W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > November 1999

Re: font-size and accents, again

From: Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 21:50:45 +0100
Message-ID: <383AFE25.D3478E1B@w3.org>
To: Tantek Celik <tantek@cs.stanford.edu>
CC: "L. David Baron" <dbaron@fas.harvard.edu>, erik@netscape.com, fahrner@pobox.com, "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>


Tantek Celik wrote:
> >From: "L. David Baron" <dbaron@fas.harvard.edu>
> > I'd have to disagree with that.  In the Windows API, it's trivial to
> > ask for sizing either way.  The patch needed to make Mozilla pass my
> > test [1] on Windows is a one character change[...]
> > Browsers have traditionally chosen the latter.
> 
> And I have to disagree with some of the assumptions made in this paragraph.
> 
> First, it is not so trivial in the MacOS API - or, you are not guaranteed to
> the have all such information available for all fonts.  I wonder about other
> platforms as well. How many other platforms has Opera announced support for?

BeOS, Linux, EPOC (and possibly others, but these seem to be the ones
that have beta programs currently). EPOC is the OS used by Psion and
GeoFox organisers, and Symbian cellphones.

> I'm not a font expert (like any of us are, besides Todd of course), but
> IMHUO (U-Unqualified) opinion, I don't think there's anything wrong with a
> few glyphs in a font being larger than the font's em-square.

Right. 

It seems that, when font designers start doing a Latin-only font, they
typically include all the accents inside the em-square. So for example a
lot of French typography copies the typewriter rather than the
letterpress and either omits accents entirely on uppercase letters
(since they "would not fit") or makes them very small (an acute accent
becomes almost horizontal).

Once people start adding multiple accents (like for Vietnamese) or start
doing Thai or Arabic, they rapidly go outside the em square - or
alternatively, produce a high degree of internal leading. There was a
release of Cyberbit, for example, which exhibited very loose setting
becauase of the addition of Thai and the resulting increase in line
height when set solid. This was later fixed (which meant that lines of
Thai would overlap unless extra leading was added).

--
Chris
Received on Tuesday, 23 November 1999 15:51:04 GMT

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