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Re: CSS enhancement proposal

From: Todd Fahrner <fahrner@pobox.com>
Date: Sat, 14 Jun 1997 21:24:11 -0700
Message-Id: <v03102802afc914bf51a2@[206.245.203.103]>
To: "Joel N. Weber II" <devnull@gnu.ai.mit.edu>
Cc: www-style@w3.org
At 23:28 -0400 6.14.97, Joel N. Weber II wrote:
>    Date: Sat, 14 Jun 1997 19:03:47 -0700
>    From: Todd Fahrner <fahrner@pobox.com>
[snip]
>    Consider this case:
>
> 	   font: 9pt/15pt Verdana, "Gill Sans," sans-serif;
>
>    This will result in a very legible Verdana (unless it's a Mac), a
>    wretched, overleaded Gill Sans, or an imponderably rendered default
>    sans. This would be much better:
>
> 	   font: 9pt/15pt Verdana, 12pt/14pt "Gill Sans," 1em/1.2em sans-serif;
>
> I think you just destroyed the impact of your example with the comment
> ``unless it's a Mac''.

That was a reference to the disaster of specifying point units on
type without some sort of platform-transformation like this:

<SCRIPT>
<!--
	if (navigator.appVersion.lastIndexOf('Mac') == -1)
	{
	document.writeln("<STYLE> BODY { font-size: 0.75em }</STYLE>")
	};
//-->
</SCRIPT>

An explanation (repurposed from email to David Perrell, with
apologies for the light-hearted Windows-ribbing):

Scenario 1: you're a "web designer." Before this you were a print
designer. You work on Macs like every other designer you know. You
know how 12-point Fruvonius reads on screen and in print, because
points are pixels. You specify 12-point Fruvonius in your style sheet
on <body>, and everything else in em units, with the <body> size as a
base. It looks same as it ever was on your "true WYSIWYG" Mac. You go
to a Windows box and everything's 25% bigger, no longer in synch with
bitmap images. You need this script in the head of your documents. It
will fix them. It won't help with the 2.8+ gamma, alas.

Scenario 2: you're a "web designer." Before this you used Windows,
and before that you used DOS. You think 10-point is a highfalutin'
way to say "10 cpi." At any rate you have an inflationary reckoning
of the value of a point, and are likely to specify really small point
sizes in your style sheets, just like Microsoft does. Some
disgruntled, disenfranchised typographer tracks you down and blows up
your car for violating the integrity of the point unit, and
publishing illegible web pages. You need this script. It lives in
your FrontPage template, or in some darker place - you might not know
it exists. You preview your page, jacking up the point size until it
looks right. The script takes care of the math.

> I don't know the precise details of these fonts; but I would expect
> that even with your proposal, you're going to have problems if
> two systems have very different fonts with the same name.

Yes - a problem. I hope the incidence will be rare enough to overlook, however.

________________________________________
Todd Fahrner
mailto:fahrner@pobox.com
http://www.verso.com/

The printed page transcends space and time. The printed page, the
infinitude of books, must be transcended. THE ELECTRO-LIBRARY.

--El Lissitzky, 1923
Received on Sunday, 15 June 1997 00:14:10 GMT

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