W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > March 1997

Re: slashed zeroes

From: Lee Daniel Crocker <lcrocker@calweb.com>
Date: Tue, 4 Mar 1997 14:11:55 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <199703042211.OAA06745@web2.calweb.com>
To: www-style@w3.org
> I am an amateur radio operator and the more pages I put up about
> amateur radio the more I would like to put the slashes in the zeroes...

For the text to be semantically correct, searchable, indexable, etc.,
each "zero" must use Unicode code point 0x0030.  Even if there were
a character somewhere else that graphically resembled what you wanted,
it would be incorrect to use it.  "Characters" are units of information,
not graphical representations.  Nowhere is that more critical than in
a supposedly universal information medium like the web.  You must use
the ordinary 0, or speech renderers, search engines, etc. will not
read the right information.  If you use the right codes for numerals,
users in Europe will see slashed 7s and big 1s since presumably they
have chosen a font to their liking, and Americans will see skinny 1s
and single-stroke 7s.

If you wish to make some suggestion to the reading software as to what
glyphs would be preferred for that character, then you should use a
font recommendation or font-attribute recommendation in a style sheet.
It would be nice if CSS had that as a font attribute.  In the meantime,
you'll have to rely on your readers to choose a font they like.  One
might think that if they really wanted their zeroes slashed, they'd
want /all/ their zeroes slashed, not just the ones on your pages, and
would have chosen their default font appropriately.

In my experience, fixed-width "system" type fonts tend to have slashed
zeroes, but regular typographical fonts generally do not.

Lee Daniel Crocker <lee@piclab.com>
Received on Tuesday, 4 March 1997 17:11:49 UTC

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