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Re: WinIE5 and font size (was Re: [samurai] Did I miss something?)

From: L. David Baron <dbaron@fas.harvard.edu>
Date: Sat, 28 Aug 1999 00:02:23 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <199908280402.AAA13442@ice1.fas.harvard.edu>
To: fahrner@pobox.com, www-style@w3.org
On Fri, 27 Aug 1999 19:27:04 -0700, Todd Fahrner (fahrner@pobox.com)
wrote:
> [ redirected to www-style from another list, since it's been a while, 
> and the issue is a real impediment to authors trying to do the 
> WAI-approved thing of specifying user-scalable font sizes in CSS. ]
> 
> Ian Hickson wrote:
> 
> > > http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~dbaron/css/user/

Let me clarify a few things here.  First, the above URL wasn't really
intended to be publicly announced quite yet, but I was actually
thinking about doing it anyway.  Now I don't have to decide whether
it's ready yet.  (That's probably a good thing.)  I mentioned it in an
email message I sent to the samurai a few weeks ago.  (as an outsider:
I'm not on the list while working for Netscape.  I didn't even see
Ian's reply because he didn't cc: me.)

It is something some people on this list might be interested in.  It is
the guide to user stylesheets I've been talking about writing for a
while.  It's not really all about user stylesheets, and some parts of
it need to be expanded, but it's there (and I don't think it will
receive lots of attention anytime soon).  Parts of it are about good
style in author stylesheets (i.e., author stylesheets that interact
well in the cascade).

> >Looks good, David. One minor point, which Todd will probably be interested
> >in: when I first viewed the page, I saw merely some gray lines, because I
> >had Text Size set to Smallest in IE5.
> 
> Then you must see a lot of gray lines.

IE5's font sizing has a bug that makes the font sizes of some things
scale more than they should.  For example, a step in the font size
scale (Medium->Small) could change the text outside of a table by 30%
and the text inside the table by 60% (I'm pulling numbers out of thin
air).  This caused bizarre problems with tiny text in heavily nested
tables.  So perhaps Ian doesn't see lots of gray lines everywhere.

I tried to isolate this bug back in the days when I was a Windows user
(I don't see IE5 for Linux right now), i.e., back in May, so my memory
may be a bit hazy.  However, I did start to write a bit of an angry
rant [1] about MS web pages (many of which were illegible in IE5 with
font size set to "Smaller", at least right after IE5 shipped) and about
this bug.  At the time, I only knew it existed on tables.

It also seems to do strange things to 'smaller' and 'larger' too when
scaling to a user font size selection other than "Medium".  A post to
c.i.w.a.s that 'larger' didn't work led me to find this.  I described
it in [2].

What I'm trying to say is:  it could also be interacting with the core
styles in some way.  More fun for Todd...

David

[1] http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~dbaron/css/1999/05/ms-illegible/
[2] http://www.deja.com/[ST_rn=ps]/getdoc.xp?AN=484099787&fmt=text

L. David Baron     Rising Sophomore, Harvard     dbaron@fas.harvard.edu
Links, SatPix, CSS, etc.        < http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~dbaron/ >
Summer Intern, Netscape - however, opinions are entirely my own, etc.
Received on Saturday, 28 August 1999 00:02:25 GMT

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