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Re: CSS2 & the <TT> ,, </TT> font. It's not monospaced

From: Eric A. Meyer <emeyer@sr71.lit.cwru.edu>
Date: Fri, 28 May 1999 10:14:06 -0400
Message-Id: <v04011702b37455248dec@[]>
To: www-style@w3.org
Before I get around to rebutting various points, let me suggest the following:

<STYLE TYPE="text/css">
OL.proxylist {color: red;}
OL.proxylist LI {list-style-type: Decimal;}
OL.proxylist LI TT {padding-left: 1em; font-family: monospace; color: red;}

   This may get closer to the results you were hoping to achieve.  Then
again, maybe not, given Netscape's CSS implementation in Navigator 4.x.

>I found Netscape 4.51 CSS to be useless.

   This is not a fault of CSS, it's a fault of Netscape.  The CSS
implementation in Netscape 4.x is, not to put too fine a point on it,
absolutely horrible.  The programmers at Netscape have admitted as much,
and are hoping to redress this with Netscape 5-- assuming it ever gets
released using the Raptor engine, that is.  In the meantime, Navigator 4.x
is best considered a browser which does not support CSS, and to leave it at

>(2) The major comment of this message.
>My browser is configured to use the fixed width font
> Andale Mono. When I specified Font-Family : monospace,
> the lists displayed in a different font.
>Maybe it is a Netscape problem. I have absolutely no idea
> what a CSS2 monospaced font really is. A fixed width font
> is the font I tell the browser to use in the "Appearance
> / Fonts / Fixed Width Font" font selector menu.

   CSS relies on the browser to tell it what a "monospace" font is, since
different systems will have different fonts available.  A well-designed
browser would have reported Andale Mono, since that's what you had set in
your preferences, but Netscape's CSS implementation is not well-designed.

>Netscape's scheme seems to me to be extremely successful:
> I specify *two* fonts, the browser uses just those two,
> and the only pages that have fonts that display badly
> are those which specify the font (whether or not using
> CSS to do that).
>Why is the phrase "fixed font" not in the CSS2 documentation.

   One might as well ask why the phrase "monospace font" is not in
Navigator's preference panel.  It's a matter of using one's favorite label
to describe a certain thing.  The authors of the CSS specification
obviously favored "monospace," and the programmers at Netscape preferred
"fixed font."

>I came to the conclusion that CSS1/2 is of no use, which
> I did not presume to be the case when I tried to use CSS
> to reduce the number of bytes in the page.

   It's of little use in Netscape Navigator 4.x, yes.  Have you tried CSS
in Internet Explorer, Opera, or the Netscape developer preview?  It's of
much greater use in those browsers, and possibly others as well.

>Not only does it seem very possible that the CSS
> "monospace" is something some badly defined it should be
> avoided, but it also mapped onto some font which I did not
> identify/recognize.

   Netscape mapped your declaration onto another font, not CSS.

>The main point is : CSS2 can't (check that) emulate
> the <TT> font, so maybe another CSS tag is needed.

   Yes, it can, and does.  For example, the following rules will cause the
two types of elements to look the same:

   TT {font-family: monospace;}
   SPAN.fixed {font-family: monospace;}

If Navigator does not use the user-specified preference of Andale Mono for
the fixed-width (or monospace) font, then once again, that's the fault of
Netscape, not the people who wrote the CSS specification.
   My main point is:  Netscape Navigator 4.x has truly horrible CSS
support, or more precisely a lack thereof, and almost any CSS problems you
encounter using Nav4 are the fault of a bad implementation.


Eric A. Meyer  -  eam3@po.cwru.edu  -  http://www.cwru.edu/home/eam3.html
 Editor, Style Sheets Reference Guide  http://style.webreview.com/
 Coordinator, CSS1 Test Suite          http://www.w3.org/Style/CSS/Test/
 Member, WSP CSS Technical Committee   http://www.webstandards.org/
Received on Friday, 28 May 1999 10:14:12 GMT

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