18 GMT

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